I have read and agree to the Terms of Service.
As some may recall, those ToS may make claims against original content¹ or be entirely self-contradictory as to requirements for originality and/or present elsewhere, so creators run a special risk in not reading those terms, but let’s face it — nobody reads the damn things. Actually, I read one once, an End User License Agreement for one of my employer’s products, and it accomplished two things:
- I got a headache
- I became convinced that I somehow owed The Mob a favor
Which is why I was intrigued when the Twitterfeed of amazingly smart guy Rands pointed me towards a new project to categorize Terms of Service and rate them for how badly you can get screwed for checking the box, lying, and signing up.
Terms of Service, Didn’t Read is starting with social media and search engines, rating each ToS from Very Very Good (Class A) to Is This Really Necessary? (Class E), and everything in between. I’d recommend that anybody who puts their original work on the web via a site they don’t entirely own themselves review the ToS;DR ratings on a regular basis from here on out.
- Know what day it is? Jenny Everywhere Day. Somehow, I missed it last year, but to remind all and sundry, Ms Everywhere is:
[A]n open source character created in 2001 by Steven Wintle and the members of the Barbalith forums. She’s free to use by anyone in any capacity they see fit.
Jenny exists in all realities at the same time and her powers stem from an ability to “Shift” herself and others from one reality to another. Her exact powers/limitations within any given story are up to the people working on it.
The two things that make her “Jenny Everywhere” are her goggles and her scarf. Every other aspect to her design (including race, body type, hair color, eye color, number of limbs, etc.) are completely up for grabs and fall under the discretion of the creator.
Examples of Ms Everywhere are free-flowing at JennyEverywhereDay.com, but don’t feel restricted to just one day of the year; Jenny can be used any time you like (with the proper disclaimers) to tie all of comics into one overarching shared reality, just in time to destroy everything.
- The Ignatz Awards nominees (not at the Ignatz website yet, but give ‘em time; meanwhile, take a look at the list via Heidi or The Spurge)have been announced, and what caught my eye more than any particular nominee (and it’s a nicely balanced, broad slate of nominees this year) was the list of judges.
Edie Fake, Minty Lewis, Julia Wertz, Dylan Meconis, and Lark Pien did the jury-ing of the nominations list, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen an awards jury with such a deep experience of webcomics before — Wertz and Meconis have been in webcomics forever, Lark Pien has closely collaborated with Gene Luen Yang on multiple projects, notably coloring American Born Chinese. It doesn’t look like Fake or Lewis have a lot to do with webcomics per se, but they’re young enough to have robust web presences and I’ll wage that the idea of internet presentation of their work isn’t a strange thing to them.
Oh, and the jury is 80% female, and yet somehow that fact is not a dominant point of reference in their task, their choices, or the awards in general. Is … is that allowed? ‘Cause I totally thought I read that there aren’t any ladies doing comics and they don’t hardly ever apply to do comics because they have an idea how anatomy works? Weird.
¹ Does anybody use MySpace since Jeff Rowland killed it?
² <cough cough Pinterest cough>.