Karyn, Saved

I don't know what reminded me of it, but some years back, if you recall, there was a woman that, having run up over $20,000 in credit card debt, took to the Web to ask people to help bail her out of it. She got a lot of coverage in the media (where I first heard of her), and actually persuaded the Internet community to donate over $20,000 to pay off her credit cards. Save Karyn is still around. Her effort is being called one of the most successful Internet panhandling stories ever, and started the trend.

I've always envied and hated her at the same time. Envious that she could get people to give her $20,000 to help her with her needs, hated her because she could get people to give her $20,000 to help her with her needs.

For the record, I never donated to her cause. My reasoning at the time was that okay, she chose to run up a bunch of credit cards, didn't pay them off, and now, instead of filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, she's crying for help. All she had to do is cut up her credit cards. Why should I help her?

Just replace some of the foregoing with the proper words, and you have a quick summary of my situation, nez pas? Matthew 7:1.

Still, although I'm in much worse shape, I never ever considered actively asking for money. As most of you know, I finally put a PayPal Donate button on the blog and set up Google Adsense, but only after many people had made it clear that they were willing to donate. Even so, I've made less than 2% of the amount of money Karyn has.

I gotta admit, it'd be nice. She set hers up so that everyone who visited her site donated a dollar. That's 20,000 visitors in 20 weeks. If I'm reading the data from Google Adsense right, I've had about 30,000 visitors in less than half the time. If I were to be gauche enough to ask for a dollar from everyone who read the blog, I'd be in my own house in no time.

The key words above, of course, are gauche enough.

Although I believe in taking any help that's offered (and thanks to all who choose to donate) I just don't think it's right to take advantage by assuming that people will donate, and framing the relationship accordingly. Sure, I could ask for everyone who visits to chip in a buck (or more), but then I'd be doing just what Karyn did and asking the community to subsidize my own bad judgment. Not to mention the fact that I'd be poisoning the relationship with all you readers (as if several indendiary posts haven't already done so).

Y'know, this might sound perverse, but if I had to choose, I'd rather have a circle of readers who didn't give me a dime, but who had found some sort of help and solace through the blog, than a legion of people who simply scanned the first few words of the latest post, and threw money at me without seeing what I and other homeless people go through.

But don't get me wrong; if Bill Gates or Warren Buffett wanted to write me a big check...

I never realized that google pays you for people clicking on those... good time to start clicking
He only gets paid if someone who clicks on the ad buys the product.
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