Freq Check Meta

Year Two in Review

Extratone’s sec­ond year saw growth and a close call, but its third will not dis­ap­point.

As of Fri­day, two years have passed since Extratone’s launch, and I’m afraid this let­ter will fail to live up to my grandiose and extreme­ly sen­ti­men­tal cel­e­bra­tion of year one from last May. We have explored still fur­ther since — evolv­ing our plat­form and its satel­lite media into their adult form and strid­ing ever clos­er to find­ing our iden­ti­ty. For myself, this project has con­tin­ued to teach more and more even though I almost destroyed and neglect­ed to fix it for the past few months.

Styl­is­ti­cal­ly, we stopped fid­dling and set­tled into Ver­sion 4 in late August, estab­lish­ing a tem­plate that should remain a sound envi­ron­ment for our fore­see­able future. Our week­ly newslet­ter also found its bright, bold, clean aes­thet­ic — in con­trast with the Extranet — and its beat of Divi­sion, Art, and Media before its spot­ty hia­tus. Aggre­gat­ing the best of these sub­jects from our read­ing list was an enjoy­able and extreme­ly edu­ca­tion­al expe­ri­ence for me, per­son­al­ly, so I hope to resume reg­u­lar deliv­ery in the com­ing months.
Unfor­tu­nate­ly, a data­base error com­bined with my lack of a total grasp on the grit­ty details of web devel­op­ment result­ed in an unac­cept­ably long down­time of sev­er­al weeks as late-Win­ter became Spring. Sor­ry about that. I under­stand now what I was neglect­ing, so extend­ed absences shouldn’t be an issue in the future. It was strange­ly sick­en­ing to know the site was down and a tremen­dous relief when I man­aged to restore it, last month.
We’ve made only a few changes since February’s let­ter, but I’d like to report the most seri­ous one first: the Extranet is now com­pli­ant with the EU’s Gen­er­al Data Pro­tec­tion Reg­u­la­tion, which becomes effec­tive on the 25th. I’m not an expert, but I’m 90% sure that we actu­al­ly have been all along, not that the law itself applies to us, yet. How­ev­er, there is no longer any rea­son for the exis­tence of user accounts, here, or for us to retain any user data what­so­ev­er because we are adver­tis­ing-free, so I’ve per­son­al­ly delet­ed all of the 1000+ user accounts and any content/data asso­ci­at­ed with them from the CMS along with all of their offline backups/exports from my machine. Tech­ni­cal­ly, we still have the data with­in com­pressed site-wide back­ups, but — as I dis­cov­ered dur­ing the site’s afore­men­tioned brush with web death — they are all unread­able and unre­cov­er­able. How­ev­er, we’re going to refrain from delet­ing them until we find a bet­ter solu­tion. Until then, we’ll still be tech­ni­cal­ly (and legal­ly, I’d assume) retain­ing your data in this cor­rupt form. (Though this is well with­in our rights in the Unit­ed States for the moment, please feel free to email me per­son­al­ly if you have any ques­tions about where your data is going.)
Our Pri­va­cy Pol­i­cy and Terms of Use remain unchanged by this purge because we allow Google Ana­lyt­ics to track your vis­its, though it is up for debate whether or not we will con­tin­ue to do so giv­en recent dis­cov­er­ies about the dis­turb­ing state of their com­pa­ny ethics. If you’ve opt­ed to receive any of our email newslet­ters in the past, we still have access to any infor­ma­tion you vol­un­teered via our account with MailChimp, which is legal­ly respon­si­ble for its pos­ses­sion, along with that which is col­lect­ed when you engage with our accounts on any oth­er ser­vice.
Even though it’s more top­i­cal than ever right now, I’m going to spare you yet anoth­er rant about web pri­va­cy and adver­tis­ing because my only birth­day gift this year is our new sub­red­ditr/trato — (which we’re excit­ed for you to vis­it and engage with, if only to com­plain,) and most of what I would end up argu­ing has been more pub­licly dis­cussed than ever, as of late.
How­ev­er, I’d still be remiss if I didn’t revis­it and reflect upon my favorites of our sec­ond year (in loose chrono­log­i­cal order,) but I’d first like to once again send a BIG thanks Ben Stokes for his gen­er­ous sup­port along with the whole rest of his crew and their guests for let­ting us in The Movie Clos­et for 72 hilar­i­ous, diverse, and often-pro­found episodes over near­ly two years which rep­re­sent a huge amount of ener­gy, com­mit­ment, and tal­ent. They’ve decid­ed to move on to oth­er projects, but their last episode for True/False 2018 is a must-watch, and I’d strong­ly sug­gest you sub­scribe to Spanktravision’s chan­nel and fol­low Ben on Twit­ter to stay updat­ed with their future work
I’ve prob­a­bly men­tioned Isiah’s 5 Day’s of Soy­lent” far too much since its pub­li­ca­tion and it’s been on the front­page since just before our down­time, so I’ll sim­ply say: read it now if you haven’t already.
Nobody knows what a gen­er­a­tion raised on low qual­i­ty con­tent is going to look like. It’s unimag­in­able — adults, exist­ing who grew up play­ing Elsa Preg­nant Surgery games and watch­ing Five Nights At Fred­dies Fun­ny Sexy Mon­tages.
⊛ The con­se­quences of YouTube’s pro­found influ­ence on our soci­ety is increas­ing­ly in the media spot­light as The Tump Era con­tin­ues on, but nobody has summed it more con­cise­ly than our own Junie Cortez in “The Chil­dren of The Search.”
We spend our whole lives try­ing to grow up, move on, and get out… but now I’m start­ing to go back and see all these things I missed.
⊛ One day, I hope Eryn and I will have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to con­tin­ue Run­nin’ Down a Dream - the audio diary of our bizarre adven­tures revis­it­ing the small rur­al towns of our Mis­souri home. Its sin­gle present pilot episode was an enter­tain­ing recount of our ridicu­lous trip to Mark Twain’s Mis­sis­sip­pi-side stomp­ing grounds, and a wel­come per­son­al depar­ture from the future which was def­i­nite­ly worth shar­ing.
Vic­to­ria has been offline for 3257 days, mean­ing that on July 30, 2008, she logged onto Steam for the first time, fig­ured out how to cre­ate a group, attempt­ing to find her son, and prompt­ly logged out, leav­ing a poten­tial feed of infor­ma­tion about her boy in the dust for 8 years and 11 months.
⊛ In Hale,” Isi­ah recounts his inves­ti­ga­tion into the legit­i­ma­cy of a “cry for help” he stum­bled upon in his effort to join 1000 Steam groups, set­ting his usu­al wit with­in a heav­ier frame that opens a win­dow into an absolute­ly tan­ta­liz­ing beat which we des­per­ate­ly need to widen fur­ther: the infi­nite mys­ter­ies hid­den through­out the cran­nies of the World Wide Web.
Sup­pli­ers have meta­mor­phosed into lux­u­ry brands because their prod­ucts have become vir­tu­al­ly unat­tain­able to the com­mon­er, and peo­ple will pay A Shit Load for t-shirts from resellers with a small red box logo. Seri­ous­ly, fuck the stock mar­ket — reselling streetwear is a bet­ter hus­tle.
⊛ I believe firm­ly that style should be lib­er­at­ed from its lega­cy fash­ion mag­a­zine prison, and our Cul­ture Edi­tor Leo Marx is notably the best-dressed man I’ve ever met. Though he may be Extratone’s oth­er Old Man, he is no way con­fined by retro roman­ti­cism in Streetwear,” yet anoth­er exam­ple to fol­low in future work, and unques­tion­ably our most use­ful piece yet.
How bliss­ful­ly igno­rant those kayak­ers were, going about their pad­dling busi­ness, unaware of the hulk­ing met­al appa­ra­tus under their entombed low­er body. It drew me in, its form undu­lat­ing and vary­ing in width in geo­met­ri­cal­ly impos­si­ble ways. I came clos­er and clos­er until my nose near­ly scraped its ter­ri­ble teeth.
⊛ We were all tremen­dous­ly proud of our deep-cov­er Prose Ghost (who’s assumed byline is K. I. Eleuthe­rios XVII for pro­tec­tion) when they man­aged to suc­ceed where so many tal­ent­ed inves­ti­ga­tors have failed in infil­trat­ing the facade of the Times Square kayak rental indus­try. The Truth About Kayaks” is by a long way our most exclu­sive and hard-hit­ting report­ing thus far.
Hon­est­ly, as much as we grew and learned, we (most­ly I) failed to achieve the pri­ma­ry goal I set for Extra­tone 365 days ago: sig­nif­i­cant­ly less of my byline, way more of oth­ers. In fact, my share has increased. Both our move to Port­land and our late down­time took sig­nif­i­cant­ly more time than I could’ve ever imag­ined, uproot­ing my real­i­ty and allow­ing me to step back and reflect on where I want Extra­tone to go and how bet­ter to get us there. It’s clear that what I’ve been doing isn’t work­ing — I have yet to fig­ure out an effec­tive way to apply my time to build­ing a com­mu­ni­ty, and it doesn’t make sense to con­tin­ue sac­ri­fic­ing my body, mind, and finances with­out appro­pri­ate results. My liv­ing sit­u­a­tion has changed dra­mat­i­cal­ly in such a way that 2017’s dai­ly reg­i­men would be impos­si­ble, any­way.
While I’ve been fail­ing to use my ener­gy as a plat­form for oth­er voic­es, I’ve under­stood for a long time how to build my own, so I’m declar­ing Extra­tone’s pri­ma­ry goal for the next year to be pub­lish­ing orig­i­nal, emo­tion­al­ly and intel­lec­tu­al­ly-stim­u­lat­ing work as it comes, while my per­son­al goal will be build­ing my own lit­er­a­cy in both the trade and the sub­jects which we are here to cov­er. Though in the now, the lat­ter could not be more at odds with the core mis­sion of this mag­a­zine, you can trust me when I tell you that my com­mit­ment to build­ing this pub­li­ca­tion has not waned in the slight­est — it’s sim­ply time to fig­ure out anoth­er way to achieve it.
I seri­ous­ly doubt read­ers or par­tic­i­pants in the com­mu­ni­ty will notice much aside from the way I treat my own work. I’ll remain con­stant­ly in our Dis­cord, imme­di­ate­ly reach­able by email, and my enthu­si­asm for new work will always be huge and imme­di­ate, but in the time between pitch­es and sub­mis­sions, I’m going to focus on the list of poten­tial works I’ve built up. I doubt also that I will require more than a few months to fig­ure out how to pro­ceed, and I promised you’ll be exhaus­tive­ly apprised of my progress in real time.
As I’ve admit­ted too many times before, Extra­tone is my off­spring and its future (as in, the future of those of whom it is com­prised both now and ahead) is lit­er­al­ly always on my mind, so — bar­ring insan­i­ty or death — it’s always going to get bet­ter and brighter and I’m nev­er… ever… going to stop Tweet­ing about it, so those who would see The Big E fade away may as well block me right now.