[I’m sticking this post to the top of my blog for a little while because . . . well, because it worked. Several people were kind enough, after reading this post, to donate. Even I can see the takeaway lesson, which is to expose a few more victims . . . uh, readers to this post. You can scroll down for new content.]
I wasn’t reading Ace of Spades back in 2004, so I missed Ace’s Fall fundraising request. Maetenloch, who presides over that website’s excellent weeknight “Overnight Threads,” was feeling a bit tired last night so, rather than write his own post, he reprinted Ace’s 2004 plea for a little support for the resident bloggers. If you feel inspired, my PayPal tab is in the upper right side of this blog. If you don’t, no worries. I love blogging, I’m delighted when people take the time to visit the site, and no one has any obligation whatsoever to fund my passion. But money is nice too, so I’m not going to be too shy about passing on Ace’s suggestion and useful information:
I figure that just about everyone who reads this site would be willing to donate $1 — one buck — four times a year. I figure there are four reason most don’t:
1) Fear about using PayPal. All I can say is that the transactions are secure, meaning coded, the same sort of deal that Amazon and other on-line stores use. I never see your credit card number. Is there a risk? Well, is there a risk when you sign your name on your credit-card receipt and give it all to a perfect stranger when you buy Urban Culottes at Banana Republic?
2) But I don’t have a PayPal account! You don’t need one. Only the recipient needs an account. You just need a credit card, and the will to succeed in selling distress-sale real-estate. It’s what I call “Money Motivation.”
Seriously. PayPal is just how the money is collected. Donors just need to click on the PayPal button and enter their digits as if they were buying books from Amazon or, more likely, Japanese pornography.
And, actually, you don’t even need a credit card. You can send them a e-check, and then they credit me once that clears.
3) It’s a pain in the ass. Well, it’s a minor pain in the ass, but honestly, the entire process takes two minutes. I’ve donated myself, so I know.
4) It’s almost insulting to just give someone $1; it’s better to not donate at all. This is just totally wrong. I have a good number of regular readers, and if half of them — just half — gave me four bucks a year, I’d end up with a pretty sweet haul. Not an Andrew Sullivan gilt-edged bandwidth haul or anything, but enough that I could get my creditors off my back and finally have a good answer when my family asks me why I spend so much time screwing around on the Internet.
The big point is that it’s not really the size of the donation, it’s how big the donation pool is. And if all of my regular readers who haven’t donated before (anyone who has donated — your subscription is in good standing) donated, it would be– well, it would totally, utterly sweet.
Like I said, it’s a buck. About the cost of a cup of coffee at 7-11, and 133% of the cost of a single copy of the New York Times.
Of course, not everyone is going to donate– I think probably 1% of my readers donate at most — so if you felt like giving $3 or $5 or $10 or $20 or even $50, that would be pretty darn cool too.