Mark argues that serial publication of larger narratives (Dickens, for one) is one argument against the claim that the short presentation formats of current media are debasing storytelling. I think that's an excellent point in general, but when applied to the web or hypertext I wonder how often it applies. How many readers follow enough of a digital text to get the full sweep and scope?
Someone who stops in for an arc of Fans! or It's Walky! is missing out on much of what the series do. It's particularly easy to do with the neatly-packaged story arcs that those two comics provide, but the question applies even to 'punchline'-style comics that have a satisfying resolution at the end of every day or week. A reader can, by virtue of the format and medium, slip into and out of the story, get a bit of a thrill on the way, and never engage the larger narrative. Closure is reached within the short episode as well as the longer series. The medium facilitates those with short attention spans in a way that even Dickens didn't when he published his Great Works in serial form.
Sure, it's always been possible for a reader to ignore the upper levels of what they're reading, but I do think the medium makes that ignorance easier to maintain at the same time as it encourages some people to read on.