My career was dead. Now I earn 34k a year, says custodian of surfing history!
Yesterday, when the diminutive popster Prince Nelson evaporated himself from this mortal coil, the world weeped.
Me? I figured, another unhappy rich guy done in by legal meds.
Am I right? Am I wrong? The coroner will tell us death-porn addicts next week.
Anyway, this started a little back and forthing with the surf historian Matt Warshaw, provoked by Prince’s quote from 2010 when he said the internet was “completely over.”
Was it, is it?
And what does that mean to guys like me and Warshaw, who both have businesses based around a tiny subset (surf) of a game one of the great icons of music had said was dead?
BeachGrit: Personally, I couldn’t give a fuck if a sixty-year-old billionaire did himself in with oxys, but I guess I’m alone. However,while reading the obits, I hit one where he said that the internet was “completely over.” Said it was like MTV. That it would become outdated etc. Two years ago, he clarified. “What I meant was that the internet was over for anyone who wants to get paid, and I was right about that.”
Oowee, that chills me to the bone. Are we making money? Are you making money as the custodian of surfing’s history?
Warshaw: Thirty-four thou a year, Derek. Prince’s guitar string budget for the week, probably. I make less money at 55 than I did at 25. You?
Every piece of pie I get I throw back into BeachGrit, chasing eyeballs. Therefore, less than I did when I was 15 gutting chickens.
That tells me you married well.
Tell me: what’s the secret to making the internet pay?
I just said I’m making intern’s wages. How the fuck would I know?
You’re making something at least.
Yeah, Lewis did PostSurf that whole year for nothing. Nobody’s making any money on the internet. Surfers especially. On the other hand, this job’s the best I’ve ever had, and that has everything to do with the medium. So I love the internet. Isn’t BeachGrit way more satisfying than anything you did in print?
I hate, hate, hate print. Glad it’s gone. You write something, takes weeks to be designed, a month to get printed and another month to hit the stands. Then nobody says a damn thing. Maybe a letter to the editor if you’re lucky. Contrast that with the online experience! It’s a sharper, better, faster game..
Agreed. On the other hand, my best paydays are still with print. Just did a revision on one of my old books. Two weeks’ work, tops. Ten thou. Anything I do for the mags, same thing, the money’s pretty good. Don’t you miss that?
Not as much as I love the internet.
Yeah, I never take a print job if it’s going to get in the way of doing the site. But again, like I said, I have that luxery cause I’m basically in charge of waking my kid up and getting him to and from school, and as long I don’t mess that up my wife lets me do my hobby website. She’s making the money and keeping the family insured. I get to be the principled guy who turns down the ad money. Easy to have high standards when it ain’t costing you anything.
So if she threw your goldbricking ass out?
I don’t know. I really don’t know. I was pretty frugal as a bachelor, so I’d like to think I’d take my box full of clothes, find a one-room apartment, flip open the laptop and keep doing it like I’m doing it. But I’m used to the new car, triple-diget thread count sheets, all that. I’ve gone pretty soft these last 12 years. Maybe I’d look into pop-up ads. Speaking of which . . .
Jesus, don’t you even start.
Sorry, sorry. You’re right. We’re all hustling. Keep those ads popping.
So is Prince right? Is the internet dead?
MW: Of course not. For me anyway, it’s like . . . my career was dead. The internet saved me. God bless the internet.