The best bargain in football journalism, the hardest-working writer in throwbusiness
I studied journalism in college but then became a fisherman. Regardless of which I chose, both were doomed to extinction. I am sorry to say, you have decided to be a dinosaur in the age of computers. Your profession is doomed. You, hopefully, can make a living off the scraps of a dying profession. You are good enough at it, and ungifted in anything else you love, so you are stuck with it, as I was.
After being disabled by my own profession of fishing, I went to Los Angeles and became an LCD salesman. Somehow, where I left in Alaska, people heard I was working in "computers" and to this day people come to me with questions about computers. I sold LCD screens for small instruments mostly, and for just two years during which time I had my carpel tunnel syndrome alleviated with surgery so I was ready to go back to fishing for a living.
Little excursions away from what you do for a living is not the worst thing in the world. It gives a little perspective on your own life and what is important to you. I hope your love of writing only grows and I can read a better and better product from you. Good luck in your career and life.
Others here have put their appreciation into words far more eloquently than I could. But in addition to being a great writer, Kenneth is a fantastic person*. No, I haven't had the pleasure of meeting him, but I've commented on his articles since SB Nation and hated the name Field Gulls when it was announced. I was gutted when Danny Kelly "got poached" and furious when a dumb California labor law made Ken have to hang it up over there. But good things often happen out of situations like these. Certainly Danny is doing well at the Ringer, and now we have this very daily newsletter. Love what you're doing, Ken. Keep it up.
*When Ken began a paid version, my pet supply store was in the red 2 years running post Covid. Things were the tightest at home they had been in my adult life. We had even cancelled Netflix and I knew Mrs. Turtleman wasn't going to like the idea of me paying a newsletter subscription with no income to speak of. Ken said he'd comp it for me and so I send him Clark Boxes of dog toys, treats, and even homemade chicken wing sauce. For that I'm very grateful. I'm not sure who owns Netflix, but I doubt they'd extend such an offer.
I’ve been reading you for years and was lucky enough to find Seaside Joe in the early days. It’s been entertaining and informative watching you grow as a writer/analyst. I love that you question your beliefs with actual research and share the process with us.
We could all do that if we wanted, but most of us are too lazy/busy to do it, so thanks for doing it for us!
I had some waiting time yesterday and listened to the Cigar Thoughts Day 2 draft coverage, which was dominated by stupefaction over drafting Witherspoon (a cornerback!) and consternation that the Seahawks drafted Charbonnet instead of a nameless DT. To be fair, there was plenty of good stuff, but on the whole the analysis was awfully conventional.
What I also “heard” was vindication of Seaside’s approach of posing draft scenarios and drawing on the collective wisdom of his commenters. No one here was caught off guard by either selection—Joe made a great case for Witherspoon and has all along expressed skepticism of “running backs don’t matter.”
Part of this is the commitment to writing instead of talking. Part of this is Joe’s respect for his readers. But the biggest part is Joe’s willingness to question his own assumptions over time. That’s created a Seahawks space that is unlike any other.
I'm thinking about starting a newsletter called See Inside Seaside Joe, Joe. I'll write daily articles talking about what was in the newest Seaside Joe newsletter and what it means. I can't wait until I get to the point where I claim you "went Hollywood" and how it used to be about the writing but now it's just about getting faster cars and bigger houses. Will we see you crushed beneath the weight of your own power? Find out in See Inside Seaside Joe, Joe. It's only $4.99 a month!
Seaside Joe is my favorite, Kennesaw Mountain Arthur and I'll do my best to recommend it to fellow fans during our debates!
Hey man.you are the best in analytics and in the thing that i call.... antioverkill... calm the waves of actual feeling and go by facts.... i get your newsletter everyday i like it... i wonder sometimes if i should pay for your contebt...and there is only one (but very important) thing against it.... and that is your disrespect to others... i am spectical anout hawks twitter too ...but passages about "youre so different" make me sad always.... yes you are different. But the best doesnt need to mention it so often...may be never ... when i do charity i dont need others to know... just think of it... I WILL LIKE YOUR CONTENT ANYWAY....but take this into consideration when you write your otherwise great opuses
For what it's worth, Kenneth, I think it a mistake to create a two tiered subscription. In my experience that discourages people from signing up. Like "I'm gonna pay money and still be a second class citizen of this community". Better to think about kicking the initial rate up if you must or finding other ways to generate additional income. My two cents.
Love this community! Hat tip to Field Gulls for posting your articles usually at the top of their "Pre-Snap Reads".
Appreciate you and the amazing work you do, Ken! SJ is awesome, and every hawks fan should know about it.
You want more subs? More Clark content. He has the potential to make this newsletter take off!
I hardly have time to READ all of the daily content SJ puts out, much less WRITE the content. It’s really beyond impressive. Most Seahawks content creators just react to what’s happening; SJ anticipates what will happen next! SJ, you’re the best and keep those Clark pictures coming!
I’m going to go with “obsessively prolific”.
Seriously. You are FOCUSED dude, made up your mind to do this even though you were the Field Gulls kingpin and suddenly I’m reading you more than all of Field Gulls.
Not a fair comparison obviously, but you must be close to out-wording them just by yourself OMG.
Personal opinion: determination, persistence and the endless pursuit of a noble goal trumps all else. You’ve shared so many personal goals you’ve accomplished, beyond Seaside Joe, that it’s inevitable you’ll get to that 1%. 10x bigger than 2 yrs ago, what’s to stop you from being 10x bigger again? Nothing other than your subject matter (Seattle) suddenly becoming the Cardinals or whatever. Which was supposed to happen with the Russell Wilson-induced “rebuild”, but of course in Pete we trust.
And Joe guided us through the whole process, growing 10x not with the Johnny-come-lately fans of a Super Bowl winner, but with the diehards who are here no matter what. You’ve been complimentary and respectful of these diehards, have captured their hard-earned respect, and now that suddenly the word is that Lynch is feeling the heat of the resurgent ‘Hawks, you can expect for sure a bump in readership.
What I’m saying is, your commitment persistence and incredible quality output, grew you 10x when people were jumping off the bandwagon. Now you get tailwinds!!
Love your work, proud to be a Joe, looking forward to 1% which you WILL achieve.
I can’t remember when it was, or how I found you Joe, but I’m glad I did. I have never had Twitter, but I have observed you through your journey of podcasts and YouTube and now this newsletter. I’ve seen you develop from writing about your life and the people (including Clark) in it, to narrowing the focus to almost solely the Seahawks (it’s still nice to every now and then to get an update on those others). It’s been great to see your growth and I was an immediate fan. I think that showing your humour and personality makes it special.
I’m glad you self reflected and followed your best skill - Substack / writing - and are finding success. With your work ethic, you deserve every bit and more. Great job old boy! Thank you for your commitment. Please keep up looking after yourself though (I hope your still meditating and exercising). I keep fearing you may burn-out at this pace. So make sure you stay good at self reflection and mindfulness so that you don’t.
Well I think so. Then after the Super Bowl you can write the Super Bowl Joe edition. It will huge. No cross that out it will be SUPER! Take care Ken. 😊🏈. Go Seahawks!
I appreciate the opportunity to share some thoughts on writing and online journalism because I spend almost as much time thinking about those things as I do thinking about the Seahawks and the NFL. This is only a fraction of what I could say about modern media and best practices. The more I think about this morning's post, the more memories come back to me of things I've always wanted to say or rant about and I've been holding them in for a long time. Should this place get as successful as I think it could be, I think down the line the next project would be a newsletter about newsletters because it just blows my mind to see how others--including people with better degrees than me, more experience in mainstream media than me, much larger followings than me, people who have been figures in Seattle sports for decades--mismanage this opportunity on Substack. Writing a blog or a newsletter is not the same as writing for a newspaper or an adjacent websites or hosting a radio show or having a following on Twitter. It takes practice and I wrote Seaside Joe for three years and wrote over 1,000 newsletters, paying money out of my own pocket and not earning a dime, before I even "went public" with it in 2022. I'm grateful I was able to learn from my mistakes before there was ever a paid option because all you see from everyone else is "Oh, I can make money from doing something that looks easy? I'll just dive right in!" And they 100% always fail.
Seaside Joe is the biggest underdog story there could be for Seahawks writers and we are well on track to make history. And that requires "WE" not "ME" so Thank YOU!
I appreciate what you are doing and your devotion to this newsletter. Love reading the articles and their Seahawks content. Thank you! Keep up the good work!