624: Branding

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Actually, 'RSS&M' is kinda catchy.
Title text: Actually, 'RSS&M' is kinda catchy.


This strip shows four advertisements that appear to Cueball as he browses the internet without Adblock (Adblock is a browser extension for Firefox which prevents advertisements from being displayed. All four ads are for adult-themed websites.

The first advertises a website that brands itself as the Facebook of sex. Because Facebook is ubiquitous, this is probably a good branding idea. Facebook is known to most users and connotes an easy-to-use platform where it's very easy to find people, chat with them, share pictures, etc. For someone looking for sex, this would probably seem like a good site to use. There are, in fact, sites that use this branding in their advertisements and/or their user interface which is likely what inspired Randall to write this comic. Cueball sighs and moves on, probably having seen this kind of ad many times already.

The second brands itself as "Twitter for 18+ singles!" is a similar but (seemingly) invented ad which again plays on the ubiquity and popularity of Twitter. Twitter being a (generally) public chat forum which limits posts to 140 characters is still popular enough to get some attention and make someone think about going to the site, although sending messages to the world if 140 characters or less might be somewhat versitile platform than Facebook for chatting with other singles, but still perhaps viable. Cueball notes that it is becoming more and more popular to brand adult sites by comparing them to popular non-adult sites.

This third takes a turn for the unusual, branding itself as "We're like Google Reader for S&M!" Google Reader is a platform that allows users to aggregate web feeds such as RSS feeds into one place for convenience. The service is notably less well-known and popular than Facebook or Twitter, and given that it doesn't directly link you with other people, doesn't have the same conotation of allowing you to connect with others. Perhaps it would be a site that allowed you to aggretate various fan fictions or other written works (Fifty Shades of Grey?) relating to S&M. However, Cueball is still surprised such a site would exist.

The final ad brands itself as "the new GitHub for lesbians!" Per Wikipedia, GitHub is an online platform that allows users to develop projects that use the Git revision control system. Given the complete obscurity of GitHub, and the fact that it has relatively nothing to do with social interaction or sex, it is not even clear what "GitHub for lesbians" would be other a similar software development platform exclusive to lesbians. The potential for adult content is not immediately apparent. Cueball shows his surprise and confusion at this last ad.


Browsing without adblock
[A man is sitting at a computer.]
[Pop-up window with red background.]
The Facebook of SEX! Click now!
Man: Sigh.
[Pop-up window with green background.]
Twitter for 18+ singles! Join today!
Man: Does every porn site have to brant itself like this?
[Pop-up window with blue background.]
We're like Google Reader for S&M!
Man: ((in italics)) Really?
[Pop-up window with orange background.]
Try the new GitHub for lesbians!
Man: Ok, wait, what?

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ClitHub. 18:19, 21 April 2016 (UTC)

The last one's genius; I'd click that. 23:30, 8 April 2013 (UTC)

Fork me on GitHub : ) 09:49, 12 September 2013 (UTC)

I'd say "F**k me on Github" 12:18, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

Perhaps he is hinting at the complexity of female anatomy, and lesbians, being the supposed experts would use such a site to share "technical" information, or am I reading into this too far? (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Yes. Yes, you are. 12:33, 29 January 2016 (UTC)

With the exception of [[Randall]], this explanation has no internal links, only Wikipedia links. It seems to me that we like to include a few links to related explanations. Are there other comics that mention any of the following, that we could add links to?

  • AdBlock
  • Pop-ups/banner ads
  • Porn sites
  • Facebook/Twitter
  • GitHub
  • Sexual orientation, perhaps? 18:16, 29 January 2016 (UTC)

Comic 751 (Swimsuit Issue) mentions both pop-ups and porn sites, I'd link if I knew how. 22:12, 19 May 2016 (UTC)