To everybody who subscribed to Encyclopedia of Surfing this past week and are now receiving a fundraiser notice as your very first communication from me — apologies. EOS does just one fundraiser each year, and we have arrived at that moment. There are 165 Sunday Joints posted on the site, and I encourage newcomers to binge on those first. Then come back here, read on, and hopefully make a donation or buy a gift sub.
A quick look back at 2021, and a preview of where we're going in 2022.
EOS growth continues slow and steady. Three hundred of you signed up last year, give or take, bringing the total to just over 2,700. We have $50K in the bank—but let’s not get too excited about that, for reasons I’ll explain in a moment. Content-wise, EOS expanded in all directions. More videos, more interviews, more Gwyn Haslock. I am especially stoked that we posted full multi-sourced pages for each and every Duke contest (click here; go to “contests” tab), and did the same for all the Makaha and the Smirnoff. We continue to digitize, keyword, catalog, and archive all types of analog surf media, much of which is at risk of disappearing into the void.
The Sunday Joint, meanwhile, has taken on a life of its own. The Joint now resides in my head as a miniature digital magazine, and posting it each week—then emailing back and forth with everybody who replies—is the best part of my job.
Next year will be transformative for EOS. We’re adding a Books section to the site, and a redesigned search page will come with a new menu of filters, allowing faster and more targeted access to a vast and growing amount of content. But the main event is that EOS will be going to a “headless” CMS, which you can read about here, or just take my word for it that the process is complicated and gnarly and expensive, and will likely suck the EOS savings account dry. The money is well-spent, however, because going headless sets EOS up for a longer and better-performing run into the future.
The headless rebuild will have little or no effect on EOS’ day-to-day operation. That said, our "normal" work schedule needs help. EOS productivity should be double or triple what it is, which brings us back to the fundraiser, and the fact that EOS simply needs money to buy more work hours. The amount yet to be done on this site is staggering, while EOS staff, at the moment, consists of just one full-timer (me) and two part-timers.
So the ask in 2021 is twofold:
1. Help fund the EOS rebuild.
2. Buy more work hours—lots of them, the more the better.
The good news is that, because EOS’ overhead is low and our marketing and promo budget is zero, 100% of your donation money goes toward these two goals.
EOS is a 501(c)(3), so your contribution is tax-deductible.
Working on EOS is a privilege and a joy, and while I humbly submit that the site is amazing as it stands, the job is not even 10% finished. I will work on EOS for the rest of my life, and be glad to do so, but the more ground I can cover between now and that Final Kickout, the happier I will be, and the sport will be better served as well. Very win-win.
The fundraiser begins as soon as you guys open this email.
Subscribe or buy a gift sub here.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or just hit "reply" to this email.
Thanks for reading, everybody, and thank you for supporting Encyclopedia of Surfing!
PS: Throwback to the 1971 EOS fundraiser.
[Photos: John Witzig, Jack Eden, Tom Servais, Jodi Warshaw. Special thanks to Tim James for the Photoshop wizardry you see at the top of the page; that's Hans Hedemann's noggin atop Kevin "the Head" Brennan's torso, and while the stated EOS mission is to "preserve, present, and celebrate surf history and culture," we all celebrate in our own ways, and I am always here for a silly and obscure visual pun.]