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.