Ernie Smith is creating Tedium: The Dull Side of the Internet
92

patrons

$374
per month

“When I’m about to go down the Internet rabbit hole, Tedium is a great place to start. I look forward to every new post.”

 

“Tedium combines the best of the 99% Invisible podcast and James Burke’s Connections TV show. It takes the invisible and makes it visible again and then connects it to the past and present creating a livelier picture than you ever knew existed.”

Mike Whalen, $25 patron
 

Here’s Why You Should Support Tedium: The Dull Side of the Internet.

Most people don’t see the deeper meaning in a Hot Pocket or a fingernail clipper.

That’s too bad, because there’s totally something there that’s worth reading into. You just have to be willing to look.

Tedium is a newsletter and website that does a deep dive into the mundane, the unusual, and the trivial—or as we love to put it, we’re hunting for the end of the long tail. 

We tell stories about the noble failures and the historic moments deemed too useless for the history books. We’ll hunt through old newspapers, vintage patent filings, and BBS-era text files—all with the goal of culling out the story that was once hidden and deserves to be brought to the surface. And we link the hell out of everything in case you wanna dive in yourself.

Why should I trust you guys to find awesome stuff?

We have a track record. We've been at this for nearly four years, with mentions in  Wired, on NPR's Planet Money podcast, and frequent syndication on sites such as Vice's Motherboard and Atlas Obscura.

Some of our pieces have even gone super-viral, including  the tale of 3Dfx and the unlikely agricultural roots of the cheese curl. We publish a lot of weird stuff, and they're stories that nobody else is really talking about.

What do these donations pay for?

Glad you asked! Publishing Tedium takes a lot of time (generally 20 hours per week), and there are some set costs that come with it. On top of that, there are occasional contributors who get paid something for their work. We try to minimize those costs where we can, but it would still be nice to not have to go out of pocket for things like research materials, email distribution platforms, image hosting (GIFs aren’t cheap), and social media management. Every little bit helps. And so could you.

What do you get, anyway?

Check out our benefits over to the side reach out if any of them interest you. (We have a $25 tier in which I buy you random stuff. It's highly recommended.)

Help us tell awesome stories about boring things—and you’ll be rewarded with some awesome knowledge. Promise. Thanks a bunch. — Ernie @ Tedium
Tiers
Virtual High-Five
$1 or more per month 35 patrons
You're considered a friend of mine, which means that if we meet in person, I owe you a high-five or two.
High-Five
$3 or more per month 22 patrons
You get a spot on a thank-you page on Tedium's website, which we hope will be full of names just like yours.
Higher-Five
$5 or more per month 20 patrons
Anyone that signs up for this benefit (or above) will occasionally get a surprise from the Tedium team. I'm not saying what that surprise might be, other than it might be physical, but it'll be good.
Air High-Five
$8 or more per month 0 patrons
This is the same as the $5 benefit, but intended for international patrons outside of North America, with the extra cost covering higher shipping costs. (If you're in North America, opt for the $5 tier.)
Double High-Five
$10 or more per month 6 patrons
You get a shout-out in an upcoming issue of the newsletter, including a link to the website of your choice. We'll also say thanks on social media.
A Shared Experience
$25 or more per month 5 patrons
Like getting stuff in the mail? If so, this one is for you. Once a month, we'll buy you something (up to $10 value) through an online shopping service that's related to a recent Tedium story. Maybe it's a book; maybe it's a weird nick-nack. But it'll be worth your while if you like odd stuff.
Many Shared Experiences
$40 or more per month 0 patrons
For people who like getting really nice stuff through the mail. Once a month, we'll buy you something (up to $25 value) through an online shopping service that's related to a recent Tedium story. We'll make it fun and interesting.
Trusted Confidante
$50 or more per month 0 of 3 patrons
Want to play a role in putting together a future Tedium story? This is the category for you. If you sign up here, I'll take part in an hour-long brainstorm with you over the phone or Slack, and we'll back-and-forth on a wacky story idea about a topic that you directly help me decide on. (Benefit limited to just a few people.)
Friend For Life
$5,000 or more per month 0 of 1 patrons
I will perform and sing the "Perfect Strangers" theme song in your honor, and post the results on the internet for everyone to enjoy.
Goals
$374 of $500 per month
Building Tedium is a huge investment of time, money, and observation—especially the first item. If this goal is reached, this creates a lot of extra opportunity to expand the website and continue improvements to the newsletter itself, including allowing for better marketing and improvements to the design.
2 of 4

“When I’m about to go down the Internet rabbit hole, Tedium is a great place to start. I look forward to every new post.”

 

“Tedium combines the best of the 99% Invisible podcast and James Burke’s Connections TV show. It takes the invisible and makes it visible again and then connects it to the past and present creating a livelier picture than you ever knew existed.”

Mike Whalen, $25 patron
 

Here’s Why You Should Support Tedium: The Dull Side of the Internet.

Most people don’t see the deeper meaning in a Hot Pocket or a fingernail clipper.

That’s too bad, because there’s totally something there that’s worth reading into. You just have to be willing to look.

Tedium is a newsletter and website that does a deep dive into the mundane, the unusual, and the trivial—or as we love to put it, we’re hunting for the end of the long tail. 

We tell stories about the noble failures and the historic moments deemed too useless for the history books. We’ll hunt through old newspapers, vintage patent filings, and BBS-era text files—all with the goal of culling out the story that was once hidden and deserves to be brought to the surface. And we link the hell out of everything in case you wanna dive in yourself.

Why should I trust you guys to find awesome stuff?

We have a track record. We've been at this for nearly four years, with mentions in  Wired, on NPR's Planet Money podcast, and frequent syndication on sites such as Vice's Motherboard and Atlas Obscura.

Some of our pieces have even gone super-viral, including  the tale of 3Dfx and the unlikely agricultural roots of the cheese curl. We publish a lot of weird stuff, and they're stories that nobody else is really talking about.

What do these donations pay for?

Glad you asked! Publishing Tedium takes a lot of time (generally 20 hours per week), and there are some set costs that come with it. On top of that, there are occasional contributors who get paid something for their work. We try to minimize those costs where we can, but it would still be nice to not have to go out of pocket for things like research materials, email distribution platforms, image hosting (GIFs aren’t cheap), and social media management. Every little bit helps. And so could you.

What do you get, anyway?

Check out our benefits over to the side reach out if any of them interest you. (We have a $25 tier in which I buy you random stuff. It's highly recommended.)

Help us tell awesome stories about boring things—and you’ll be rewarded with some awesome knowledge. Promise. Thanks a bunch. — Ernie @ Tedium

Recent posts by Ernie Smith

Tiers
Virtual High-Five
$1 or more per month 35 patrons
You're considered a friend of mine, which means that if we meet in person, I owe you a high-five or two.
High-Five
$3 or more per month 22 patrons
You get a spot on a thank-you page on Tedium's website, which we hope will be full of names just like yours.
Higher-Five
$5 or more per month 20 patrons
Anyone that signs up for this benefit (or above) will occasionally get a surprise from the Tedium team. I'm not saying what that surprise might be, other than it might be physical, but it'll be good.
Air High-Five
$8 or more per month 0 patrons
This is the same as the $5 benefit, but intended for international patrons outside of North America, with the extra cost covering higher shipping costs. (If you're in North America, opt for the $5 tier.)
Double High-Five
$10 or more per month 6 patrons
You get a shout-out in an upcoming issue of the newsletter, including a link to the website of your choice. We'll also say thanks on social media.
A Shared Experience
$25 or more per month 5 patrons
Like getting stuff in the mail? If so, this one is for you. Once a month, we'll buy you something (up to $10 value) through an online shopping service that's related to a recent Tedium story. Maybe it's a book; maybe it's a weird nick-nack. But it'll be worth your while if you like odd stuff.
Many Shared Experiences
$40 or more per month 0 patrons
For people who like getting really nice stuff through the mail. Once a month, we'll buy you something (up to $25 value) through an online shopping service that's related to a recent Tedium story. We'll make it fun and interesting.
Trusted Confidante
$50 or more per month 0 of 3 patrons
Want to play a role in putting together a future Tedium story? This is the category for you. If you sign up here, I'll take part in an hour-long brainstorm with you over the phone or Slack, and we'll back-and-forth on a wacky story idea about a topic that you directly help me decide on. (Benefit limited to just a few people.)
Friend For Life
$5,000 or more per month 0 of 1 patrons
I will perform and sing the "Perfect Strangers" theme song in your honor, and post the results on the internet for everyone to enjoy.