For the first time in twenty five years, Walt Mossberg will not be attending the Consumer Electronics Show this coming month. Apparently, he expects it to bore him, and he’s no longer in the market for a television, anyway.
Then again, we won’t be there either, because we think Maryland’s Music and Gaming Festival will make for better stories, and the two have been simultaneously scheduled. A lesser writer might use this space to waste your time with garbage diversions involving the contrast between the meteorological averages of the two locations in early January, but we have long since sufficiently grasped the basic orbital habits and seasonal patterns of our planet to be spared surprise, and we’d like to respect you — the reader — enough to assume that you have, too.
Of course, ole Mossy’s position is the precise opposite of the vast majority of technology journalists, and personal attacks are a massive waste of time, so there’s no need to be bitter. Instead, I’d like to offer you an alternative:
Extratone’s core staff.
Though we are as yet untested — most of us will be meeting face-to-face for the first time despite years of colleagueship/friendship — I have absolutely zero doubt that only extraordinary happenings can result from gathering these superb people together for 72 hours.
It takes trust to invest in such a thing, but I have made the decision to open up Extratone to crowdfunding in light of this trip and future endeavors.
The stagnant, eggshell-traversing culture this industry has found itself in is very dangerous in the worst possible way.
What is consumer journalism without characters, icons, and legend-elects?!
Without being excessively conceited, I’d like to note that there is not a single one among us dull enough to be unable to find worthwhile content at an event as large and gray matter-stuffed as CES, regardless of how stale the setlist has become.
I’m pretty sure my CTO could singlehandedly make it front page news again on a two-figure budget, actually.
As of this moment, I’ve yet to revert to zeal enough to claim exclusivity in my vision for this community, but perhaps — in my estragement from tradition — I have rediscovered a bit early what all inevitably must — left without counter-culture, culture promptly asphyxiates.
For the long game, I am asking you to pay us what we’re worth to you, so that we may continue to freely metamorphose from any chance dependence on advertising.
It is my sincerest hope that scribam quid non legerim has the potential to be more than just a pretentious artifact for you — that you may find yourself supporting us financially because you trust our all-consuming incompetence with unanimity, and know originality is inevitable.
It’s not going to begin with Cil lighting up a cigarette in the midst of an Apple Keynote after taking Jony Ive’s interview notes with a Palm Pilot, but shit… I can imagine few more aspirable futures.
How many more router comparisons can you really convince yourself to consume?
These days, it’s not always easy for me, either, but I tell you now - these kids are damned near your last hope at ever cashing in on your fair share of wonder.
If you’re hesitant to trust me, I don’t blame you, but you can trust that my only remaining daydreams are about the possibilities of this thing — there is nothing else I’d rather spend your money on.
You wanna know my ultimate fantasy???
The ability to pay my staff.
I’m already in love with this community, but when we become a magazine…
That is the most intense thrill I could ever hope for.
But if you still find yourself erring on the bitter side, I’d encourage you to take risk on us for this trial run, at least.
Estimated total cost of the trip will be refined as the date draws closer. Currently, we expect to spend about $350 on car rental and fuel. Entry badges are $70/piece if registered under my group.
You have three options:
- Believers can opt for a recurring donation via our new Patreon.
- Those who’d like to contribute directly can do so via *PayPal: firstname.lastname@example.org
- You could order some of our absurd merchandise on Redbubble.
And dang… whatever you decide, know your time is appreciated.