Glenn Fleishman is writing quirky articles.
I’ve been a journalist for over 20 years, and I have a voracious interest in everything. With a decline in publications that pay for longer articles or ones that aren’t strictly news driven, I find myself with great contemporary and historical stories that I know people like to read and almost nowhere to publish them.
I’m trying something new: asking for direct patronage support via Patreon, an ongoing crowdfunding site that lets backers contribute as little as $1 a month. Backers provide a small stream of consistent revenue, and it gives me the space and time to explore subjects that I can then share exclusively with patrons first.
Why do people yell in ALL CAPS? What unique encoder was packed in the Voyager probes that no one on Earth knew how to decode? How did the “Dance Apache” influence movies and cartoons for over 100 years? I have answers!
With a little support: At $250 a month, I can write a monthly newsletter delivered exclusively to patrons. It will include short stories and aspects of research that emerge from other articles I’m writing and my own constant search for interesting ideas.
With a bit more support: With $500 a month of pledges, I can write at least one new article a month that all patrons receive exclusively first, plus the monthly newsletter for all patrons. Patrons at the $5 and above level also receive a newsletter every week.
With even more patron backing: I can write two or more articles each month that will be exclusively available first to patrons. At these higher levels, I’ll be open to pursuing ideas suggested by patrons as well.
Why do I need your help? I’d like to continue being a journalist and storyteller, and without finding additional consistent income beyond the per-article world in which I work, I’m not sure it’s sustainable. If you’ve liked my work in the past, here’s a way to get new, fun, and provocative writing as well as assist me in staying in my profession.
I’ll release snippets and previews of the newsletter along with patron thanks and sponsorships connected to those issues to promote people becoming backers, but the full text is exclusive to patrons. I may be able to sell some articles later to publications, but I also plan to produce ebook collections that I’ll make available free to all patrons.
In recent months, I’ve been able to write about topics I know many people find intriguing for my blog and for a scattering of sites and publications. These are the kinds of stories I’ll write for you:
- A 10,000-year “Web” archive being micro printed to metal plates.
- The oldest examples of ALL CAPS shouting discussed in periodicals.
- A new phase-fresnel camera lens, which brings principles from the 9th century and the 19th century into the 21st century.
- The recurring history of efforts to create Web annotation tools.
- The “Happy Birthday to You” settlement that finally put the song affirmatively into the public domain.
- The scarcity of men “eligible” for marriage.
Stories I haven’t written and want to:
- The racist history of a college president who built the world’s largest and most extensive time capsule in the 1940s.
- How improvements in computer vision has powered the robotic revolution.
- Why is writing a thank-you note in pencil considered impolite?
- Pigment wars: how obtaining colors like blue, indigo, and purple have led to economic and military battles.
- The telephone game relating to thinly attributed quotes that morph as to their origin over time.
If you’re looking for new, interesting stories to read that span a huge range of human endeavor, and want to help support a freelance journalist still trying to make his way in the world of tomorrow, become a patron today!
Who is this guy? I’ve been a journalist since the mid-1990s, writing for The New York Times, the Economist, MIT Technology Review, Boing Boing, Macworld, the Atlantic, and many others. I’ve been podcasting since 2006 and a regular radio guest on local and national public radio programs. Trained as a typesetter, I managed to shift my career into technology and journalism. I love helping people tell their stories, and helping discover missing pieces of the past.
My podcast, The New Disruptors, ran for over 90 episodes. You can listen to back episodes for more of the kinds of stories I find fascinating. I also edited and (for most of its lifetime) owned The Magazine, an electronic fortnightly periodical that embodied all the kinds of things I find interesting. The archives are available free here.