To donate or not to donate : LUSENET : I'd Rather Eat Glass : One Thread

I'm a little late on this latest topic but it seems that a new trend may emerge among online journals. There are a couple of journals that I know of that have placed the infamous donate button on their sites. It's all voluntary and there isn't any push to doante that I've seen so that brings up the question, is this something that's in poor taste or an inventive and delightful new way for a reader to show some appreciation for the journaller and his/her journal? Would you do it on your own journal if you keep one? Will you donate to other journallers? If so, why and if not, why?

-- Anonymous, July 27, 2000


Before everyone gets too involved in this, I suppose it's worth pointing out that this "trend" has so far been confined to Beth and myself. Judging from the swell reaction that we've gotten in many a public venue, I find it highly doubtful that anyone else will follow our example. I may be wrong.

The thing I keep seeing pop up is, where some journallers are selling t-shirts and coffee cups and mouse mats with their journal logos on them. I'm curious as to what people think about that idea.

Me? I think it's sort of weird. I know that I have some very loyal readers out there. I'm not sure how many of them want my face on a t-shirt. Yikes...

-- Anonymous, July 27, 2000

And Sasha, I wanted to thank you for taking a low-key approach to this topic. It was refeshing, especially after the week I've had of reading about my crimes against the Sanctity of the Pure and Holy Online Journal, letusprayamen.

I appreciate the grownup tone. After this past week, I'm starting to walk a little funny...

-- Anonymous, July 27, 2000

I really don't want to offend anyone, but I feel the donate buttons are pretty tacky. I mean, we keep online journals because we WANT to, not for anyone else's sake. If I kept a paper journal, should I be asking people for money because "I" enjoy writing? I think showing appreciation is one thing...a friendly e-mail stating how much he/she brightens your day or how much you enjoy his/her writing is sufficient. I just don't understand the whole "I must make a dime for everything I do" attitude.

Some things are, well SHOULD be free. I understand that it costs money to host a site, etc., but maybe those people who feel they require money for something they just enjoy doing should keep a paper journal?

I think the whole t-shirt idea is an entirely different issue. It's great, as many logos for sites ARE art themselves, and you actually receive an item you wish to wear or run your mouse across.

I don't know, I guess I just couldn't imagine collecting money from people I didn't even know just because I started an putting my writing online...I mean, that was MY choice, not everyone else's.

-- Anonymous, July 27, 2000

I just don't understand the whole "I must make a dime for everything I do" attitude.

I suppose if that were my attitude, I could answer that.

I think it's a mistake to assume that everyone who writes has the same philosophy about writing. And it's a mistake that a depressing number of people have been making in this whole debate.

I said this beforre on another forum on this topic. If I'd known the amount of ugliness and hostility this move would generate (and I'm not talking about Sasha here, she's been very cool about the whole thing), I probably wouldn't have done it. But what WOULD have happened, as has happened for years, is that I would have continued to get gifts (and more recently, money via PayPal) from that core group of readers who feel compelled to send things like that.

If I can channel that giving spirit directly into making my site better for the people who read it, then of course that's what I'm going to do.

-- Anonymous, July 27, 2000

Man! We have to be grown-ups about it? *kicking the wall* Killjoy! Heh I don't like them. I think there are journals out there that are written by very talented people, who, if they put the effort into it, could sell their work to the masses - whether it be their journals or some other type of writing, but the proper way, not quarter by quarter. To imply a desire for money for some undefined purpose - this is not something I can get behind. I also believe it's presumptuous to think that everyone has a credit card. Some people don't and it may make them uncomfortable to visit a site that has a donate button where they aren't able to give even if they want to. The entire concept bothers me for many reasons. Now, the idea of cups or mouse pads and such...I like that idea. I think it would be way cool to have an "I'd Rather Eat Glass" cup, a "Shamed" t-shirt or a "The Book of Rob" mousepad, whatever. That seems more fitting because the reader gets a little piece of the journals they love.

-- Anonymous, July 28, 2000

I meant the "I must make a dime" comment in that it seems many people these days (and it may not include anyone here, for all I know because I DON'T know) stop taking pleasure in things they do UNLESS it's for an ultimate payoff. Like writing for the sake of just writing. Or doing beadwork, knowing you may never sell a piece of jewelry, but doing it solely because you love to do it.

I'm a living human being and I'm entitled to an opinion. Like I said, we all have ours and I don't want to offend anyone.

-- Anonymous, July 28, 2000

If there's anyone out there who truly believes that a quarter is "an ultimate payoff", please contact me and I'll buy you a cup of coffee.

I suspect it was a mistake for me to post on this forum, now that I think about it. I'm pretty exhausted by this whole discussion, and it's made me a little punchy. Enjoy your t-shirts, everyone...

-- Anonymous, July 28, 2000

Time to put in my two cents. I've managed to stay out of Beth's and Pamie's forums, but this is Sasha. I think I'm safe.

First off, I actually like the idea of having a little donate button or something similar. I admit that people have, for one reason or another, asked if they could send me money, candles, or something else that "made them think of me", and I've always let them. ((I have strangely generous readers - I got a package from Amazon the other day with two books and a computer game. Talk about your jaw hitting the floor!))

If people want to give you things, they're going to, regardless of whether or not you have a little button. The button makes things easier, it's not obtrusive, and no one's saying "Hey! Hey, you! Yeah, you, over there in your bathrobe! Push the button. Push the button NOW, before you go read anything. C'mon, push it!" It's a button.

If people can write and get paid for it, all the more power to them. However, I know that there are some people who, while they have very popular journal sites, for one reason or another would be awful novelists. ((Beth is one of those people, yet another reason that I don't mind it.)) I would love to make a living writing, but I don't have the necessary skill to do that. So instead, I write things in my journal, at ThemeStream, where ever. If people or sites or whatever else can give me some cash, I'm all about that. If they don't, that's cool, too. I'll keep doing it because I love what I'm doing. Any money that it brings in is a bonus.

Also - with the cafepress stuff - I have stuff over there, too. If I ever have any money that isn't going directly to school or the car payment gods, I'd probably be all about buying an I'd Rather Eat Glass tee shirt, a Basement Boy coffee mug.

There's nothing wrong with trying to make a few bucks off of whatever you're doing. Having a donate button isn't any worse than asking people to join PayPal or AllAdvantage under you, or click on your ThemeStream or ePinions links, or look at your Amazon list, or check out your stuff at eBay.

I think that the buttons are a new wave. Someday, maybe, we'll all have buttons, and we'll laugh and remember how earth-shattering something so simple was when it started.

We can only hope.

-- Anonymous, July 28, 2000

This is generally pointed at Goldi and Meghan because I'm feeling very left out. What about the A Moveable Feast Cookbook or apron? Honestly though, how is having a donation button any different from having an wish list (hint-hint)? I feel that if you wish to have a donate button on your site, then do so. If you want to donate, then fine. If you don't, then don't. It's a donation not a toll.

-- Anonymous, July 28, 2000

I think Rob's been put on the defensive by this entire topic and that's very understandable but I don't regret posting this question in my forum. I still believe that my readers who post here are capable of stating their opinions without getting nasty. Anyway, I'm not sure why I felt the need to say that but I did. I'm probably just really tired right now because it's late. Okay, so I am tired. As for the donate button. I'm not going to condemn anyone for having one, as I said but neither am I going to condemn anyone for not liking the idea. I've just been wondering why the idea seems so threatening to some people and why it's ignited such strong responses.

-- Anonymous, July 28, 2000

Donations? Damn, I need to get out in the journal world more. What else have I missed?

-- Anonymous, July 28, 2000

Jeez, forget donations, I'd be happy if somebody would just read my damn journal **hint**

Actually, I do "subscribe" to jerry pournelle's webside but I used to buy Byte magazine primarily for his Chaos Manor column so it didn't seem too much different to ship him twenty bucks... (hmmmm, I am a bit overdue in renewing, but I did buy one of his books this year)

I've not clicked on anyone's donate button -- mainly because I have no particular wish to join PayPal -- I'm into Internet shopping, buy lots of stuff from and, etc. but I've seen how too many freeware utilities seem to "phone home" to track your web downloads, etc so I'm not quite ready to trust PayPal, give them a few more months. It took me quite a while before I decided to trust onelist. (Of course, that doesn't mean that I would or wouldn't donate once I do decide to try PayPal.) I think it is up to the individual journaler to decide if they want/need to ask for support... and up to each reader to decide if they want to kick in or not. I don't think it's a great moral issue...

A couple of journalers I read also post things in places like where they get paid per hit and I do go out of my way to try to get there, sometimes double hits by accessing from home and from work.

And by the way, there are sites like the online bookstore site that allow you to sell downloads of your writing... poems, essays, short stories, novels, technical stuff, whatever...

But as I said at the start, I'd settle for more readers at my journal. Thank you, thank you very much.

-- Anonymous, July 28, 2000

I thought those Donate buttons were just a joke, although a rather tacky one. I certainly won't stop reading somebody's diary just because they've got one. Now, I might consider asking for donations to something I believe in, such as the Kevin Lavin Fund, which donates bike helmets to kids in poverty-stricken families. (It's in memory of Kevin Lavin, a boy killed by a head injury from falling off his bike.)

As for selling t-shirts and mouse pads with my site logo on them, well, I've selected my world-famous OrneryPest mean mosquito site logo from the Geocities image library because I'm not very creative, so I wouldn't be within my rights making money off of it, but if you've got a great logo you've created for yourself, why not?

-- Anonymous, July 28, 2000

I must be living a sheltered and pampered life, because I have no flipppin' clue as to what you are talking about. Could be because if the label "popular, well-liked and read by masses" is attached to a journal, I have a tendency to not read it. If a journal becomes one of these things while I am reading, I stick around. I mean, I don't dump someone because they are suddenly more popular than me.

I have my wish list URL on my journal. I feel strange and bizarre for asking for stuff. I still keep it on there because you never know when there is going to be some rich person reading me, drinking tequila and gettin' generous. It could happen. I keep hopin'.

I have clicked on donation buttons for charity. At one time a friend of mine was going thru some bad financial stuff around Christmas time and I got her some groceries and a few presents for her and her child. Otherwise, I am just too poor myself to donate anything because I like the writing.

Continuing to pimp myself, even tho I have not been writing, just in case said rich person decides I am just too damn sexy not to have that DVD player *and* a digital camera.

-- Anonymous, July 28, 2000

Just a short answer from me, here. I think that if they want to put a donate button their site, okay..fine. That doesn't mean that I have to contribute to it. There are some people out there that would like to support their fave journals by contributing financially. My contribution to someones journal is via email or through their forum if they have one. That's just me.

I do like the idea of logos on cups and aprons (Don't feel left out, Travis!) and mousepads and what not. That is a groovy idea.

But, for the record, I don't think that this is something to cause a stir about. You may feel one way...okay. You may disagree...that's great too. But why the flames? Put away the flame thrower folks...its just another topic to disagree on. No biggie! :O)

-- Anonymous, July 28, 2000

I haven't been in this online journalling thing for too long (although I've kept a private journal for years), so I'm just now getting to understand the dynamics between different journallers. People love to give their opinions, especially if it's divergent of someone else's. On a certain mailing list, there have recently been flames over someone supergluing a man's pecker to his stomach, a mother and son having a child, and gay marriages. I'm convinced there are some people that just want to hear the sound of their keyboard's rattle.

I honestly don't understand what the big controversy is about. Frankly, I probably wouldn't pay to just read some stranger's journal. I might donate a little funding to an online friend who happened to have a journal if I thought that person really needed some funds. But, what I might do isn't the point. Is it ethical to solicit donations for journalling efforts? Hell, I don't know. It would be pretty high-and-mighty for me to dub it as wrong, even downright hypocritical. I've done enough un-ethical things in my life, I certainly couldn't go around telling other people how to prioritize their morays.

Stick a donate button on your page if you want. I won't ruffle my ass hairs one bit.

-- Anonymous, July 29, 2000

Mmm. I don't really understand the big deal either, to be honest. No one has to donate. It's not as if anyone is charging anyone to read their journal. A donate button is probably less intrusive than lots of banner ads!

I can't imagine being very likely to donate to someone, but then that's mostly because I'm in enough debt myself. I can't imagine anyone being very likely to donate money to me, either. I do have an Amazon associates program running from the book-related sections of my sites, so I do make a little money from the web - enough to pay for my hosting, at the moment.

-- Anonymous, August 15, 2000

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