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Sunday, 13 October 2019


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Delighted to help! I consider my contribution a bargain, as I read everything you write that I can access and have for a long time, well before the internet.

Ah, it is a monthly amount! I missed that :)

Mike, my contribution is small but I will continue to make it as long as feel the content is worth the money, and I do. You always have something interesting to say and I enjoy reading your thoughts. Your blog is not exclusively about gear although I do enjoy reading about that as well. I think I enjoy reading the comments section as much as anything. Your readers are always full of thoughtful comments and are very active and insightful. Keep up the good work and we all will get to the inn. Eric

In honor of the 750, I just increased my monthly contribution from $3 to $5. As Kjell says, it is still a pretty good discount!

There is one other website that I support, McIntouch for Apple-focused technical news and discussions. Recently, I succumbed to a personalized plug from the editor of McIntouch to increase my monthly contribution. I subscribe to McIntouch because it is often useful, professionally and other wise, but I subscribe to TOP because it is almost always fun! So, I figured that TOP was due for a raise, too.

Thanks for all of the great content!


I started contributing to TOP monthly the same time I started to contribute to NPR and PBS. Late to the game, I know. But better late than never. I reached a stage of my life where I understood that it is worth supporting those efforts that enrich my life. I now support TOP, NPR, PBS, The NY Times and The New Yorker magazine. A lot of great content, stimulating reading, viewing and listening, and a variety of platforms.

I have read you, Mike, since your camera reviews in photo magazines (those glorious days!). I’d happily come across articles and columns by you online now and then. I don’t recall how it was I stumbled across TOP, but I knew it would be something I’d enjoy tremendously. And, as always, I was right!

Congratulations to you and the crack TOP-staffers for reaching this impressive goal! The content is of the highest quality, the fact-checking is top-notch, the forays into fantasy and the off-topic wanderings are enjoyable (almost always), and the writing is accessible without being pedestrian. Pretty impressive checklist!

May it be many years before you and your horse reach the inn.


Mike, I LOVE your off-topic posts, especially the pool and snooker-related ones. Maybe you should consider starting a second, intermittent blog dedicated solely to these kinds of posts.

You could call it.....TOPspin!

Congratulations, and what's the new target? 1500?

Incidentally, I try to pass through TOP on my way to Amazon for Priming my video download or buying Kindlereading. I understand that is paying less and less these days. But do you get rewarded for the number of references in a way that makes up for the shrinking percentages? Let us know how it works, so that we can play it better.

Your site is wonderful: intelligent, original, dialogical, liberating. I know it's a cliche, but really, Mike, it is an honour and a privilege to be part of your project and contribute to your site: by writing comments and by subscribing to the Patreon scheme.

Like Kjell, in the featured comment, I decided on $3 a month as I thought it was about the price of a print magazine. I used to buy several print computer and photography magazines most months but don’t now and I think I’m rather out of touch with the price of printed ones these days. Anyway I get at least as much value from TOP’s articles and comments ( thank you Commenters! ) as I did from the print.
[768 Patrons now ]

I've never subscribed to a photography magazine -- never even bought one that I can remember. But I "subscribe" to and look forward to TOP every day.

Probably because TOP isn't just about photography.

It would be interesting to know what other TOP subscribers read regularly.

I am sure that my small contribution, and I mean small, by itself doesn't make much of a difference. But if I were to give money to any "influencer" it is you Mike.
Your daily, almost, column has been part of my diet for years now. It is an addiction that is hard (impossible?), to break.
Keep it up! And I for one is happy to see regular off-topic columns.

Glad to help in a small way. I like TOP because it is not exclusively about photography and the community via the comments is an extremely interesting place to hang out.
TOP and Lenswork are about all the photography reading I do anymore.
I think you are on the right track here and I hope it works out for you.
There is some photographic content on the web that I do not get at all. Videos on unboxing things seems bizarre to me but someone must like them or they wouldn't be out there.
Maybe I could carve out a niche by making videos about putting things back into their boxes, seems logical.
In any case I am glad to be able to help a little bit. TOP is always interesting and I hope you can keep it going for a good long time. By the way if you need to take a couple days off each week I am sure we will all be here waiting for you when you are rested and ready to go back at it.


I'm pleased that you're doing (if not well), good enough to continue on with this. You're a regular (daily) visit, I read everything you write, and I can contribute these two items in my life in part to your fine written prose:

1. The whole food plant based diet thing was really interesting to me. I've been doing regular exercise for a couple years now, and while doing a fantastic job of redistributing my weight, I stayed at a solid 242-5 lbs (at 6'3", I hide it pretty well). So I got a couple books from McDougall and Greger, read up on stuff, and went whole in a couple months ago.

Results: Down 18 lbs, cholesterol has gone from 200-220 to 147, and most of the loss appears to be belly fat. In addition, as someone who loves meat, fish, poultry, eggs, and dairy---I've been shocked how much fun I'm having with cooking in this vein, and how easy it's been to transition. It's been a lot easier for me then when I was trying to keep my carbs down lower...

2. A couple years ago (maybe a bit less), you wrote about trying to find a relationship by being bold about it---embracing the fact that you were doing that and your willingness to reach out to the community. As I was ending a 30 year marriage, I was thinking that I would be alone for the rest of my life---who would want a crazy 57-year-old scientist/software developer who hadn't dated since the 80s. Your post inspired me to do the same---reach out to friends for support, and get the confidence to start dating.

That worked out well, to say the least. I ended up on a web dating platform, and had my first date in less than a week after signup. This woman (an former Chicago Tribune reporter) was beyond anything I could have dreamed of. As she said, 'it was love at first write'... We celebrated the anniversary of that first date a week ago, and we're happily engaged and I'm in a relationship that I didn't dare imagine would be possible.

So *thanks*!!!!

At this point I should say that I like the photo stuff too, as well as convertibles/car posts, pool (although I'm lousy), and anything else you choose to write about.

Hope to see you soon---I should be in the upstate NY area in the not to distant future.


I was surprised, but pleasantly so, to see that email in my inbox yesterday. So glad that you've reached (and now exceeded) your initial goal. Have just increased my modest contribution. Here's to you soon reaching your next goal of 999 contributors. And please, continue with your off-topic (photography-wise) posts.

I contribute around $30 a month to various things, mostly podcasts. TOP has the distinction of being the only classic blog. The podcasts I contribute to all appeal for contributions on a regular basis, often by offering "bonus" content you get through Patreon (usually extra episodes). But those are podcasts with staff and producers, etc., not one man shows. I feel like I definitely get my money's worth with TOP, even if the Museum thing isn't done yet. : )

Your blog has been my favorite place to visit on a daily basis for a long time now. I have tried several times to increase the size of my very small donation to you on Patreon's website. Both times I saved the change but the next month, the automatic payment was for the amount that I originally pledged. I must be doing something wrong. Might I need to cancel my original pledge and submit a new one?

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