Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Finals Are Over (Kind Of)! New Features Coming

With our mistake of launching the site before exams almost in the past, we now actually have time to address critical issues!

First off, I just want to thank everyone who has been using the site. We know that there are issues, and starting today they are going to be addressed. Second, thanks to everyone that has been giving us their feedback via the blog.

Ok, so here's what we're going to be working on.

  • Changing format of story comic section to "Is It Good Today?". We feel that this is the best way to keep the site's simple voting system while giving story comics a fair chance.
  • Personalized homepages. You'll be able to add comics to your favorite's list, which will open up a new tab on the homepage that allows you to view only your favorite comics. The regular most recent and top comics will still be visible (in condensed lists), but the comics that you care about will have their own list in a prominent spot. This will allow you to keep up on your favorite story comics and regular comics in the same list.
  • New colors for the homepage. I don't know about you, but the green and blue links got pretty old.

We'll also be rolling out a bunch of smaller changes that you might not notice, but those are the main things that we're going to try and accomplish over the coming weeks.

Again, thanks a lot for visiting the site. We haven't really done any promoting yet (which we will soon, after these things are done), which makes the amount of traffic that we've gotten incredible. On that note, thanks to everyone that has been linking to us, we really appreciate it.

Oh, and we're looking for a few neat little web 2.0 "Vote at I2FT" buttons. Neither of us are very good at designing small things, and any help would be greatly appreciated. Here's a link to a giant version of our logo. The sizes that we're looking for are 100x20 (with the pepper and some text, kind of like this) and 16x16 (with just the pepper), but if you want to make other sizes, that's cool to. If we use your icons, we'll put them up somewhere on the site and give you credit.

As always, if you have any suggestions, send us an email (team at isitfunnytoday.com) or leave your comments here.

- Zack

13 comments:

Tony said...

I've been impressed on how quickly this site has taken off. You guys definitely have something here. And the changes you're discussing sound really good as well. Keep up the great work!

Smitty D said...

It's funny, just about every comic I visit has had a blog post saying "hey vote for me at IsItFunnyToday!" or something like that over the past 10 days or so. This thing is going like wildfire!

1844 said...

Button designs coming your way! - Greg Sorvig

niffiwan said...

Ok, I don't quite agree with the decision; I was a proponent of letting the user choose either "is it funny" or "is it good" for comics in both categories, and I'm also not sure that the distinction between story/non-story is so cut-and-dry. For example, "Sinfest", a comic that you label a "regular" webcomic, actually has weekly story arcs and is also sometimes more sad or poignant than funny.

Hmm, I just had a nice idea!

What if there are 3 ratings:

1) Is it funny?
2) or Is it good?
(can choose either 1 or 2, but not both. If % of people who choose "is it funny" is over 50%, it goes into the "funny" category, ditto for "good")

3) Is it self-contained?
(optional question; would determine whether the comic goes into "self-contained" or "part of a greater whole" categories. If over 50% vote yes, goes into "self-contained")

I think this would cover just about everything! True, 3 questions is a bit more complex, but the reward would be a simple system for automatically determining which comic goes where - all based on the public will!

niffiwan said...

(and Sinfest also sometimes, though not very often, has individual strips that you can't understand without reading the prior ones of that week. Just like the story comic "Abominable Charles Christopher" sometimes has strips that are entirely self-contained. So the 3-question system would clear all of that ambiguity up)

niffiwan said...

My system would separate all strips into 4 categories:

1) Funny, self-contained
2) Good, self-contained
3) Funny, not self-contained
4) Good, not self contained

Whereas the current system only allows for the categories 1 and 4:

1) Funny, self-contained
4) Good, not self-contained

And moreover, it does not allow that panels from a single comic strip may sometimes be in one category and sometimes in another.

However, it can be easily demonstrated that there are plenty of individual comics which belong to either category 2 or 3.

Tan said...

Great idea for a site! I've only known about it a few days and I am already a regular =)

One thing that might be of interest to you is that your voting system is vulnerable to CSRF attacks.

Changing votes to a POST request and using javascript to double post the sessionid cookie would be the easiest way to fix it.

see also:
http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/archives/001175.html

scottjg said...

Tan --

I would've preferred you e-mail me this instead of posting it on our blog but now that it's public record, I just wanted to clarify that I am aware of the problem (I read Jeff's blog, and I've seen this article). We do have some lowest common denominator CSRF deterrents in place already.

In my private branch, I've already written real protection for this, and we should be deploying it soon.

In the future, if anyone would like to discuss security, feel free to shoot me an email: scottjg AT isitfunnytoday.com

Chris Tan said...

scott,

I did not think it was an issue since it's unlikely that someone would try to game a voting system that updates daily.

Nonetheless, I do appreciate that this sort of issue should have been kept on the down low.

Apologies and good luck,

Chris

Jeff Moore said...

It would be super if the voting bar would say whether I've already voted before I try to vote again. It's not a big thing, but sometimes I'll go back in the archives of a few comics, and forget whether I've voted on a particular comic until I try to vote on it again, and the bar yells as me.

Christopher Stetson Wilson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christopher Stetson Wilson said...

Although the author of one of the strips on the site and the author of a strip that is sometimes a stand-alone, sometimes a story arc, and sometimes incredibly sad or touching, I still agree with the simple "funny/not funny" arrangement. My feeling is that people are on this site to find the funny strips and to avoid (or if they're like me, smugly vote down) the unfunny ones. The people who enjoy my longer story lines, and the people who enjoy the sadder strips, are generally going to be people who already read my strip regularly. If a 13-year-old clicks my strip as "unfunny" just because I don't have a ninja joke, I think I can live with that.

niffiwan said...

Christopher: But with my arrangement, it would still be possible to find just the funny strips if that's what you're after. Registered members could go to either the "funny" page or the "good" page.

I've been coming across quite a few "regular" comics recently that are not funny but are "good". The thing is, it seems that some people still vote for them being "funny" because they liked them and want to give them a high rating somehow. So that makes the "funny" rating somewhat illegitimate. Better to give people another choice to channel their voices into, I think.