29 September 2002
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.