It’s not easy running an independent, culture defining, ever evolving website over a long period of time. Matt Warshaw’s latest call for action to save the Encyclopedia Of Surfing site (which includes Encyclopdia of Surfing, History of Surfing, and Above the Roar) by raising $30,000 in the month of December, 2017 is a prime example.
In a recent Facebook post Warshaw outlined the predicament and what action needs to be taken to save the project. Let’s read it in full here and do what needs to be done to preserve this culturally significant effort:
Hello Encyclopedia of Surfing supporters, would-be supporters, friends, family, and surf lovers everywhere.
Well, this is a tough one to write, and I’m not going to sugarcoat it. Encyclopedia of Surfing is underwater. We need to raise $30,000 by December 31, or the whole online project—Encyclopedia, History of Surfing, Above the Roar—goes away.
How did this happen? Short answer: funding a website is really, really hard. In 2010, when I started building EOS, the goal was to have it up and running and modestly profitable by 2012. For three years, with SURFER Magazine’s support, it was very close. But the SURFER deal wasn’t renewed, and I couldn’t find anybody to step in and take their place—as many of you know, the surf industry is having its own problems. Surf-biz fluctuations, in fact, are why I believe the subscription model I’ve had in place for EOS since May is the only way to create a sustainable revenue stream. But at this point, EOS is still in the red . . . and out of time.
So there it is. Down but not out. We’re looking at no-holds-barred $30,000 December fundraiser, and I’ll be doing everything short of selling major organs to hit that 30K target.
But why? Why do I keep flogging away on a project that is unlikely to ever be much more than a break-even deal? Two reasons. The work is incredibly satisfying. Not just the day-to-day building of the site, but also the fact that it allows me to pay down the huge debt I owe the sport. Surfing has shaped me, inspired me, fed me, taken me around the world, and put me in contact with multitudes who are just as stoked and crazed about the sport as I am. So there’s a huge personal incentive for me to keep EOS going. I simply love the job.
The second reason I stick with EOS is because, as the old expression goes, it’s good for the sport. Nothing else does what EOS does, or at least not on the same scale: preserving, archiving, curating, and presenting our shared history; connecting present and past; creating a stage big enough for all the savants, freaks, outcasts, champions, and adventurers who have built their lives around surfing—and have in turn built surfing itself. To that end, I’ve assembled a peaceful army of surf-world filmmakers, photographers, and writers, all of whom donate their work to EOS for free. Look at the photo and film credits on the site. Every name you see there contributes to EOS not for personal gain, but because it makes all of us look good; because surfing is elevated by EOS’ presence. No other sport has a set of websites that can touch EOS, HOS, and Roar. It costs you three bucks a month, true. But we’re ad-free and independent. The sites are not built for advertisers. They’re for us—for surfers.
How can you help? Three ways.
1 – SUBSCRIBE: Just 1,000 new subscribers this month, and we’re good through 2018.
2 – DONATE: I’ve added a “Donate” page—silly me for not having it up six months ago. Fernando Aguirre, Bob Hurley, Kelly Slater, Nick Woodman? Any one of you could put this fundraiser to bed right here, right now, one click and done. The rest of you, choose your amount— anything is appreciated, nothing is too small. Note: if we don’t hit $30K, your donation will be refunded.
3 – SHARE: Word of mouth is going to make or break this drive. Light up your social, send a group email, hold forth in the parking lot. Keep it short and sweet if you like. “I’m a satisfied Encyclopedia of Surfing subscriber, and you will be too!” Grab an image or two from the bottom of the page. Don’t forget to include these two links.
sources and links: