A letter from Matt Warshaw, Executive Director of Encyclopedia of Surfing.
Hello surfers and all lovers of surf culture. The 2021 Encyclopedia of Surfing fundraiser is ON (December 6 – 16), and if that is enough to trigger the credit-card extension reflex, click here to donate, and here to subscribe or buy a gift sub.
A quick look back at 2021. EOS growth was slow and steady. We added 300 subscribers, give or take, bringing the total to just over 2,400. We have 50K in the bank, but let’s get too excited about that, for reasons I’ll explain in a moment. Content-wise, EOS expanded in all directions last year. I’m especially stoked that we posted full pages for each and every Duke contest (click here; go to the “contests” tab), and did the same for all the Makaha and the Smirnoff events. We continue to digitize, keyword, catalog, and archive all manner of surf-related 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 small 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 robust menu of filters, allowing faster and more precise access to all pages. But the real main event is that EOS is going to a “headless” content management system, 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. Worth the money, though, as going headless is totally necessary for EOS to move smartly into the future.
This back-end rebuild will have little or no effect on EOS’ day-to-day operation. That said, productivity here should be double or triple what it is, bringing us back to the fundraiser, and the fact that EOS needs money to buy a LOT more hands-on hours. The amount of work yet to be done on this site is staggering. The entire EOS staff, at the moment, consists of 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 promotion budget is zero, 100% of your donation money goes toward these two goals.
Working on EOS is a privilege and a joy, and while I humbly submit that the site is pretty damn great as it stands, the job is not even 10% finished. I will continue working 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.
Subscribe or buy a gift sub here.
Contact me here.
Thanks for reading, everybody, and thanks for supporting Encyclopedia of Surfing!
PS: throwback to the ’71 fundraiser . . . .