Paul Fenwick

Paul Fenwick

Creating public talks, free software, and is never gonna give you up

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¹ Provided support is available from my VoIP provider at less than your monthly pledge.




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About Paul Fenwick

Hi everyone! I'm Paul '@pjf' Fenwick. I give talks at conferences, I write articles on various things, I get involved in art projects, and I create quite a lot of open source software.

But do you know what all these things have in common? I don't get paid for any of them, and everything I do is released under creative commons or other free licenses.

Having my message heard, having my software used, or having a person experience joy or wonder; these are the reasons I do what I do. I don't want to restrict access to my content based upon someone's capacity to pay, I don't want to expose the people viewing my work to ads; I'd rather work on things which benefit everyone.

However, I still have to pay the bills, and that brings us to this Patreon campaign. It's a completely voluntary way of supporting me financially if you wish to do so. It means I can focus on creating free content, and pursuing my goals to have humanity flourish.

If you're struggling financially, then please do not fund me, and do not feel guilty because of that. If you like, you can support me in other ways, like sharing my content, or just telling me you think I'm doing a good job, but you should never feel obligated to support me in what I do.

Don't conferences pay you?

Some conferences will cover my travel and accommodation, but it's rare for open source conferences to pay their speakers. A lot of grass-roots and non-profit conferences have limited budgets, and in these cases I pay my own way. Conferences let me reach a wider audience, but they don't pay the bills.

What happens to the money?

At least 10% of it goes to charities I feel do the most good; my goal is the betterment of humanity, and I'm financially as well as ethically committed to that. The rest goes to defray the costs of projects with ongoing costs, such as the KSP-CKAN or the National Rick Astley Hotline. Anything left over goes on things you'd expect: rent, food, coffee, travel, the occasional game or two, co-working space, postage stamps, and all those other human things.

What happens if you don't get funded?

If I don't have enough funding to meet my expenses, then I have to do commercial work occasionally. That's it, nothing else bad happens. I'm hugely privileged in that I'm a high-profile software engineer; I'm not at risk of going hungry, or finding I can't make ends meet. But I'd rather not take commercial work in order to support me doing the things I really care about, and Patreon really helps here.

What's the Rick Astley Hotline?

It's a way of bringing joy to the world, and yes, I self-fund it. You can call it in Australia +61-3-8652-1453, the United States +1-760-706-7425, New Zealand +64-9-886-0565, and the UK +44-11-7325-7425. It receives thousands of callers every month.

Where can I find your work?

It's smeared across the entirety of the world in various forms, and if you're here then you've probably already found it, but here are a few good staring places:

$109.51 of $140 per month
At this milestone, the running costs of both the KSP-CKAN and the National Rick Astley Hotline are covered. That's a big deal for me, as it means these very successful projects are fully funded. Thank you!
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