Hey all! I am 90% sure the RSS feed issue is fixed. As a way of confirming, here’s a treat. A ton of cool Twitter icons for you to use. Clearly I made a template and copy/pasted in a bunch, but that makes them no less cool. Use them, then tweet me at @Rosscott!

Oh, and also let me know if you weren’t seeing images and still aren’t/are now so I know the problem with RSS is in fact fixed.

There’s more Twitter icons here.

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Did you see Wednesday’s comic about latte art? Did it hit a little too close to home? Now’s your chance to win something for all that frivilous frothing time, that precious pulling, that precise pouring.

Here’s what you do:

  1. Look at the awesome “My Body is Just a Filter” Coffee Shirt you can win.
  2. Make some awesome art made with or about coffee (latte art, coffee grind sand art, coffee comics, whatever it takes.)
  3. Send a cool picture of it to me (systemcomic at gmail, with the subject “I WANT COFFEE”) by June 11th.
  4. Sit back and wait.

What’s at stake? The best one wins one of the new and awesome “My body is just a (coffee) filter” shirts (shown here):

It's this, but on a shirt.

2 runners-up will win 25% off any order from HilariAwesome.com, The System’s online store. Results will be announced on June 15th. I’m not letting the winners go as long as I did the last contest. No, we’re getting this shirt together! Some other details:

If you have already preordered this awesome shirt and win the contest, I’ll contact you and you can choose to get your money back for the one shirt, or just have 2 shirts (the one you paid for and the one you won). If you have already pre-ordered the shirt and are a runner-up in the contest, I’ll count that discount towards your already-placed order as best I can.

Don’t feel like you have to be a barista to qualify! You totally don’t! Any piece of art (photo, illustration, etc.) captured in an image will do! Need some inspiration? Check out all the coffee comics I’ve done over the last 2 years. I’m sure one will get you started.

Now go! Start arting! Spread the word! Other things!

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The System 378: A Comic About Farts

What would you call the product that described in the comic? And what if you could see everyone’s farts? I wonder what color you would want them to be…

Store News: The Coffee Filter Shirt is still in preorder, and you should preorder it! Not only do you get an awesome shirt, but it shows what a great patron of the arts and of caffeinated beverages you are. PREORDER NOW »

Site News: The RSS feed issue you guys have been having? I’m still working on it (with the help of techier people than myself). I have the problem too, so it isn’t lost on me. Bare with me.

Contest News: Did you see Wednesday’s comic about lattes? Fancy yourself a barista? I’m running a contest on the site for you! Details will be up in a separate post later today. When it is, I’ll add a link to the details here. Here are all the details on the contest! Make coffee-related art, win shirts. Check it out »

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It’s been reported by noble Systemics and friends that the RSS feed (or as I call it, the RoSS feed) on the site is acting somewhere between “Janky” and “Janked up”. I’m investigating and will be in touch.

If you fancy yourself someone that knows about things and would like to help me figure out the problem, shoot me a line! Twitter (@rosscott), email (systemcomic at the gmails), comment here and leave your info.

UPDATE: The RSS is now showing up as it was for me.  You guys? Working?

ALSO UPDATE: Still, the RSS that runs through Feedburner seems to have lost about 1,500 people according to Feedburner’s stats. This seems somehow impossible and directly related to site up/down issues. Anyone know anything about Feedburner and what the hell?

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The System 376: Lattes

UPDATE: Since Reddit is the reason the coffee comic mentioned below was so popular, I posted this one there as well. Yeah, I posted my own comic on Reddit.  I was “that guy”.  Still, if you want to vote for it on there, it would make it infinitely less lame.  Like when you throw yourself a party and nobody shows up.

Is your life less complicated than your latte art? Feel free to discuss in the comments about this, coffee in general, etc. Speaking of coffee, now might be a good time to check out all the other comics on the site about coffee. There are more than a few.

Speaking of which, coffee fans! A NEW SHIRT HAS ARRIVED.

One of the most requested designs I’ve ever had. Based on the most popular comic ever featured on The System (in prints, comic form, etc), “My Body is Just a Filter”. Now available IN PREORDER from the HilariAwesome.com store. GO PREORDER IT NOW »

Why preorder? Why not just order? Preorders is how I can tell how many people really want this thing, and how many I should order. In the case of the last shirt to go up on the site (the “Beards Turn Laziness into Awesomeness” shirt) the preorder was able to pay for the first run of inventory (thats tens of shirts, not hundreds. I’m not running H&M over here). Now’s your chance to get a shirt with coffee on it and support the site until I can finish book 1, or at least work more on it so you can give me money in exchange for that.

So do your part, Systemics. Especially you newcomers. Show your appreciation and invest in the site by investing in a t-shirt. Check out this shirt and the others from the HilariAwesome store »

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The System 373: Where My Kyles At?

A bit of a change of pace from yesterday, I know, but file this under true story, Kyle.

For those of you still sticking around from Slashdot, thanks! Topics around here tend to vary around maths, biking, offices, graphic design, coffee and general sarcasm. While you’re waiting for more mathy things, here’s some ways you can get involved in the site:

  • Send me cool stuff! I’m always looking for things to post about in the blog section. There’s a running series called System in the Wild where if you spot images like those seen in the comic you send them my way, for for that matter anything cool you find. Systemcomic at gmail dot com or via my Twitter account (@Rosscott) or the comic account (@Systemcomic).
  • Comment on things! There’s no official forum here, but the posts have become a bit of a community. My mom posts more often than not (under the name Rossmom), and so do a bunch of other cool people. Share your thoughts, ideas, and whatever else you feel like. Just remember the old addage best known as the Wheaton Rule: Don’t be a dick.
  • Buy stuff! Sounds capitalistic, I know, but the store helps keep the comic up and running. It’s better than donating and not getting anything more for it (because you are getting the comic for free after all). There’s prints, shirts, and soon to be more. So check out the HilariAwesome.com store.

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Thanks for those of you who wrote after the post I put up the other day. The emails and other comments have been awesome, and I’m glad to hear from people. I haven’t answered all the emails yet but I will for sure.

How’s it going with the RSS ads?  If the stats are right we’re off to a good start making $2.00-$3.00 / day. Doesn’t sound like much I know, but it’s a profit. Combined with a better ad campaign that might actually start to add up. Stay tuned. Feedburner tells me we got 1,700 subscribers to the RSS (or as I like to call it, the RoSS feed). That’s awesome!

Oh and finally, an article popped up on BoingBoing today all about RSS feeds. The article is on posting full-text feeds vs. introduction-only feeds that drive traffic to the site. It’s got links to my main Mann and Daring Fireball, as well as some other interestingness. Read on if you like! LINK.

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UPDATE: The feed has not been working for some people. As far as I can tell this is due to the lag it takes to slowly get it all to feed / propogate. The link that should work is http://feeds.feedburner.com/systemcomic . This now works for me to add it to Google Reader, let me know if you’re having trouble.

Howdy, Systemics! I don’t know what you think goes on behind the scenes of this comic, but I’m going to try and start being a little more up front and see how that goes. Hopefully you guys appreciate seeing how things really work here either as fellow creators, voyeuristic readers, or just because you like reading crap while you’re bored at work.

Did you know I would like to make money off this comic? I know, that’s crazy talk. The first part of that comment you should realize is that right now, I don’t make money off this comic.  Sure the HilariAwesome store is available and I get a sale or two a month, but the only real revenue ever seen is when I go to conventions and get to deal things in bulk. I love doing that, but it would be great if the site at least paid for it’s own hosting, maybe even a little extra. That could really take the edge off and help justify the time I put into things around here, as well as help out with the upcoming site redesign and The System Book 1 printing costs. So I’m trying to optimize / revitalize the way I try and make some cash on the site.

No, I’m not going to start charging for the content you’re used to getting for free. But If I can find ways to get the site to pay for itself or maybe even earn me a few bucks without having to inconvenience you the reader too badly, I figure I should give it a shot. As such, today starts the Great Feed Experiment. I would like to be pretty up front about this so here are all the details:

Readership on this comic is around 3,000 – 5,000 readers a day, depending on which stat tracker I look at, what sites are linking to me, what StumbleUpon feels like doing, and what I’ve been doing to update lately. It’s been there for over 6 months and it’s a great number though I’m not a fan of the plateau. From what I understand a comic running under 2 years this is a great number. I’m certainly proud of it, though of course it would always be nice if it was growing. Unfortunately, it’s not a big enough number for web ads to really do that much good. You need orders of magnitude more in the way of readers or amazing ad networks to do anything near good money with ad traffic.

However, there’s a silver lining. For a site this size, we have a HUGE number of RSS feed subscribers. Google Reader alone shows 1,398 followers as I write this, which as far as I can tell is really big for a site this size. That’s only the Google Reader ones, not to mention people subscribing through other means. After talking it over with my internet brother from another mother Marty, I’d like to know more about it and possibly utilize it a little bit, so as of today I’m starting to run the feed through FeedBurner to better track how many people are subscribing, and adding Google Adsense to the feed. I know that Adsense is one of the worst ad networks in terms of revenue because they are so general, but it’s a start until I can get on some better networks.

If you are a subscriber through the RSS and something I’ve done in this process has effected the way you read the comic and made you want to STOP reading the comic, let me know. (systemcomic at gmail) I’d rather have readers than money hands down. (systemcomic at gmail) If it is simply messing with the way you read the comic or possibly breaking anything, let me know that too. (systemcomic at gmail) I’ve tested and it seems to all be working but I won’t know for sure until you tell me what’s going on.

Anyway, thanks for understanding and of course reading the comic. It’s often easy to forget that looking at the numbers relates to real people who have taken time every day to follow what I write / draw here, which is why I always encourage you to get in touch with me. (systemcomic at gmail) Hopefully we are all building to something together. As it says in the masthead, comics will keep being posted until morale improves.

Thanks all.  Feel free to leave any thoughts in the comments, message me on The Twitters, or email me at, you guessed it, (systemcomic at gmail).

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picture-14

Howdy Systemics! Sorry for the delays with Friday and Monday’s comics. We’re a little off schedule this week but a comic will be up tomorrow (Tuesday). Hang in there!  In the meantime, check out this awesome animated short called Logorama. It’s up for an oscar and a fun watch. LINK.

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DISCLOSURE: I was in need of a couch and got in touch with Simplicity Sofas. In return for an honest review and ad space for a month (should be right above, but you can find them here), they gave me a discount on the couch.

A while back I moved into an apartment that has a great deal of perks. Cozy, high ceilings, and in the heart of DC. Unfortunately it had one small drawback. It is very, very tiny. Still, I was determined to make the best of it and searched for ways to optimize the space. A friend of mine suggested Simplicity Sofas, a company that specializes in couches for small apartments. What does that mean, exactly?

First of all, the furniture comes in a variety of sizes from small to large to fit whatever size apartment you have. The different styles of their collections include full-size sofas, apartment sofas, loveseats, and chairs-and-a- half, as well as other features such as a dual 20-inch deep air sleep system. This gives you the bonus of turning of your living room couch into your bed in minutes with a push of a button. As someone who once had to carry such an apparatus down 3 flights of stairs, trust me this is a much better idea. I opted for the ottoman as well, which I discovered on arrival has a compartment inside to store all my wires and video game accoutrements.

But what really won me over is the setup. Most couches arrive in one large box. Not so. Instead, this came in a series of smaller boxes. Ideal, since I had to carry each one up four flights of stairs. Once in the apartment, the whole thing comes together in 15 minutes without even those little Ikea wrench thingies.

As for comfort and wear, I’m about 6 months in and all is well. My only suggestion is to opt for the “premium” fabric or “pet-proof” fabric. Then again, maybe I just eat too many meals on my couch. Did I mention my apartment is small? A dining table would be a luxury. So check out their site.

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