August 10, 2018
I’ve always been a big believer in the adage: Let the work speak for itself.
There are a lot of reasons why I started this journey back in 2014, but it was chiefly because I didn’t know what to think and I didn’t know what my opinions were about what has since shown itself to be a more universal pattern of widespread and dangerous entitlement online and off.
After countless hours in production and research of 247 interviews I now have an understanding about online culture and the events of the last several years—and events currently unfolding—that wouldn’t have otherwise been possible. The time has come for me to take the investigation and turn it into something tangible, impactful, and wide-reaching that 10,000+-word Q&As alone can only scrape at. Don’t Die represents an extraordinary body of work, and it’s time to grow it into something new. This stew has been simmering for years. Now it’s time to figure out what it tastes like.
Don’t Die isn’t going anywhere. I have far more interviews saved up than have been published online so far. The shift to sharing the audio means starting now you’ll get to more quickly hear stuff from over the years that I haven’t managed to get to (the Don’t Die archives are massive, and I’m the lone archivist). Also, it frees me up to post newer stuff more quickly—like the Q&A here—while collaborating with my volunteer web developer Giles Copp more intensely on making Don’t Die everything it deserves to be. There is still tons more I want to explore with Don’t Die and will be sliding in fresh audio Q&As while keeping more conversations coming your way.
I’m so deeply full of gratitude for all the support Don’t Die has gotten from readers and interviewees. The outer stretches this has reached still astonish me, like aiding Wall Street Journal reporting, informing Cornell University case studies, and assisting Library of Congress research. Most meaningful to me personally, though, is making and meeting so many new friends through this.
After nearly four years of running Don’t Die and conducting interviews with people all over the world—including industry skeptics and hopefuls, lapsed players, YA authors, labor union reps, film historians, literary critics, military personnel, TV writers, activists, rappers, and more—one voice that really hasn’t been heard here is my own. Sure, you can possibly glean some of my thoughts from the questions I ask but what I’ve thought wasn’t really the point. The point is always to just ask questions and see where it leads.
As opportunities have materialized this year because of Don’t Die—opportunities that will yield exciting new standalone extensions of DD in 2019 and 2020—it became clear to me that my talents should shift to shepherding and lending my focus to them. Unfortunately, for now, I have to be vague about these opportunities until things are ready for the curtains to be lifted. Trust me when I say good things are coming—things I never could have imagined when I bought a domain to just start asking some questions a few years ago. Your patronage has always and now continues to expand this project, and for that I am very grateful.
I appreciate all the support Don’t Die has received over the years, and I hope you’ll stay with me as we embark on the next leg of this journey together. Again, none of this would have been possible at all without you—every person reading and every person who was willing and made themselves available and vulnerable for an open-ended conversation for an open-ended, roving reporting project that is now setting sights on new horizons. Whether you’d like to contribute your support to Don’t Die—my—expansion (if you haven’t already) or whether you’d like to reach out to me directly to offer your thoughts, pitch an interview, subscribe to the newsletter, or whatever, please do. Thank you all.