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Stolen Pixels #25: Awesome’d: Episode 4

By Shamus
on Wednesday Oct 1, 2008
Filed under:


Yes, yes. The latest Stolen Pixels went up yesterday. I know. Real life (insomnia) intruded on my blog-time and I wasn’t able to tend to the site.

Still, I link it here for the sake of completeness. Someone asked why I bother with these posts, since RSS readers can get you to the comic just as well. Well, not everyone uses RSS readers. (And some of those people are my mother.) Also, I know some people depend on these direct links to the comic because they have trouble loading the front page at The Escapist. And finally, these posts serve as a nice place to put up some commentary that wouldn’t really fit anywhere else. (For example: The rest of this post.)

And speaking of the slow-loading difficulties at The Escapist: One of the admins for the site stopped by and left comments here and here, which gives some interesting details on the technical difficulties of webserver load-balancing. Some people say the site is fine, others say it takes a minute to load the front page. It’s apparently a problem with the DNS… whachido routing thingbob. It’s like, complicated and stuff? I dunno.

In my own experience, the site loads at about the same speed as IGN, Gamespot, et al. That is to say, not with any great degree of alacrity. Incomprehensible routing issues aside, there is a lot of stuff on the front page and it takes the browser a while to pull down those assets and put them together, even with a high speed connection.

Having said that, I think it’s all there for a reason. There is simply a tremendous supply of varying content on these sorts of sites. Different groups of visitors each have different things on the site that interest them, and the front page needs to present all that stuff somehow.

Any of us can name a dozen things we’d like to see removed from the front page to streamline the thing. But one person’s clutter is another person’s reason for coming to the site. I’m very glad they have me making funnies and not trying to bring order to the tumbling avalanche of information and entertainment that must somehow fit on that front page. I think I’d go mad. I’m much happier contributing to the problem than working on the solution.

Are you still reading this drivel? You’re supposed to be reading and commenting on my comic, remember? Sheesh. You get distracted so easily. Just so you don’t lose your way again, here is one last link to it. No wait – I lied. Here’s one more.

Comments (22)

  1. henebry says:

    Comments not closed!

    This is the second time in a row. I hope the trend continues, since I like this community, and it feels weird writing in to a group of strangers.

    I did create a forum membership there to comment on the second of your Awesome’d series. I’m a longtime H*R fan, and I was glad to see you had gotten a subscription to SBCG4AP.

    I gather from the screencap comic that you purchased it for your pc, rather than getting the wii version, depriving your kids of a proper StrongBadian education. Is this sort of child neglect even legal in your state?

  2. lowlymarine says:

    Didn’t he say last time he was going to start leaving comments open on these? Which is convenient because…

    Those links to (presumably) the Escapist’s comments lead to the admin panel, so we can’t see their words of wisdom.

    And once again, great comic!

  3. Deoxy says:

    “more of a mischief doer” – heh. that was good.

  4. Eric says:

    Shamus to make the comic better, you need to start having gratuitous sex scenes, and Peeps.

  5. Rhykker says:

    I’m glad you link to your comic updates. I don’t RSS; I rely on this website to tell me what to read and when to read it.

  6. Steve C says:

    The links to the “The Escapist admin comments” are locked behind an admin page for wordpress. Got links for us lowly non-admins?

  7. Shamus says:

    henebry: We have both games on the Wii. The screencaps come from the PC demo. But I plan to get the whole season once this whole MMO thing is over. Which means I’ll end up buying all the games twice.

    They’re worth it.

  8. Shamus says:

    Comments will probably continue to be closed in the future, with occasional open threads like this one. I really do want to encourage the Escapist’s community with my efforts, and I also really enjoy seeing Twenty Sided readers over there. It makes the place feel more friendly.

  9. krellen says:

    I thought you did pretty good capturing Strong Bad’s voice, Shamus. I haven’t played Sam and Max, so I cannot comment on them.

  10. Drew says:

    I’m not here to nit-pick, but wouldn’t insomnia give you MORE time to do things like blog?

    I’m just saying. :)

  11. @Drew: I don’t know about Shamus, but every time I get a bout of insomnia I’m left completely and utterly drained of both energy and creativity.

  12. ArcoJedi says:


    Good job once again! You may have missed an earlier comment that the comments in your post that you linked to are not taking US to those comments, but instead linking us to your WP admin login page.

    Ouch, that was confusing to write. Good job anyhow.

  13. Heph says:

    @Drew: I thought the exact same thing, than opted not to post it because of what Ian B. said. Heh.

    And I rely on this page to point me to SP too. I admit it, SP hasn’t made it into my bookmarks yet…No need to, as long as there are posts here, right? :-P

  14. DaveMc says:

    It’s interesting to me how much more likely I am to post a comment on a Stolen Pixels over here than at The Escapist. I’ve done a couple comments over there, but it feels oddly like a chore, whereas here it feels like a hobby. I wouldn’t have thought that it should make that much difference to me, but I guess I’ve grown to feel at home in the community of commenters over here, despite (or even *because of*) occasional outbreaks of arguments. (The arguments have a civility and depth that’s unifying rather than divisive.)

    All that being said, I have no actual comment on the latest SP. I’m not a Sam and Max or Strongbad fan, so these have all sailed over my head. This says more about me than you, so I’m not . . . going . . . to mention it . . . Damn.

  15. Scipio says:

    Not sure what the deal with the escapist is, but it runs horribly for me. And I’m not just talking about the frontpage. When I read the comic, I have to scroll down… which somehow is choppy.

    I basically refuse to browse the escapist website because the design is so bad. But I’ll take a direct link to a comic.

  16. Shamus says:

    The comment links I mention in the post are now fixed.

    Sorry about that. This insomnia is giving me a bad case of jello-brain.

    Mmmmmm. Jello.

  17. RedClyde says:

    One of those links should so have a been a Rick Roll… >.>

  18. Jeff says:

    Linking here is good, since I don’t check there. That site is complicated, while I have your blog either bookmarked (at home) or easy to find (at work – just google Shamus Young).

  19. Ravens-Cry says:

    I have a respectable internet connection (read: Not dial-up) but a craptacular computer, so it takes a while for the site to load. A thing I don’t understand, is why they have this rather large background image, and then COMPLETELY cover it up with well, the site. it doesn’t make a lot of sense. The most trouble I have is with Zero Punctuation. I know this site needs to pay for itself, but it bugs me that the video has more advertisements after the show, then it has actual witty English accents who talk really fast and use no grammar except when absolutely necessary such as when he is about to turn blue in the face from asphyxiation and pass out. Bollocks.
    I don’t watch that part, because the show is well, over, so it just eats up bandwidth as far as this little statistic is concerned.
    Still, all in all a good site, and still has a few shreds of that mythical thing we like to call ‘journalistic integrity.

  20. Namfoodle says:

    @ Ravens-Cry:

    At least the ads come on after the video is over. A lot of sites with ads in the videos make you watch the ads first. Sometimes if you pause for too long, you have to re-watch the ads. I hate that.

  21. Ravens-Cry says:

    Namfoodle: Yeah, Good for me, but not good for them, because it is just making the videos twice as expensive to ‘air’, while not significantly adding to the revenue. It also increases load times, which increase costumer (read:my) annoyance. Of course, what you describe is just plain evil.
    I love your site Mr. Young, and you can generally make me laugh and think, with many ‘Palm: Apply Directly to the Forehead’ moments on DRM and related issues. If that is your goal, then you sir, are a success. Sorry to break the 20, some things are too good to last.

  22. rottcodd says:

    The Escapist problems aren’t all about DNS. After the page has loaded, when I press the down arrow there is about a second delay before the page scrolls. I could tolerate a second delay on input but the problem is that these delays stack, so that pressing down five times quickly will result in the page scrolling in five small steps, each with a second delay for a total of five seconds lag for what should be an instantaneous operation.

    That’s in Firefox 2, I just tried Opera and there was no problem (although the scrolling still wasn’t instantaneous).

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