NY Times: People Take Cell Phones to Concerts

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mojo-photo-cell.JPGYesterday’s Times explores the phenomenon of cell phones being taken to concerts, or, um, just having a cell phone and then later going to a concert, I’m not exactly sure. According to the article, people can record videos of performers falling down, or pay money to enter contests. For instance, audiences at recent Gwen Stefani concerts were apparently quite eager to spend 99 cents to give their phone number to the record company in exhange for the possibility of better seats, and Korn fans could vote on the last song of the show–for $1.99. Hooray?

The article’s attention to moneymaking contests ignores the two ways cell phone proliferation has affected my concert-going experience: first, at Coachella, you can sign up (for free!) to receive text message updates on band set times or delays, which can actually prove invaluable; and second, madly texting “whr r u?!?!” 2000 times until knocking heads with the person I’m looking for, both of us staring down at our pretty glowing screens.

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THE FACTS SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES.

At least we hope they will, because that’s our approach to raising the $350,000 in online donations we need right now—during our high-stakes December fundraising push.

It’s the most important month of the year for our fundraising, with upward of 15 percent of our annual online total coming in during the final week—and there’s a lot to say about why Mother Jones’ journalism, and thus hitting that big number, matters tremendously right now.

But you told us fundraising is annoying—with the gimmicks, overwrought tone, manipulative language, and sheer volume of urgent URGENT URGENT!!! content we’re all bombarded with. It sure can be.

So we’re going to try making this as un-annoying as possible. In “Let the Facts Speak for Themselves” we give it our best shot, answering three questions that most any fundraising should try to speak to: Why us, why now, why does it matter?

The upshot? Mother Jones does journalism you don’t find elsewhere: in-depth, time-intensive, ahead-of-the-curve reporting on underreported beats. We operate on razor-thin margins in an unfathomably hard news business, and can’t afford to come up short on these online goals. And given everything, reporting like ours is vital right now.

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