July 15, 2005

"Every time Andrew Sullivan rattles his tip jar..."

Glenn Reynolds gets more donations, he says. And what about me? I have donation buttons too, you know. It would be nice if my readers made the gesture of appreciation for me too. Sullivan suggests a basic pledge of $20 for the "occasional reader" and a $50 for the daily reader, which, he helpfully points out is less than a dollar a week. True fanhood he goes on to say is demonstrated by amounts in excess of $50. These are ambitious suggestions! I'm just quoting them for your contemplation.

45 comments:

Ron said...

Ann, if I had any money at all, I'd be happy to tip you! I've paid more for much less thoughtful entertainment.
(Andrew on the other hand...)

But since funds for me are scarce, I need a tip jar myself!

peter hoh said...

I hate tip jars. Real ones and virtual ones.

I think service providers should charge what they expect to earn, and service workers should be paid what they are worth.

I realize that some workers depend on tips, but it seems archaic.

Perhaps it's not correct to refer to a virtual tip jar as a tip jar. It's a tin cup.

Bloggers with few readers are happy just to have readers. Bloggers with lots of readers ought to be happy with that. It's not like they have to pay for postage stamps and fold newsletters and all that. Through advertising, they can now capitalize on their readership. Sounds like the market works.

Dirty Harry said...

I thought Sullivan stopped blogging in a melodramatic snit?

I check his blog and he's never stopped. Does he think he's The Who or something?

Dirty Harry said...

Ann,

Read my blog and we'll call it even.

Dan from Madison said...

I agree with Peter. If people are willing to pay, they will - everyone can see the tip jar. Begging for the bucks belittles those who do it. Some blogs are fortunate to have a large readership and the advertising revenue that comes along with it - we can all see the blogads. If they feel they are worth more bucks, they should make their sites membership only and rake it in.

roger said...

Sullivan's a panhandler. He has way too many tip drives. And I once gave him money.

I don't even HAVE a tip jar on my blog. But if you see me on the street and give me a fin, I'll gladly accept.

Steve Lewis said...

Man. At those rates an $18 CD at Borders looks like a bargain. I don't mean to be a bugger, but the work that goes in to a $20 DVD is much more than anything a single blogger does in a year.

Dirty Harry said...

Ann,
That last comment/quip sounded shittier than intended. You know I'm a fan.

EMC said...

Endowed professors panhandling? Not pretty.

Lars said...

Isn't blogging its own reward?

Ann Althouse said...

Too bad Andrew doesn't have a comments section. Thanks a lot, guys!

Smilin' Jack said...

Actually, the discusions in the comments are one of the best aspects of this blog. They bring in more traffic and increase the blogad revenue. Maybe Ann should be tipping us!

(Just kidding, Ann....)

Simon Kenton said...

Observe the fiendish, the near-
Rovian subtlety of Ms Althouse. Here is a site with intellect, good sense, creativity, humor, images, and a community. And she produces - probably via dummied blogger registrations - a whole cluster of cheap, pinched, grudging fake commenters, to shame the rest of us into contributing. Well, as a ploy, it sure worked on me. The fake commenters are the sort of 'friends' who will ask an author, "When can I get it at the library?" The sort of programmers who insist both that they should be paid $150K per year, and all software should be free. The sort of lunch dates who say, "Now wait. Your salad was $6.45 and my burger was $5.25. So that means you owe...."

So, Ms Althouse - in addition to the other talents I cited above, I have to acknowledge your novelistic abilities. To create convincing examples of whining parsimony, and with so few words, too. Very nicely done.

chuck b. said...

If bloggers want tip jar money, they need to do a better job across the board defining and articulating a tip jar ethic, whether individually or collectively. It’s not enough to simply say “there’s the tip jar, you can see it right there.” Bloggers aren’t like a real people serving drinks in a bar where everyone knows an historically well-defined tipping regime; bloggers are abstract others telegraphing thoughts through the ether. Knowing to tip will take more training.

You rarely if ever mention your tip jar, and you rarely mention your ads. Glenn sends mixed messages about tipping. “Feel free, but it’s not necessary”. Worse, he seems to delegate tip jar boosterism to Virgina Postrel and Andrew Sullivan by linking to their posts when they point out their tip jars. Since raising the subject of money makes a lot of people uncomfortable, it seems like he’s passing the buck (pun intended). Hugh Hewitt’s got his tip jar so low down on the page I almost never see it. Maybe he doesn’t really want tips! It wouldn’t be hard to convince oneself of this; he’s got a lot of ads and a radio show. Heck, he’s downright famous! I’m just saying.

There are a lot of mixed messages and bloggers need to look at it from our side and try to understand some of the ways these different messages accrue. I want blogging to be profitable for good bloggers, financially or otherwise.

I’m sorry I’ve neglected your tip jar, Ann. I’m going to remedy that right away. For my part, I like to tip frequently in small amounts rather than infrequently in large amounts. Giving someone a large-ish amount of money at once seems weird and vaguely sycophantic or something. (I said it’s a feeling, ergo not necessarily rational.)

Mary said...

(((Althouse)))
Everyone can just give her a virtual hug instead of cash. Even you Dirty Harry.

This way, we have gas $$ for the weekend, and a cash reserve if we get fired from our jobs for browsing blogs all day.

heh!

ploopusgirl said...

What a ridiculous whine. I might pay you to read your nonstop hatred of everything and everyone. In fact, this is just the kind of thing you'd rip to shreds if written by someone with whom you've disagreed in the past. Mmm..

ploopusgirl said...

And another thing.. (because this really ticks me off..) Blogger is free, and if you pay for any kind of premium account, that's your choice. Where do you get off even suggesting that people tip you? I despise tip cups for people at ice cream shops or cafes where people actually do something. To tip someone who sits around all day whining about things that bother or interest them? That might happen..

Finn Kristiansen said...

Everyone should give, or not give, and not be so defensive and petty. A blog is a house, and you can do or say or ask whatever you want in it, because nobody makes anyone come in.

And such bad form. We are like the fat man who eats the buffet, but critiques the meal and quibbles over the price, farting away in arrogant self-righteousness.

"Isn't blogging its own reward?" someone asks. Well, actually, no its not, and anyone who says such is lying. A diary is its own reward, but nearly everything else in life has collateral motivating factors.

Ann has a nice house, and sets a great meal.

ploopusgirl said...

Oh, please, Finn. Anyone who has the time and resources to blog on any kind of regular basis (enough of a regular basis to develop a large fan base) has to have a pretty nice job and living situation to begin with. No extra income is necessary, and the fact that she "ever-so-subtly" is suggesting that her readers should donate to her poor little fund is sickening. No one ever brought it up until she started this pathetic, whiny thread basically begging for donations. So she can buy an even cuter Audi? I don't think so... Blogging certainly isn't a job, and, in my eyes, it's not a service. My life would hardly stop dead if she decided to quit blogging..

Finn Kristiansen said...

Oh Ploop, are you ever happy? You should blog so someone can come over and ploop in your comments.

bos0x said...

Sullivan's guidelines don't even make sense. Why would someone who only reads the blog occasionally want to donate anything at all? And LOL kthxs, I've always wanted a year's worth of links to fascinating articles written by other people. Am I missing the point of this website? One of the entries reads "REHNQUIST HOSPITALIZED: With a fever." And that's it - there doesn't even seem to be a comments section. I mean, the genius and creativity in such a post is mind-blowing! I'm getting my credit card out right now!

Finn, the arrogant self-righteousness of people who don't want to pay bloggers for the absolute honor of reading the thirty words it takes to introduce an exterior link doesn't compare at all to the arrogant self-righteousness of bloggers who think that they should be paid exorbitant fees by their readers. I personally wouldn't even donate a dollar to Althouse, just in case she uses it to buy some shitty coffee somewhere and decides to take beautiful minimalist pictures of it and updates on the profundity of it all.

ploopusgirl said...

Have I ever addressed you before, Finn? I'm not sure where you're getting this I'm never happy thing.. Maybe if you were Bruce Hayden, or Dirty Harry.. or any of the other lovely people around here I love ever so much. But to the point... I'm never happy?? ANN ALTHOUSE is never happy, and she's the one begging for $50 goddamn donations! If anyone's reeking of self-righteousness, it's you and your dear friend..

James d. said...

I don't see the problem with the ol' "tip jar." Or even the occasional mention or promotion of it. Granted, it depends how involved the blogger is with the blog vis a vis other areas of his or her life. A blogger who makes the bulk of his/her reputation from blogging might need a little more assistance than someone who just does it for fun/a side thing.
For instance, I gave a little to BaseballMusings.com during its pledge drive. But that's because the guy quit ESPN to run this blog. That's brave (maybe crazy), and he deserves support for his good work.
But, for instance, I would never put up a tip jar for my random postings about baseball, music, and the etcetera of the world. It's just a side thing.

I don't know where that puts a blog such as this one. Perhaps in the category of, If you give, great. If not, but read it and learn something, or comment as well, then that's great too.

SAMPLES said...

While some are providing their two-cents via the comments, other have contributed via amazon--approximately $100 thus far.

amba said...

If I ever had a tip jar (and here's why I don't, so far), I would use the busking metaphor. I'd have a picture of an upturned hat and a hand-lettered sign saying, "Like my song? Toss in a few coins."

As in this highly pertinent cartoon by Dave Bonta of Via Negativa. (It's one of a series, "Words on the Street." Always the same cartoon, different caption.)

Ann Althouse said...

Thanks, Amba: I'm sure if Sullivan had comments he'd get this sort of thing. Personally, I've contributed to Sullivan. Bloggers put a lot of time into it, and while we're not saying we only want readers who will contribute, it would be nice if readers showed their appreciation by giving a small amount, even just $5, which is almost nothing to the individual reader, but which taken together -- if most readers did it -- would amount to getting paid for writing, the way you are when your writing appears in book form.

ploopusgirl said...

And blogging is anything like writing a book, Althouse? At least half of your posts are links to newspaper articles, other blogs, or pictures taken by other people? You think this is comparable to writing a book? No one asked you to blog, so it is highly offensive that you would suggest that people should "show their appreciation" for the time you put into blogging. So don't blog if you don't want to put the time in! Seems to me you're the one who enjoys blogging. It should be enough. If it isn't? Quit..

Henway Twingo said...

I wrote something better first, but Blogger ate it. I should have learned to copy everything by now.

Anyhoo- recapping crudely- traffic counts support that not only Ann enjoys her blogging. Further, rarely are people ever ASKED to produce purely their own ideas of creative content. Instead, people write, make art, create music, dance, woodwork, quilt, cook, whatever, trying to satisfy themselves. Only later can they discover if it's more widely appreciated, and there's nothing wrong with gaining other benefits if it is. I appreciate Ann's dedication to being here, providing daily topics and perspectives different from the crap usually occupying my fevered brain. I don't mind a quiet tip jar waiting, out of the way, for me to plink it or not based on my mood and/or circumstances.

Finn Kristiansen said...

Now would be a good time to get rid of comments again.

Ann Althouse said...

Finn: Maybe pay-to-play comments....

(Just kidding ... don't flip out!)

amba said...

To tell the truth, I also have contributed (once) to Andrew Sullivan. His was the first blog I read regularly and felt very much in tune with, so I figured I owed him.

Right now all I have to give is links, for what they're worth.

bos0x said...

I don't think that blogging qualifies as creative in the sense that art or music or dance is. Most of the entries have little or no original writing in them - they're just quotes from external links. I should tip Althouse for bringing my attention to a story about a teenager who drunkenly set the flag on fire? Her twenty-five words on the subject are the equivalent of creating a song? Or maybe five or ten totally unrelated entries (which when put together don't have any more meaning or beauty or whatever one expects from art than before) equal the creativity of a song? Blogger is a free service, Althouse's entries are the shortest ever and she reads the newspaper anyway, apparently, so it seems that presenting it to her adoring fans doesn't take much work, or at least not $20 or $50 worth of work.

Oh and yes, shut down the comments so the blog has even less relevance than before! Great idea!

Greta said...

Is this here some kind of a blog-club, or what?

Ann Althouse said...

Greta: More of a played-out comments thread, I think.

Ann Althouse said...

Greta, I see you're in Iceland! Hi!

Ann

Agatha said...

Played-out comments thread! Because you disagree with the majority opinion. My, how you're like a child unwilling to admit his mistakes..

Ann Althouse said...

Agatha: The people who responded positively actually made contributions. People who wanted to justify not making contributions were more likely to comment. The contributions far exceeded the negative comments, so to me the response was overwhelmingly positive. Also, the nastiest commenters here obviously just don't even like my blog -- one has even previously commented that she hates me -- so these folks wouldn't have contributed to me even if they thought that financially supporting bloggers was a good idea. So excuse me if I don't get worked up over this thread -- as I'm sure the people who don't like me would find satisfying.

Ann Althouse said...

And Agatha, at least two of the commenters here are the same person, as you well know!

JB said...

This thread is probably long dead, which I regard as a good thing, but unfortunately I can't help myself...

This thread feels like the church potluck (provided by the church) where some people just can't help but complain about "How dare the pastor preach on tithing 3 months ago. After all, isn't my attendance enough, and what has the church done for me lately *gulp*?

Ann Althouse said...

Thanks, JB.

amba said...

I'm amused by people who come to read a blog because they don't like it.

Ann Althouse said...

Amba: You have to remember that there are a lot of people who know me as a lawprof. One reason I'm always polite to the people that bash me here is the decent chance that they are students at my law school.

ploopusgirl said...

Or we could just be your run of the mill readers. Actually, I've come to not mind you so much, Ann. Don't be so hard on yourself! In comparison to your readers, you're articulate, charming, and lovely! I just didn't like the idea behind this post is all.

Also-- you seem to have this idea that I exist as many different identities. Have you considered, however, that there are a couple of us (multiple people, mind you!) conspiring to overthrow you? Perhaps you should rethink the situation.

Ah, I digress. Hey, at least we're well spoken. You could be bashed by morons, you know!

Ann Althouse said...

No, ploopusgirl. You made a blunder a while back that revealed that you and Agatha are the same person. You deleted your mistake, but all the comments come to me in the email, even if the person later deletes it. So your attempt to pad the comments here by posting under two names is really... well, why not find a blog you actually like?

Ann Althouse said...

Actually, you just made the mistake again! I just told Agatha she knew the two identities. When did I say I thought "ploopusgirl" was the other identity?