[Insert three waving hand emojis]
Over the past decade, hyperlocal publications about San Francisco have gone the way of wooly mammoths — which is to say they’ve evolved into susceptibility. The introduction of financial stressors or left-of-center cadences or stories that existed outside the proverbial fray of traditional publishing would, more often than not, throw them off their collective rocking chairs, each one falling into any semblance of destitution.
In a last-ditch effort to rescue whatever archive was amassed during said outfit’s lifetime, a large, corporatized syndication would swoop in (with a massive check) and promise to save the day (without any real plan in place). Inevitably, the purchaser learns they don’t know what to do with the bought assets… because they were never intended to be sold. Nor were created under their umbrellas of familiarity.
Then these publications die. They’re laid to rest in a landscape akin to the La Brea Tar Pits, riddled with other outfits that were also too rigid in their structures and clung on trends like moths to electrified metal grids.
You’ve seen this play out, time and time again. So have we. And to this — trade narratives that have erected tombstones as a result of ascribing to status quos — we, humbly, say this: Fuck that.
The very idea of Underscore_SF was established on the notions of individuality, progressiveness, and unorthodox wordsmithing.
Founded by Matt Charnock, who served as editor-in-chief for The Bold Italic before striking out on his own, Underscore_SF was built around a straightforward concept: create an inclusive space where writers could play with styles, tones, and structures, and wax on their vulnerabilities to bring truly unique pieces of work into an increasingly digital world.
Underscore_SF celebrates the personalities, stories, and voices that make this slice of Northern California wildly distinctive. (But we’re not above holding people’s feet to the fire either, nor are we poised to sit idly in the wake of dehumanizing, immoral, corrupt actions.)
We’re not chasing any single publication or conventional media technique. We’re not keen on striving toward explosive, catapulted growth… which would ultimately prove finite in both scope and available resources. We are never ever, ever — like, ever — going to compromise our editorial compass to “stick around,” as it were.
Again: Fuck that.
As it stands now, the operational model in place is sustainable. We want to (slowly, consciously, intentionally) scale it.
We’re unconventional. We’re opinionated. We’re hyperlocal. We’re independently owned. And we’re so very proud to home all those descriptors.
// Want to read more about us? Check out our aptly named “About Us” page, here.
Feature Image: Courtesy of Twitter via @lukespray
I’m very much looking forward to seeing you succeed with this endeavor. Congratulations and good luck.