Uncool is a new kickstarter project, launched yesterday by David Greenwald (Billboard, GQ) and Daniel Siegal (Rolling Stone, LA Times). If it reaches its target of $54,000 by January, then it promises to provide an ad-free online music magazine that opposes the more-is-more and quicker-is-everything way that the Internet is moving.
We don’t have to get particularly meta to admit that FACT, along with 99% of other online music publications that you read, is at the mercy of hit counts and advertising. You know it, we know it – it’s the world we’re living in, and we like to think we’re one of the magazines that makes the least compromises when it comes to this sort of thing. But it exists, and denying it would be stupid – especially in an age where there’s less money in music, and subsequently music journalism, than ever.
Uncool are trying to compete with both the reliance of advertising in music journalism and the constant information overload of the net age by making a fan-funded publication that posts one single feature a week, with a 3,000 minimum word length and a fair rate of pay for the author. The magazine’s pitch continues thus:
“We’re going to let the best young music writers working cover the music that matters to them, from the top of next week’s charts to lost classics from unknown underground scenes. In an era of infinite musical access, our journalism should reflect that scope, not be tied to Twitter trending topics or tired genre snobbery.
“We’re also going to pay our staff. Great journalism is a profession, not a hobby, and that’s where we need your help. We’re going to run a single piece a week, not 10 or 20 or 100, which means we’ll be able to pay our writers a fair rate for good work. We want to run the kind of work you’ll take the time to sit down with, digest and think about for a while, not skim in a frenzy of headline clicks. We also want to showcase compelling photography and art, to balance out our thousands of words and examine music from every angle. UNCOOL is going to be completely advertising-free, so we’ll never worry about cashing in on SEO pageviews or impressing a sneaker company. Our goal is to fund our first year of work right now, with your support.
“After that? We’re going to keep growing in two ways: for a yearly rate, subscribers will get our email newsletter, which will include bonus features like a handsome ebook of the month’s “issue,” additional photos, Q&A extras and more — perhaps audio from an interview, or a podcast with the writers. Additionally, each individual feature will be available for sale as an ebook, with proceeds split 50/50 between the editorial staff and the writer. Let’s figure this out together.”
You can watch a slightly corny video for the pitch below, and find out more here.