No, We Didn’t Kill That Dog

Gus is still alive, to his chagrin.

Yesterday evening, I published an announcement on Extratone threatening to kill a cocker spaniel if we did not gain five new patrons before 1:45AM, this morning.

Well um… the little idiot is still alive, and will continue to live in peace for a bit longer, I’d imagine. I certainly won’t be bothering him — I find animal cruelty just as abhorrent as you do. It’s one of those no-brainers, ya know?

I founded our publication over a year ago because a career in media — salaried primarily by revenue from advertisers — felt like an insubstantial, unsustainable future, and it seemed like the right time in my life (or, as close to the “right” time as I’d ever get) to take a risk and make something different. I knew it would be extremely arduous to develop any sort of financial support for a subscriber-funded digital media company with a self-imposed ban on advertising, but I decided I’d rather work shitty jobs to support myself and The Tone for as long as it’d take to build a small, but ultra-engaged readership who’d incentivize work that’d be simply good than worm my way into a career made under the destructive, malevolent influence of the click.

Yesterday, though, was an exception. Of course, I realize that — manifesto or not — it was edgy, and therefore fundamentally attention-seeking, just like our corporate media colleagues. I lied to you and crafted a work for the sole purpose of web traffic; just once, I used threats and lies in the interest of increasing our revenue stream, just like the big boys, and — whadya know — it worked! It doesn’t feel very good to be disrespected like that, does it? Personally, it’s one of my least-favorite sensations, which is why content of this sort — called a stunt, I believe — will not appear on Extratone again. (Especially one including the threat of any kind of violence.) More than anything, I saw an opportunity to “prove a point,” as they say, but there’s little use in data when it’s collected with a juvenile appetite for Conformation Bias.

Rather than pull your leg again, I’m going to continue to explore alternatives to Greater Media as it is in my letters and aggregate notes because — just so you know — it’s treating you like I just did in every waking moment, and your lizard brain’s continued susceptibility to its basal lurings is feeding its survival. I believe that actually “considering [our] audience” does not involve sensationalist social cards for clicks, or crude, formulaic sentence structure and vocabulary for readability, or simpleton sincerity, for that matter. I believe you’re smarter than a cute featured image and some key words. Sue me.