The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

29 September 2002

Tip-jar protocol

I posted this on the 16th of April:

Support Your Local Blogger Dept.: Over the past couple of months, I've scattered maybe sixty, seventy dollars in various online tip jars, and I expect to continue this practice so long as the budget permits (it's under Reading Material, which outranks, say, Entertainment), but there are times when I feel I must do more. Taking my lead from James Lileks, whose pages contain an icon labeled "Buy The Darn Book", I have bought the darn book, which is a nicely-hardcovered edition of The Gallery of Regrettable Food, an extension of Lileks' Institute of Official Cheer. It is, of course, a hoot. Also arriving today, courtesy of Virginia Postrel, is The Future And Its Enemies; since Postrel's blog is labeled as an Online Companion to the book, it seems only sensible that I should at least read the book.

The figure is now closing in on $200, and the practice has been leaving me with an occasional twinge: "Do I really want everyone to know where I'm making donations?" Normally I prefer the amazon.com tip jar to its PayPal counterpart, because it offers the option of anonymity, though I have since admitted to making a donation here in the blog, and once, while apologizing to a blogger in email, I confessed to having previously deposited a small sum to said blogger's credit and would, in partial atonement for the offense given, make that sum slightly less small.

But even anonymous amazon.com sends out a note from the recipient, which often contains a line to the effect of "Please tell me who you are so I can thank you personally," which, were I to do so, would effectively kill off the whole idea of anonymity. It's not like I'm kicking in such huge sums — two hundred bucks spread over more than a dozen blogs won't buy anyone a beach house — or, for that matter, such meager sums that I'm embarrassed to have my name attached to them.

So I'm just slightly conflicted. I could resolve this conflict by not giving anyone any more money, but this doesn't help the bloggers with real needs, or the ones who just happened to post something I thought was freaking brilliant at the precise moment I had a few bucks to spare.

Suggestions?

Posted at 12:01 AM to Blogorrhea


Solution: Give all of your excess cash to me! I SWEAR that I will keep your donation anonymous, as long as the bucks keep rolling in.

I'll get that beach house yet...

Posted by: DavidMSC at 2:57 PM on 29 September 2002

What the hell do you want with a beach house? You live in Montana, fercrissake. :)

Posted by: CGHill at 5:39 PM on 29 September 2002

It would be one HUGE beach house...

Posted by: DavidMSC at 9:58 PM on 29 September 2002

When they write you, be gracious, and say, "Hey, not looking for anything, just, thanks for the nice work," and let 'er go at that.

Why cringe? It's for tips fer goodness sakes. When you drop a buck down on a five dollar breakfast tab, do you apologize for it? :-)

Dean

Posted by: Dean Esmay at 12:44 AM on 30 September 2002