On the home page of Tildes, there's now a monthly donation goal meter shown at the top of the sidebar. The "(more details)" link in the box goes to a new Financials page, which shows the current...
On the home page of Tildes, there's now a monthly donation goal meter shown at the top of the sidebar. The "(more details)" link in the box goes to a new Financials page, which shows the current expenses and income for Tildes for this month.
This is information that I've always been meaning to make public, and the original announcement blog post even mentioned it as an intention. So far it only includes the current month, but I'm intending to add information about past income and expenses eventually as well.
The Financials page should mostly explain itself, but I want to talk a little more about the goal specifically and why it seems to be set unrealistically high. To be clear, it probably is unrealistically high at this point, but I think it's important to be honest about where the next "stage" in Tildes's sustainability is, and how far away from it we currently are. I could have set the goal to a lower number to make it more achievable, but that would really just be arbitrary and wouldn't represent any meaningful threshold.
The first important milestone was making sure that all the actual expenses were paid every month, so that keeping the site up wasn't actively costing me money. We're long past that point and almost always have been, which is great on its own—so many businesses and sites never reach that "break even" point and are forced to shut down, but there's absolutely no danger of that happening with Tildes. For how small and young the site is, it's amazing that we've already reached that goal.
The next milestone, which the current goal represents, is making it so that I'm not effectively donating my time to continue maintaining and developing the site, which means being able to pay myself enough that I can think of Tildes as a "real job". As you can see, we're still pretty far from that point right now, but I think it's a good reminder (especially to myself) to have the meter showing it. As I said in another comment recently, there are other things I should probably focus my efforts on more that would help, and this will be a prominent reminder of that.
I also want to mention that the overall situation isn't quite as bleak as the goal makes it look. There have been multiple incredibly generous one-time donations made over the last year and a half that you won't see in the current month's numbers, and that's absolutely made a huge difference. I'll try to get the historical information added before too long so that the picture is more complete.
Let me know if you have any thoughts or questions, and thanks again for all of your contributions, whether they're actual donations or just being active and contributing to the site in that way. It's all important, and I greatly appreciate all of it.
And as usual, I've given everyone 10 invites, accessible on the invite page.