I can’t… I don’t… Whaa… WTF?!?!

I am at a loss for words (well, not really as I’m blogging about it) . And, no, I am not referring to this, because I’m too frustrated/angry/sad to even begin to write about that.

So what is this rant about, if not about THAT? Well, I need to give you some background, so bear with me a little bit.

I frequent a few blogs (see “Links I Love” on the right) and if I have something to say that I think is relevant to a post (which is admittedly almost always), I leave a comment. When you do this often enough, you get familiar with other commenters. Some of these commenters have blogs of their own and sometimes, I’ll click through to their blogs if I found their comment particularly interesting/clever/funny or if I’m bored out of my wits. And this is how I came across this certain blogger. His blog is pretty “meh” but I commented once or twice on a post about a prominent Philippine retail chain selling a fake version of a luxury bag I own (Bear with me a little more, I have a point, I promise). I came across him again because another blogger I follow replied to him on Twitter so I lazily clicked through to his blog. Then I noticed something I never noticed in the 2-3 times I’ve visited his blog.

There was a PayPal button on it, with the label “(insert blogger’s screen name here)’s fund”. I found that strange because the only time I’ve ever seen such a button on a blog was when Chuvaness and the Bag Hag were gathering donations for Fabella Hospital. The label certainly didn’t look like it was for a charity, so out of curiosity, I clicked through. And it led me to a PayPal page, with the blogger’s email address, and this line (and, finally, my point):

“Help me pay my bills and I shal (sic) be forever grateful to you, kind reader.”

I can’t… I don’t… Whaa… WTF?!?! I can barely wrap my head around it. It’s so ridiculous that I actually even doubted if I understood things correctly. But there’s no other way of interpreting things, is there? This person set up a PayPal account so that his readers can give him money, if they feel like it.  I’ll say it again. What the f@&k ang KAPAL!!!

Of course, bloggers making money off their blogs is not unheard of. But they do it via sponsors, ads and paid posts (that’s a whole other issue). I’ve never actually heard of a blogger ASKING his readers for money, out of the goodness of their hearts, to help pay for his bills. If they were hospital bills, I would be more understanding. But this blogger is apparently still in school and it seems to me that his parents are providing for him adequately. Surely someone who goes to college, has regular access to a computer and the internet and can write about counterfeit handbags isn’t struggling to make ends meet. And even if he WAS struggling, I don’t see other cash-strapped people setting up PayPal accounts so that random strangers could help them pay their bills.

I… I don’t know. I guess, at least this blogger is being upfront about his approach, just directly asking his readers for money instead of going the Big, Bad Blogger route. But it still irritates me like nothing else, the same way that you would probably be annoyed if you went to museum, admired a painting, and suddenly the artist taps you on the shoulder and asks you if you wanted to give him some money to help pay for his phone bill. It’s a labored metaphor, I know but you get what I mean, right? Or am I just being insufferably self righteous?

10 thoughts on “I can’t… I don’t… Whaa… WTF?!?!

  1. You’re so upset talaga! I can feel it pouring out of the screen =)

    Anyway, I also don’t like that “PayPal Donate to The Blogger” thing although I know a LOT of bloggers doing it.

    I told my husband about it before and his reply was, “Remember how you enjoyed the musicians and artists (yes, you have the same example) on the streets of London and in the Tube? And you gave them some coins after because you were so entertained? Same thing. You don’t have to give if you think his/her blog sucks.”

    I spend a lot of time and effort on my blogs and it has crossed my mind more than a few times that I should be paid for this haha. But, modesty aside, I do think my blogs are worth reading! And I will argue that a lot of people will agree with me! Yung ibang blogs kasi diyan, grabe sa walang kwenta tapos sila pa ang malakas humingi ng pera/freebies/etc.

    Okay, lumalabas na yung inis ko. I will stop here before I start naming bloggers =P Happy weekend!

  2. @CGT: Hahaha! But I can’t be bothered. The time I spend donating the 5 pesos will be worth more than the donation itself.

    @Tita Monique: Yes, that’s the word! Shameless!

    @Topaz Horizon: But the difference with the musicians on the tube is that that’s their premise to begin with, to ask for money. For blogs (and the internet in general), that’s not the case. I don’t know if I’m being too idealistic, but for me it’s about sharing what my thoughts, discovering like-minded people, having conversations with virtual friends. The same way that I would never ask for my friends for money for a night of particularly good conversation, I would never ask my readers for money for my “conversations” with them… Anyway, I am so surprised that this happens a lot pala! Grabe!

  3. Oh but this whole donation button thing is actually very common. Have you, for example, seen the movie Julie & Julia (starring Meryl Streep & Amy Adams)? That one about a blogger (Julie) cooking through Julia Child’s cookbook and blogging about it. It’s a true story and the blogger wrote a book which was made into a movie. She has a little button so her readers can make a donation if they want to.

    Well she’s just one example- and that she did around 2004 or earlier. I’ve come across the donation button so many times especially on blogs and websites of artists/graphic designers that make layouts, web backgrounds, plug-ins, animated .gifs etc. And it doesn’t always say ‘donate.’ Sometimes it’s ‘Buy me a beer’ or ‘Buy me a coffee.’ But they’re all the same thing.

    It’s actually an acceptable way of generating income for a blogger. Just like ads. While ads are actually a more annoying way to earn money on a blog, I think donation buttons are more straight to the point.. although it might come off as extremely tacky if done wrong.

    I guess if you’re thinking of putting up a donation button, practice some care: Offer a lot of quality content. Don’t have ads AND a donation button together on every page. And generally, make it so that you don’t come off looking like a beggar. Lol.

    • Apparently I’m the only one who’s seen this for the first time. Haha. But, I don’t know. I guess it’s a matter of personal taste. I don’t mind ads, really, as long a page is not 50% ads or whatever. The difference between the donation button and ads is that, for the ads, there was an actual sales transaction (ad space/clicks for money) and the money comes from advertisers who need to advertise anyway to grow their businesses. So that’s a completely legitimate way to make money. For the buttons, however way you put it, whether you’re saying it’s for beer or coffee or your bills, the point is that you’re still asking strangers for money. And that’s just tacky.

  4. That Paypal “thing” you’d been seeing in that particular blog has been around for several years now. Some bloggers would write a caption “Please buy me coffee.” Like you, I really still don’t know why some bloggers do this, but they’re everywhere.

  5. I don’t find it odd or “kapal” when bloggers do that. When I enjoy reading a blog, especially a regular blogger, I usually send small tokens/gifts as a thank you for what they wrote, which more often than not took a bit of their time to write; however, this is not so feasible when the blogger is from outside the Philippines and that Paypal button helps me show my appreciation to such writers, however small the amount may be. I look at it this way, excellent blogging takes time and effort and as such should be rewarded.

    • Wow! Really? You’re so sweet and generous! I’ve been reading tons of blogs for years, and some of them I love, but I’ve never been overcome by the urge to send any of the writers anything. Haha. I guess that means I’m cheap?… But seriously, that really is so generous of you! I hope you at least get thanks from the writers you send these tokens to.

Feel free to let me know what you think!

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