I’ve just donated to the Poetry Bus Blog! You should check it out on my blog roll; it’s a great new poetry thingy. I donated for two reasons. Firstly, because they have a donation button on their site that I was curious about, and secondly, because I prefer reading things that are not governed by media moguls, and while I’m forced to pay for newspapers ( and I do buy them, supposedly for intellectual stimulation but really to do the crossword and Sudoku) nobody makes you pay to read their blog, which is, when you think about it, the refreshing work of an independent thinker. Unless, of course, the writer is being paid to produce it by some giant media mogul.
So who pays the bloggers? Well that’s it, nobody. Granted there are some blogs that I would gladly donate towards the demise of, but the bottom line for me is that blogging is a relatively new form of reaching people, and things like the Poetry Bus are original, great and dependant upon generosity. I gave them a fiver by the way. It’s what I throw into the buckets of people doing bag packing for charity at the supermarket. Just like at the supermarket, I convince myself that I am doing it for purely altruistic reasons, but in reality I do it for myself. I feel good when the bag packer’s eyes light up when that fiver goes in, because it’s a note, not a coin. And let’s face it; a fiver is not a high price for inflating your ego for the day and telling yourself how generous you are. Same with the donation: I feel like a proper blog reader now, a good person and a supporter of the arts.
So that’s when I got the brainwave. Why don’t I become a blogstitute myself? I googled (is googled in the dictionary yet?) setting up a donation button on a blog. As you may have already experienced, googling is like doing a complex thesis, you start to take detours in all directions. Mine ended with me trying to set up a button that says ‘buy me a coffee’. I thought the word ‘donations’ might look more like me holding out an empty coffee cup and showing off my gammy leg into the bargain. I couldn’t figure it out though and I’m not booked into the ‘how to improve your blog’ course until next Thursday.
There were a lot of opinions about these ‘pay me for this’ buttons. Most people seem to think they’re greedy, and those who use them complain that they never get any donations. But by the time I’d read all this and decided it was a bad idea to add the donation button, I had already navigated my way into having it up on the site.
Thing is, if I do get any donations, I haven’t a clue how PayPal get the money to me. It’s probably all not real. PayPal money is probably just like Monopoly money, just like blogging isn’t ‘real’ writing. And if bloggers got their hands on real money, would they still blog?
Who knows? I can only speak for myself. If I got paid for writing I’d take a moralistic approach. I’d only use it for research purposes, like travelling around the world and staying in luxury hotels so that I could blog about how superficial life becomes when you have a few bob. By the way, the donation button is top right…