Hey Tildes, with the renewed interest in the site, it got me thinking that we should hold a fundraiser for the not-for-profit company—which currently consists of just one person—that runs Tildes. It's overdue.
Disclaimer: These are my words as a member of the community. I haven't run this message by the admin before posting. I may have gotten some details wrong.
Where to donate
A bit of history: The site admin, @Deimos ran the first three years of the site working full-time on it, paid only by donations, plus a $5000 GitHub sponsor match one year, which I'm not even sure was fully achieved, or only just barely.
For that time period 2018-2020, a lowball salary as a software engineer with his experience would have been $100,000 USD per year not including benefits.
If he received $5000 in donations per year (almost certainly an overestimate for more recent years) plus the $5000 GitHub match for the first year—for the 5 years of Tildes' life, that's about $30,000.
The remaining opportunity cost of $270,000 was essentially paid out of pocket by himself, as a donation to the community. Plus remember there are server expenses, legal incorporation expenses, etc. And, y'know, rent.
In recent years he had to take a full-time job because the situation was, of course, unsustainable.
I announced in April that a mobile app is under development. Originally, I was planning to take my time and release a first alpha by the end of 2023.
How about if we struck a deal: get the donation numbers up and I will devote more time to the app, as opposed to splitting my time between it and contract work and other projects.
What's the deal?
- 150 active donors combined on GitHub Sponsors and Patreon—I'll release an alpha by November.
- 300 active donors—I'll release an alpha by October.
- 500 active donors—I'll release an alpha by September.
The dollar amounts don't matter.
As of writing, we are at 46 active donors.
What's in it for you, though?
Feeling like I did a good deed, I guess? I'm not looking for a "slice of the pie," to be clear. In some sense I'd be matching your donations with my time, aka opportunity cost.
If I donate, can I bother the admin to work more on the site?
Again, I haven't run this fundraiser by the admin. He will certainly keep his full-time employment for the foreseeable future, and will not magically have more hours in the day to devote to Tildes.
With a sustainable budget, though, a lot can happen in the future. Contracting out work to others, for example.
But the point of this fundraiser is more to make a small dent in the past debt we owe the admin, not making any promises whatsoever on the future of the site and how it's run.
Let's go, my fellow Tilderinos!