back to article The Oatmeal hits $850,000 goal for Tesla museum

Cartoonist Matthew Inman, creator of The Oatmeal, is proving to be something of a fundraising machine with the success of his latest project, raising $850,000 to set up a museum honoring the great scientist Nikola Tesla. Tesla's old laboratory in Shoreham, New York (known as Wardenclyffe) is up for sale with a price tag of $1. …


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  1. Michael Hoffmann Silver badge

    Dreading the day

    I'm a huge fan of the Kickstarter efforts and the idea of crowdsourcing.

    Yet, knowing human nature, I already dread the inevitable day somebody takes the millions and runs, fatally damaging the idea and its reputation.

    May it be long off!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Kickstarter is a great platform

    But I have my concerns. Running a museum is difficult, and as said above a failure could really damage this model. And Tesla, while in some ways brilliant, was in others a joke and a charlatan.

    Even so, well done to him for putting this together. I'm impressed.

    1. DF118

      Re: Kickstarter is a great platform

      "Running" != "creating"

      Seems there is a foundation already set up for the running of it, presumably with their own funding plans. This crowd-sourcing is just for buying the site, not an ongoing funding plan.

    2. Dunstan Vavasour
      Thumb Up

      Land Grab

      Running a museum is a long term project which needs a lot of planning and fund raising and all that. The focus of very specific campaign was to prevent the historic site coming to market and being flogged off to the highest bidder for redevelopment. For this limited objective, it is very much Mission Accomplished.

      It is, in the very truest sense, a Land Grab.

    3. Steve Lionel

      Re: Kickstarter is a great platform

      And just to make the record clear, Inman used Indiegogo, not Kickstarter, for this fundraising effort. But the general comments on crowdsourcing remain.

  3. GoGlen

    "Page Views" and "hits" are not good measures

    I've never really had much "interaction" with The Oatmeal (ie, vaguely heard of it, never visited it) until this recent fuss over copying and the Carreon lawyer.

    However, what bothers me about this money/publicity grab, are the stats. Yes - those boring things called "numbers". Statisticians love to manipulate them into "facts" they can twist.

    Raw "realists" like to see the same numbers to try to de-personalize the results.

    The Oatmeal stats: per his own "comic" page about it, he says: averages 7m unique visitors, 30m page views-- what length? Per day (each person doing 4 pages?) Per month, with only ~230k visitors/day (each doing 4 pages)...???

    The next paragraph says 100m visitors in 3 years, with 1B total pages. That means each visitor only averaged 10 pages. Assuming 90% only read one page, hated it, and never came back... then, over 3 years, each only did 100 pages - or 30 pages a year (3 pages per month)... hardly "impressive" for a daily comic.

    Thus, sadly, if you assume 20 pages per person per month - that is 1 million viewers (720M page views over 3 years) and ~300k "one time" viewers.

    :Beer, because the math / advertizing rates / The Oatmeal income rates... fails to match no matter how I torture the stats.

    1. DJ Smiley

      Re: "Page Views" and "hits" are not good measures

      Where does it claim to be a daily comic?

    2. localzuk Silver badge

      Re: "Page Views" and "hits" are not good measures

      Relevance? His call to arms raised a big hunk'o'cash. Does it matter how Inman manages to survive off his site? No, that's up to him.

      You're assuming an awful lot of things in your comment, and nearly all of them could be very wrong.

      You're wrong on at least one of them for sure, the site is not a daily comic.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Page Views" and "hits" are not good measures

      I logged in just to downvote you for being a whiny sourpus. The important thing in this story is that Inman helped prevent Teslas old lab from being torn down and turned into a fucking mall. The fact that you seem to be unable to see past some pedantic notions about reader stats (seriously? Who the fuck cares) and even gave enough of a shit to post it here is just depressing. Have you nothing better to do with your time than shit on a perfectly good parade?

      In conclusion, fuck you.

    4. dotdavid


      I think your " key must be pretty worn.

  4. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

    A Museum for Nikola GODDAMN Tesla

    I only wish I had more to give. ++Bucket list.

  5. Pete Rowley


    People who use 'numbers' (no idea why you felt the need to use inverted commas) also take care to apply them carefully and enusre there are no hidden assumptions.

    I'm no lover of the Oatmeal, but I can tell you that it's not a daily comic, and a cursory check of the site shows there's a new one up perhaps once every couple of weeks.

  6. geekclick

    WOW so a guy does something good for Science....

    And already the el reg commentards have loaded the sh1t throwing cannon!

    I for one welcome our entertaining do gooder Tesla obsessed fund raiser! Would we rather the site was turned into a shopping centre or a restaurant?

    Donated and hope i get the chance to leave Blighty and visit it someday!

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: WOW so a guy does something good for Science....

      Well done to Inman for accomplishing this. But I wish you'd go back to writing funny comics rather than bitter rants, especially now Hyperbole is on indefinite hiatus.

    2. GeorgeZip
      Thumb Up

      Re: WOW so a guy does something good for Science....

      If you cant wait for this chap to get up and working I highly recommend a quick flight to Belgrade where there is also a museum dedicated to him.

      1. geekclick

        Re: WOW so a guy does something good for Science....

        Cheers for the tip *fires up browser and points to the googlesphere*

  7. Jason "Foxdie" Gaunt
    Thumb Up


    I've been loosely following this campaign and the previous one, Matt (creator of The Oatmeal) seems genuine and is a geeks hero when it comes to standing up for the average Joe.

    Elon Musk however, bravo for the large donation :)

    @GoGlen On the presumption you've actually sat down and worked those numbers out, 10/10 for effort, 0/10 for street cred for doing so though ;)

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    New Reg SPB project:

    Build the world record biggest Tesla Coil of all time!

    1. Often Confused

      ...biggest Tesla Coil of all time!

      For SCIENCE!!!

    2. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Re: New Reg SPB project:

      I'll pitch on the kickstarter for that...

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    For those not following this story closely

    Regards Musk's contribution, Inman's advert has a paragraph, "Tesla Motors? It'd be good PR for your awesome cars, yes? If we get the property I hereby give you permission to do donuts in the Wardenclyffe parking lot."

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