Welp, I just got furloughed from Vox Media.
My gig at SB Nation is on ice. Here's what that means for Extra Points.
Hey everybody, thanks for spending part of your day with Extra Points.
That support means even more now.
As you might have heard, Vox Media just laid off and furloughed a massive part of their workforce, and their sports coverage was hit especially hard. If you like SB Nation, many of the writers, editors, and personalities that you love have been furloughed or out and out terminated.
That group includes me. On Friday morning, I learned that I would be furloughed. Technically, Vox could bring me back after July 31, but between all of us friends, I just don’t think that is very likely. I am not confident that college football is going to start exactly on time, or that the national ad marketplace is going to rebound that quickly.
The various media inside-baseball reasons for all of this happening may be interesting to us cynical journalist types, but probably not for readership at large. I’ll try not to dwell on them here, and just focus on what comes next, both for me and for Extra Points.
So, what happens now?
1) I want to keep writing. I’m going to get locked out of my SBNation email address in a few days, so if you want to get in touch with me, drop me a line at MattBrownOhio@gmail.com. I’m happy to collaborate on college football (or not college football!) projects, blog, podcast, whatever. I’m thrilled a few folks have pitched projects for me already, and I’m going to take a few days to talk through those. I’m a flexible guy, and would love to help make great internet with you.
2) I’m going to continue writing Extra Points. In fact, since uh, I’m about to have a lot more free time, I’m going to write more Extra Points.
There may not be sporting events happening, but there’s no shortage of stuff to talk about within the Extra Points universe. There are university budget decisions, recruiting calendar updates, and the entire basis of the college football ecosystem as we know it potentially changing dramatically. Plus, there’s time to dig into college football history, interview other experts, and more. My goal, starting the week of April 27, is to write at least four Extra Points newsletters a week. That’s four newsletters from Monday-Sunday. Weekends don’t count anymore, because lol what even is time?
3) In order to do that, I’m afraid I’m going to have to start a paywall.
I thought this was a possibility a few months ago, but contractual stuff with my SB Nation job prevented me from doing it. But with that, uh, no longer an obstacle, I want to give folks an option to financially support this project.
How much will this cost?
How much is a touchdown, plus an extra point? That’s seven, right?
That seems like a good place to start. Once subscriptions are turned on, you can get a subscription to Extra Points for $7 bucks a month, or $70 bucks for a full year. With that, you’ll get all four (at least) newsletters a week, PLUS, I’ll throw in a bonus podcast every month on fun CFB historical stories. That was something I wanted to do when I launched this entire project about a year ago.
If seven bucks is too rich for your blood, or you aren’t sure you want that much Matt Brown in your inbox, that’s totally cool! You can still subscribe for free, and you’ll still get those two free emails in your inbox.
Why are you charging at all?
This is a good question!
Part of this is because I’m not going to get paid for the next three months, and I probably won’t even have a job after that. My wife works, I have some savings, and I’m not in danger of being thrown out in the street or anything, but I have a mortgage to pay and diapers to buy, and every tiny little bit helps.
But I want to use that money for more than just buying my kids more chicken nuggets. There are a lot of really good writers who are suddenly out of work. There are smart academics, smart analysts, smart folks inside academic departments, and all around the college football ecosystem, that have insights to share about all the backend stuff that makes this sport work. I think it would be wonderful for Extra Points to occasionally include voices other than my own.
I can’t do that if I can’t pay anybody, and I can’t pay anybody if Extra Points doesn’t generate any revenue. So your subscriptions not only help keep my children properly supplied with processed food, but they’ll pay for FOIA fees, freelance budgets, and the other expenses needed for me to create a newsletter that you won’t automatically delete.
So when do I sign up?
My hope here, assuming I set everything up correctly on the backend, would be to begin paywalled posts starting the week of the 27th. I will make sure everybody knows exactly how to sign up over the next week or so.
Is there anything else I can do to help?
First, God bless you for reading this far and considering this question. There are two other things:
1) Help spread the word about Extra Points. Tell your Twitter pals. Share it with your message board buddies. Mention it to your colleagues who are looking for a newsletter. Say something nice about it on Reddit. The more folks sign up for the free version, the more likely a few of them kick a few dimes my way. And hey, I’d love to have as many readers, paid or free, as possible.
2) I did write a book a few years ago on What If questions, and I get a few bucks if you buy it on Amazon.
I have a story idea, or a reader question, or comment or stray thought that I want to share with you
Awesome. Drop me a line at MattBrownOhio@gmail.com, or a tweet or DM to @MattBrownEP on Twitter. I read and love all your emails, especially ones with employment offers.
Thanks again for all of your love and support. Today was a hard day. There will probably be other hard days ahead.
But with your help, I can keep making something that I think you’ll enjoy reading.