Freq Check Meta


Trim­ming, slim­ming, and trou­bleshoot­ing The Extranet left us ten times faster and much, much loud­er.

After spend­ing a few weeks dot­ing on The Extranet with pre­cise­ly the same atten­tion I’ve pledged not to lav­ish upon it, I think you’ll be sat­is­fied with the results, though prob­a­bly much less so than I am. More impor­tant­ly, our old friend Ryan Dell graced us with his flaw­less satire in Unso­licit­ed Cre­ative Advice,” which will no doubt occu­py the front­page for a good while. As per the tem­po­rary return of my focus upon my own work which I described last month, I was able to knock out a healthy chunk of the pet top­ics I’d been sit­ting on for years. I wrote about Google as our new God, the sin­is­ter sym­bols I saw in Han Solo: A Star Wars Sto­ry, the impor­tance of Twit­ter lists, and the State of Word Pro­cess­ing in 2018.


I’ve also been work­ing on com­pil­ing a “Visu­al His­to­ry of Extra­tone,” which I’d even­tu­al­ly like to dis­play in a unique-ish online pho­to gallery (for now, it’s on Flickr,) and The Drycast Mas­ter Col­lec­tion, which I’d also like to present (and prob­a­bly sell,) in some clever medi­um. So far, I’ve updat­ed the style and meta­da­ta of episodes 1–18 and in the process unearthed the long-lost yzome episode, which includes a superb dis­cus­sion of mod­ern music that’s more than worth an imme­di­ate lis­ten.

I took the time to post us on Fonts in Use – one of my favorite nerdy design projects on the web – which almost imme­di­ate­ly led to some great feed­back from Co-Edi­tor Flo­ri­an Hard­wig regard­ing my typo­graph­ic sins (“Oof!”) and an embar­rass­ing misspac­ing with­in our big But­ler mast, which I have now cor­rect­ed and dark­ened. It looks sig­nif­i­cant­ly bet­ter, no?


In the process of whip­ping up my sub­mis­sion, I summed up my bizarre rela­tion­ship with this Web Site bet­ter still than I ever have before.

Because we chose to exper­i­ment and build the look our­selves from a posi­tion of rel­a­tive inex­pe­ri­ence with web design instead of seek­ing out a pro­fes­sion­al solu­tion, The Extranet as it exists now rep­re­sents more than two years of exhaus­tive tri­al and error that was a sig­nif­i­cant learn­ing expe­ri­ence for myself, espe­cial­ly. It has been tin­kered with, poured over, and bro­ken expo­nen­tial­ly more than if we’d cho­sen to turn its cre­ation over to third-par­ty hands. As a result, our team’s become bizarrely sen­ti­men­tal and proud of it as a part of our organization’s iden­ti­ty.

As proud as I am to have us in the defin­i­tive design cat­a­log on the web, I’ve made enough sig­nif­i­cant changes since the post to ren­der it rel­a­tive­ly out-of-date, already. First, I tracked down and elim­i­nat­ed the serv­er error which caused our down­time at the begin­ning of the year before sys­tem­at­i­cal­ly opti­miz­ing the shit out of just about every­thing until I could reg­u­lar­ly bench­mark The Extranet at 10 times its page­load speed from this time in 2017. After fix­ing and embold­en­ing the mast, I then slight­ly upped the weight of all type­faces, site-wide, but I still found Cor­morant Gara­mond’s per­for­mance to be insuf­fi­cient with­in our new speedy expe­ri­ence. Where we once decid­ed upon it for body text because it wasn’t the obvi­ous choice and we thought its dec­o­ra­tive flair to be loud in its van­i­ty, I all at once found it fee­ble and weak in con­trast with the header’s new got-it-togeth­er­ness. For the moment, we’ve switched to Georg Duffner’s EB Gara­mond – an open source, more robust dig­i­ti­za­tion of The Big G – but I may be test­ing oth­er bod­ies on the live serv­er so watch the fuck out. In Ver­sion 4.3, the head­er no longer sticks, the scroll-to-top but­ton has dis­ap­peared at last, and images will be sharp­er.


Notice that RADIO has replaced AUDIO in the menu. We’ve resumed broad­cast­ing tunes and pod­casts in our one-of-a-kind style on Anchor, and our radio feed is now dis­trib­uted to Apple Pod­casts, Break­er, Pock­et Casts, RadioP­ub­lic, and Stitch­er. Its new, sig­nif­i­cant­ly high­er-qual­i­ty play­er is now embed­ded again on our front­page. The main Stu­dio Eat feed (/audio) has become redun­dant, so we’ve removed it from iTunes and Google Play Music. It will remain acces­si­ble here, but our new Extra­tone Radio page is a more appro­pri­ate avenue to our sounds. For the next few weeks, I’ll be revis­it­ing one episode of Drycast every day and play­ing tracks from Sub­ur­ban Anar­chy in hon­or of its five-year anniver­sary next Fri­day. I’ve also added both Future­land and Drycast to RadioP­ub­lic because it seems like an intrigu­ing project.


Fast and loud: Our pod­casts are spread­ing, and I’m writ­ing more in a heav­ier type­face deliv­ered sig­nif­i­cant­ly faster and I’ve tak­en away both of your last meth­ods of quick­ly escap­ing it. Good luck.