SATIREWIRE HAS LANDED
DEC. 1999 — AUG. 2002
New Haven, Conn. (SatireWire.com) — Citing creative differences, SatireWire's founder and sole employee, Andrew Marlatt, announced that as of today, the site will no longer be updated.
Unlike everything else on the site, this is not a joke. Not even the "creative differences" part.
"I've been producing SatireWire by myself for 159 Internet years (2.67 Earth years), and in a staff meeting yesterday, I all agreed it's time for me to move on," said Marlatt. "While the decision was certainly difficult, the meeting was actually quite harmonious. I brought doughnuts."
The site will still exist, but as an archive of (mostly) intelligent humor pieces that, in their own small way, reflected the times in which they were wrought.
But let's skip to the questions...
WHAT THE HELL?
No, I was not indicted for insider trading. I have not been exposed by the TIPS program. I did not at any time meet with Dick Cheney to discuss anything.
OK, SO YOU'RE CLEAN. THEN WHAT'S UP?
I started the site (originally called The FNwire) back in December of 1999, at the height of the Internet boom. It was a great creative outlet, and it was a marvelous way for me to get a wider audience for my writing. That first month, for those first few stories, I think I had about 400 visitors. Last month, in July of 2002, the site had about 1 million visitors reading about 5 million stories. So, oddly enough...
It's not about the money. The site actually makes money — through advertising, through the book "Economy of Errors," and (primarily) through selling pieces from the site to publications like, say, the Washington Post, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, or the National Post in Canada. Nice little setup, actually. I've been very lucky. But the bottom line is, it has ceased to be fun. My heart is not in it. My head is not in it. (And please, no emails saying, "Yeah, lately we could kinda tell." Like I need to hear that.)
The thing is, SatireWire, successful as it has been, is also suffocating. I work best tangentially, meaning I work best when I let ideas just come at me, flitting about my head like confetti as I marvel at all the pretty colors, the way they turned in the wind. I would pick out the ones I liked, put them together, make a story. But the confetti no longer falls. It's all on the ground now. The parade is over. I'm just sweeping up ideas off the pavement. And that's not good enough.
SO WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO NOW?
Challenge myself. Explore. Focus on just writing (gleefully abandoning the business side of SatireWire, which was exhausting). I'll probably continue to write humor pieces for some of the print publications I have worked with, and perhaps some others. Perhaps even something regular. Haven't really thought about it. Odds are I'll also have pieces (though what "style" is a blessed mystery to me) appear on the Internet now and again. I might also get into longer fiction. I might produce a book entirely of SatireWiry charts. I might get invited to a backstage party for Moby. Who knows?
IS THIS MOVE WISE?
Oh God no. SatireWire is one of the most popular humor sites on the Net. And with a book just out in June, ("Economy of Errors"), it's completely counter-intuitive to stop now when the site so successfully supports the book, and is making good money. But I run an Internet site for a living. What do I know from intuitive?
YOU'RE JUST GOING TO LET IT SIT AND ROT?
As some of you know from reading The Magic School Bus books, rot is important to the life cycle. But yes, most likely, it's going to simply be an archive of SW stories, with updated information only on "Economy of Errors," which as you know is available at bookstores everywhere and makes a perfect Christmas gift.
WHY NOT SELL THE SITE?
Friends and colleagues asked me if it were for sale about 15 seconds after I told them the news. So would I consider it? Doubtful. It would have to be to the right people, people who were talented and funny and could keep it updated regularly. Proven track record and all that. Marketing people would say it's a waste to let all that traffic just disappear. I am not a marketing person.
IF THERE ARE ANY UPDATES ON YOU OR YOUR WORK, CAN WE CHECK SATIREWIRE.COM?
Good idea. I'll try to incorporate something like that on the home page. In the meantime, you can always buy the book.
SO THAT'S IT THEN, IS IT?
No, there are also the thanks. Many thanks for many people, not least of whom are the thousands upon thousands of subscribers from all over the world, the hundreds of thousands of regular visitors, and those who've emailed support, and, yes, even opprobrium. And there are individuals. Susan and Brian and Linda and David and Doug and two other Davids and Angel and Tom and Regina and Jeff and Mike and Michael and Daniel and Becky and Laura and this is stupid you know who you are.
OK, SOME OF US HAVE ALWAYS WONDERED, ARE YOU BRITISH?
YOU MUST BE AUSTRALIAN, RIGHT?
SO WHO ARE YOU?
Geographically, I am a Connecticut (US) resident, raised in Atlanta, Georgia. Educationally, I was schooled at the University of Georgia. Professionally, I was a journalist for a good while after school, writing for newspapers and, later, as a magazine freelancer. Psychologically, I am a goof, (although lately, unfortunately, a serious goof). And personally, I have a wonderful wife and two terrific young boys, with whom I intend to spend much more time. They are the most brightly colored confetti of all.
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SatireWire is intended for use by those age 18 and older. All stories are fictional and satirical and should not in any way be construed as fact. Please read our disclaimer. All contents Copyright © 1999-2003, SatireWire, LLC. All rights reserved.
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