Esteemed surfouthoz fans,
I am writing to you today to tell you about some changes that are coming to surfsouthoz very soon. I am hoping these changes will make it a better finished, more sustainable offering going forward.
Back in March 2000 when I first hit upon the crazy idea to post surf reports and surf news from SA on a website, I would have laughed out loud at the suggestion I’d still be doing it in two year’s time. But I carried on anyway, hoping I’d create some sort of web portal where all the various clubs, bands, artists, groups and retailers could all come together, united by a love of surfing. It’d have a rootsy, community vibe, the whole thing would run on pure stoke, and it would *magically* cover costs. As I come up on 20 years of running this “hobby gone horribly wrong”, that concept seems naive, but aspects of it still attract me. But how could it work? Self-imposed isolation in March 2020 gave me a lot of time to reflect, and I mulled over a number of possible futures for surfsouthoz.com.au. One option was to immerse myself in the 9 – 5 CBD grind and just give up. At least the coffee would be good.
Instead though, I immediately began working on an idea, an idea that had its roots in that very original portal I tried to build waaaay back in 2003. The idea goes a little something like this:
Surfsouthoz ceases supplying free daily reports and surf forecasts, and becomes a monthly paid membership. The price is $5.50 a month – about the same as your large morning coffee. The total membership will be capped somewhere between 1000 and 1200. Forever. Ideally, that number would be around 1100, give or take. The only way to join after that quota is reached is if someone gives up their spot. A waiting list will be created, and invitations will be sent on a first-come, first-served basis as vacancies come up. It should do all the important stuff the existing website does, but add social media features and user interaction, long missing from surfsouthoz. It’d work a bit like OnlyFans, except with less faux lesbian lingerie pillow fights.
You’re probably wondering… how long would such a thing take to build? How long before you could actually see it? Well, here’s the thing. It’s done. I built it. It’s ready.
Now you’re probably also wondering… why not 300, or 5,000… or 20,000 members? There are a few reasons. I wanted to create something of value, with a sense of exclusivity. To do something a bit unique. I also wanted it to pay enough to be sustainable and yet motivating, without it becoming too big and unmanageable. Finally, I wanted it to not be Facebook, and to not be bound by the constraints the old website has suffered for so long.
I want to post updates during the day if new swell pops up, confident 50,000 people aren’t going to read it. I want to be able to afford a new camera and fly down to Bullies pre-dawn on the day the swell of the year hits to take 350 pics and some video. Maybe buy a drone. I’d like to actually answer DM’s in less than 3 months. I’d actually like to have time to write a whole series of “10 things”, as I had hoped back in 2016 when I posted that now miserably outdated story.
And finally, I want you to contribute!
The all-new surfsouthoz is a social media web application, so it can do a whole lot of stuff facebook and instagram can do, except without trolls, conspiracy theorists, influencers, and advertising ( absolutely none! ). You can find people you know, post your own pics to a lot of people or just close friends. Like, comment, you can even report nudity in images if you feel so inclined. Absolutely none of your data will be sold, and you won’t ever be spammed or marketed to. If you don’t want to do any of the social stuff, you’ll still get the same surf reports and updates from the Fleurieu Peninsula, as well as 2 forecasts a week, plus a load more new content. You also get a say in how it evolves, and what it becomes.
So what do you say? Are you on board? Do you want to be part of a completely novel, exclusive, online, gated community focused exclusively on surfing? It won’t be perfect, but it should be a hell of a lot of fun.
Come on… click right here, and join me!