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First of all, Toolmonger is not dead. Thanks for asking.

In case you didn’t know, Toolmonger is a labor of love from me, Sean, and Audra. The three of us are the entire staff of Toolmonger, and together we write, operate, upgrade, design, test tools, do projects, and try to keep the site afloat. We’re a business, but mainly in the sense that it costs quite a lot to keep the site running, and we try not to have to pay out of pocket for it when we can avoid it. (Sometimes we end up doing it regardless.)

Both Sean and I — the primary content generators for Toolmonger — have had some tough times recently. I won’t go into them because honestly they’re private. But we’ve had a hell of a time holding it all together personally and professionally, and Toolmonger took a beating for it in terms of content. We’re sorry we couldn’t deliver the regular content, but we’re not sorry we made the choices we did. Family comes first.

Many of you sent some really nice emails, ranging from encouragement to post again soon to simple questions about when things would resume, and your missives meant a lot to us. (A few sent some nasty notes, too, but hey, we get those even when things are running smoothly.) Thanks for letting us know that TM is important to you and plays some small part in your life.

I’m not sure we’ve ever told you this, but that’s why we operate Toolmonger. Yeah, we’re into tools. But the TM community — those of you who comment, email, tell us about your projects, tell us when you think products are crap (or great), argue vehemently about how things should work — that’s what keeps us going. On numerous occasions we’ve had opportunities to make Toolmonger into something more profitable at the cost of what we consider the community. Each time we’ve declined. We lose a lot of advertising over it. A couple of years back we even turned down an offer to buy Toolmonger, an offer which would have helped us pay off our houses. Why? The people who wanted to buy wanted to pimp you to a mechanical, soul-less ad-driven forum designed to generate zillions of page views in creepy ways. Screw them.

At the same time, you need to know that the advertisers you see regularly here on Toolmonger — especially Stanley and DeWalt — have been very supportive in their dealings with us. And by supportive, I mean that they understand what Toolmonger is and don’t ask for crappy things like fake reviews or cheap, gimmicky promotions. They don’t play games with us when we don’t like the products and say so on the site. Sure, not all of their tools will be winners. We know that and they know that. Hell, I can’t afford many of their tools, either. As always, we recommend you select the best tool for your needs and budget. But we can say this: they put ads on the site, and they pay for them. Period. They treat us well, and I think they treat the community well. We’ve met many of their people, including the advertising and promotional folks, and I can say this: they give a damn about trying to make a good product. We’re happy to have their advertising on the site.

Anyway, we thought we’d be back in the saddle last week, but it just wasn’t in the cards. Things have finally calmed down, though, and we’re trying to get back on track today.

Of course, we can never promise crap won’t go bad again. We can promise, however, that we’ll do our best to get you fun, entertaining, and informative tool and project content. And we look forward to your comments and general fun. Seriously, reading your part of Toolmonger is as therapeutic for us as (hopefully) reading our part is for you.

Have a good one, folks, and we’ll see you on the site.

 

52 Responses to To Our Loyal Readers

  1. Swedub says:

    I hear ya! I used to run a DnB music site back in 2000 with massive amounts of data (free low-fi MP3 tracks and mixes) and no ad revenue. After a few years I got laid off from my real job and couldn’t afford to keep it going. I let the domain expire.

    Thanks for all the hard work. This is one of the very few sites I leave comments on. I’ve found a few good ideas and a few neat tools I now own because of this site. Thank you very much!

  2. Regis says:

    Hang in there, and glad to hear you’re on the upswing.

  3. Bob says:

    It sounds like you have your priorities squared away. We’ll be here.

  4. Fletcher says:

    I would much rather Toolmonger remain a labor of love that occasionally has to take a back seat to other obligations than marketing tool in the guise of a community site. We’re patient, we’re appreciative, we’re supportive and we’ll continue visit and participate.

  5. Chris Brehm says:

    Thank you for your web site.

  6. Mike Lee says:

    I glad to hear from your guys. I was afraid that you guys had closed shop. Most mornings you are the first site I visit. Keep up the good work.

  7. Daniel says:

    Make the choices that make your wife smile with pride at you in the morning.

  8. Wayne Taylor says:

    Thanks for hard work. I read your reviews and even troll through the old ones when I’m thinking about buying a tool. Many of your comments are things I consider when buying a new tool: Is it comfortable? Do the adjustments make sense? Where are the knobs? Things that I might not think of until I had the tool and then it might be too late. So, thanks again. God Bless

  9. Cameron says:

    I’m guilty of just patiently waiting for new content and not sending words of encouragement. I just give a little silent cheer when a new Tool Talk pops up on my pod-catcher.

    So here’s my official “words of encouragement:”
    Keep up the good work!

    • Charlie says:

      I’m with you, there. I usually just surf over, see nothing new, and continue on my way.

      Glad to hear you guys pay more attention to your lives than you do this site. :-)

  10. Techmonkey says:

    Good to hear something from you guys. I was wondering if something tough was going on. If you need free labor to do write-ups on tools and projects, I do not doubt a lot of us would help you out during this time :) I know I would if you asked me!

  11. PutnamEco says:

    Glad your back, I was starting to get nervous there for a minute. Toolmonger has always been an interesting addition to my day and I go through some serious withdrawls when I don’t get my fix. Hope things work out for the best for you all.

  12. davis says:

    Welcome back, not hearing from you was like a member of the family missing. WE appreciate you guys more than you know. We just tend to forget to tell to tell you this, when you are an everyday part of our routine

  13. John says:

    Good to hear from you guys. Life is what happens when you’re planning other things. Stick with it – we’ll be here when you’re ready.

  14. george says:

    a big thanks and hug for running this site !

  15. Simon says:

    A BIG thankyou and better luck soon – quality sites like this are getting rare as the web content becomes a comodity.

  16. Blair says:

    Great to see you all back!

    I was sure there were mitigating circumstances that were responsible for the lack of posts, and I’m glad that things have smoothed out a bit for you.

    Thanks for taking the high road content wise. that is one of the main reasons I enjoy the site so much.

    Keep up the good work, and best wishes to all for the future.

  17. BigBince says:

    Welcome back! Hope all is better for all of you. Thanks for all of the good work you do here . I for one certainly appreciate it.

  18. Toolaremia says:

    Do what you need to do. I’ll be here when you get back. :-)

    Thank you very much for not caving in to the Corporate Web.

  19. Lee Gibson says:

    Looking forward to seeing more of y’all doing what you do. I hope your situations are now situated.

    Best wishes.

  20. PeterP says:

    Thanks for everything you do, guys. I still have a set of Milwaukee 18V tool I won in a Toolmonger contest, and they are among my most used tools. Can’t thank you enough.

  21. Jeff says:

    I kept looking at my watch thinking “Damn it’s Friday again? Whats with all these dancing tanks!”

    Glad to hear you are back!

  22. BigBoom says:

    Glad to see you guys back. It’s great to get home and wind down to some tool talk and I enjoy seeing tools I would have no use for in my trade but have a use in the right hands. It’s a quality site run by even higher quality people. Thanks for all you do.

  23. Keith Conod says:

    Sick of those Dancing tanks Glad you’re Back!!!!

  24. Brad Justinen says:

    As a small part of the toolmonger family and loyal reader I’m glad to hear an honest update as to what is going on. perfectly understandable and understood! This site has had a very important impact on my shop skills!

  25. MK says:

    Welcome back. You’ve been sorely missed. Hope the worst of your professional and personal storms are over. Thank you for all you do.

  26. Ben says:

    Thanks for everything that you do with this site. I know it is not easy, especially when times get tough. I hope that all of your personal difficulties work out positive in the end. I also wanted to share a story that shows how special this site is. Occasionally I will post a comment and relate it to my work in theater. One day, I was on the phone with tech support at one of our vendors, and as we waited for something with their computer system, the tech goes, “You aren’t the Ben that posts on Toolmonger, are you?” He had seen one of my comments, and thought it was worthwhile to take that shot in the dark. Thanks again for doing what you do, and I will always look forward to your new content, no matter how frequently or infrequently it might be released.

  27. Michael says:

    Thanks for all your hard work.

    Hearing about how Stanely and DeWalt have a good attitude towards advertising with you guys just put them to the top of my list to buy from.

  28. browndog77 says:

    Welcome back! I missed the daily updates, but truth be told, there is so much in the archives here it was easy to fill the time and satisfy my TM cravings. I knew you folks would return!

  29. Johan says:

    Good to see you back guy’s

  30. Mark says:

    I’m glad that you do what you can on the site. I really enjoy the tools, and above all, the insightful writing. And as you indicated and will probably always remember: real life always comes first. ;-)

  31. Kris says:

    I have to say I’ve missed you the past several weeks, but was guilty of not reaching out to you. I agree, you have your priorities dead on. My best to all of you and your families.

    Keep the faith.

  32. David says:

    I hope has worked out well. I must admit I feel empty when there are no updates and missed you.

    In unrelated news, the dancing tanks post has now achieved the “most viewed post” status on TM! Yeah!

    Best of wishes,
    David

  33. fred says:

    Being out of the country for most of July – I guess that I missed out on missing you guys – but I have to say that when I’m home I do check out what you post on a frequent basis. Sorry to hear that you were having a rough patch – and hope that things will continue to improve for you. You keep many of us informed as well as entertained – and your departure would truly be missed.

  34. flowerofhighrank says:

    glad to see you’re through the tunnel and doing better. This is a great blog about an area I know very little about; glad to see the people making it care so much.

  35. SteveH says:

    Yay Toolmonger! Hang tough, and keep up the good work.
    But don’t worry if you have to hang up the “Be Back Soon…” sign again in the near future.

  36. Jim W says:

    Glad you’re back. I’m also impressed that you are keeping priorities straight. Families are first. I do have to admit I was tired of seeing the dancing tanks. And by the way I think that the Dewalt/Stanley brand does a pretty good job overall. Your info makes me want to support them further.

  37. Kurt says:

    Glad to see you are back. I have the same issues with my own website; sometimes you just get burned out on whatever passion you have, or life gets in the way. I see you are looking for additional Toolmonger writers – a good idea that will help you when you hit those valleys in the future.

    I check this site daily, and really enjoy it. Thanks again!

  38. Justin says:

    Welcome back, while I worried, I’m glad that you have your priorities right. We like it here because you love it here, that doesn’t happen without balance.

    Thank you.

  39. George says:

    So good to have TM back, it’s been missed around here.

  40. Rico says:

    Hey kids. Take your time so that you can enjoy it again. All the best.

  41. Frank Townend says:

    Always one of my favorite sites and you guys are why. Hope all remains well, I look forward to continuing to read the Number One Tool Blog on the Web,

  42. Thad says:

    Welcome back.

    Do this stuff for fun, when you can … just always glad to see a new entry.

    Take care and all the best

  43. MichelleMc says:

    You guys are doing great. Real life is the important thing. Don’t let the running the website detract from it. I hope you post when you have something you are excited to tell us about. It shouldn’t be an obligation to provide free information. Toolmonger Archive is still a goldmine of information for people looking for buying advice.

  44. Eric says:

    What they said. Real life can get, well, complicated, and it has to come first. But I could always tell that this site was a labor of love, and that’s why I’ll keep coming back.

  45. karl roth says:

    keep on keepin’ on !
    like your site a awful lot . . . break a leg as they say in my business

  46. Tait says:

    Thanks for the hard work – we love it here.

  47. Boss Hogg says:

    Me and the Duke boys are excited for some new content. Woo hoo! This is as exciting as the time the Duke boys jumps that dry creek. If you need some user generated content, let us all known. Enid’s is a dipstick, but most of us would be willing to do some write us. Besides it just makes us more loyal.

    10-4 big buddy

  48. Chris says:

    I just found Tool Monger, and I’m glad I did.

    But you can always monetize without selling out.

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