Tomasz is creating helpful Web content
Howdy!

I’m Tomasz. I develop and maintain several public-facing websites. If you’ve arrived at this page, you’re probably familiar with at least one of them:


Creating content is very time-consuming. This goes doubly for in-depth articles, which can easily take days or weeks of research. To take an extreme example, before I wrote my chair reviews, I read two books and dozens of scientific papers related to back health and ergonomics, countless Web pages and videos, corresponded with subject experts, did many different measurements and experiments, shot and edited a number of video clips, and filled dozens of pages with notes on each chair I tested. Most importantly, I spent probably over 100 hours thinking about the topic. (All of this effort is of course completely absurd from a business standpoint – any commercial publication would go bankrupt in a year if they put so much work into a single piece of content. Thank goodness my blog is noncommercial!)

With Web apps like the Online Tone Generator and Plasticity, the most obviously time-consuming task is developing new features and testing them on various browsers and devices. But a significant amount of work is involved in simply keeping a website operational over the years:

  • New browser versions will occasionally break things – when that happens, I have to (1) figure out what broke and why; (2) rewrite my code; (3) test the site on all the different platforms. A single problem like that can take days to fix.
  • Visual layouts have to be updated for compatibility with new devices (phones, tablets) and tested extensively. This can be a major time sink as well.
  • User comments and emails have to be moderated and responded to.
  • Third-party software and hardware have to be updated, tested, configured and tuned. For example, I recently had to move my Web apps to a new server, and it took me weeks to set up the various components (Web server, mail server, PHP interpreter, database server, blog software, backup system, monitoring system, etc.).
  • Finally, I'm the only system administrator for my sites, so I have to be on standby in case the server goes down or there are performance problems. If that happens, I'm the one who has to drop everything and fix it ASAP.

All of this stuff adds up to a non-trivial amount of not-so-pleasant work, which is a problem because I have to make a living.
That is why I decided to try this Patreon thing. Patreon is a service which allows you to donate a small amount each month to support independent creators you like. My hope is that support from users like you will give me the peace of mind to keep maintaining my websites, and buy me some time to develop new features (I have a long to-do list!) and write more in-depth content for Hope This Helps.

So here’s the deal: if you like my stuff and don’t want to see it disappear, you can support it by becoming a Patron at whatever support level you’re comfortable with. Only you know how much value you're getting out of my content and how much you can afford. However much you can chip in, it’s more than I expect and I sincerely appreciate it. Thank you!

– Tomasz
Tiers
This Helps A Little
$1 or more per month

Thank you for helping me keep my sites working. Even at this support level, you're already contributing much more than the average user. 

This Helps
$2 or more per month

$2 may be less than a cup of coffee, but multiply it by many users and you get a very significant amount.

This Helps A Lot
$5 or more per month

You're a real mensch! $5 / month is a very solid amount and your support will go a long way towards keeping my sites running smoothly. 

This Helps Hugely
$10 or more per month

You're really doing something extraordinary here. At this level, you're effectively paying for yourself and a dozen other people around the world who can use my websites for free thanks to you. 

Howdy!

I’m Tomasz. I develop and maintain several public-facing websites. If you’ve arrived at this page, you’re probably familiar with at least one of them:


Creating content is very time-consuming. This goes doubly for in-depth articles, which can easily take days or weeks of research. To take an extreme example, before I wrote my chair reviews, I read two books and dozens of scientific papers related to back health and ergonomics, countless Web pages and videos, corresponded with subject experts, did many different measurements and experiments, shot and edited a number of video clips, and filled dozens of pages with notes on each chair I tested. Most importantly, I spent probably over 100 hours thinking about the topic. (All of this effort is of course completely absurd from a business standpoint – any commercial publication would go bankrupt in a year if they put so much work into a single piece of content. Thank goodness my blog is noncommercial!)

With Web apps like the Online Tone Generator and Plasticity, the most obviously time-consuming task is developing new features and testing them on various browsers and devices. But a significant amount of work is involved in simply keeping a website operational over the years:

  • New browser versions will occasionally break things – when that happens, I have to (1) figure out what broke and why; (2) rewrite my code; (3) test the site on all the different platforms. A single problem like that can take days to fix.
  • Visual layouts have to be updated for compatibility with new devices (phones, tablets) and tested extensively. This can be a major time sink as well.
  • User comments and emails have to be moderated and responded to.
  • Third-party software and hardware have to be updated, tested, configured and tuned. For example, I recently had to move my Web apps to a new server, and it took me weeks to set up the various components (Web server, mail server, PHP interpreter, database server, blog software, backup system, monitoring system, etc.).
  • Finally, I'm the only system administrator for my sites, so I have to be on standby in case the server goes down or there are performance problems. If that happens, I'm the one who has to drop everything and fix it ASAP.

All of this stuff adds up to a non-trivial amount of not-so-pleasant work, which is a problem because I have to make a living.
That is why I decided to try this Patreon thing. Patreon is a service which allows you to donate a small amount each month to support independent creators you like. My hope is that support from users like you will give me the peace of mind to keep maintaining my websites, and buy me some time to develop new features (I have a long to-do list!) and write more in-depth content for Hope This Helps.

So here’s the deal: if you like my stuff and don’t want to see it disappear, you can support it by becoming a Patron at whatever support level you’re comfortable with. Only you know how much value you're getting out of my content and how much you can afford. However much you can chip in, it’s more than I expect and I sincerely appreciate it. Thank you!

– Tomasz

Recent posts by Tomasz

Tiers
This Helps A Little
$1 or more per month

Thank you for helping me keep my sites working. Even at this support level, you're already contributing much more than the average user. 

This Helps
$2 or more per month

$2 may be less than a cup of coffee, but multiply it by many users and you get a very significant amount.

This Helps A Lot
$5 or more per month

You're a real mensch! $5 / month is a very solid amount and your support will go a long way towards keeping my sites running smoothly. 

This Helps Hugely
$10 or more per month

You're really doing something extraordinary here. At this level, you're effectively paying for yourself and a dozen other people around the world who can use my websites for free thanks to you.