If anyone other than my family knows where the title of this post comes from, I’ll be impressed.
I have belonged to a certain online community for many years, the only one that I’ve joined that requires a subscription payment. While there have been occasional downsides, it has been a mostly positive experience and I have made a lot of what I consider to be good friends there. However, my life has changed quite a bit over the last year, and some of the interests that brought me to this community have lessened or been fulfilled in other ways (my extracirricualr technical writing, in particular, fills a lot of one particular need). These interests no longer influence my life quite so much and I find that I am now only participating in one very small aspect of this community.
So when I got the notice that my subscription was due to expire on 01 Sep, I thought about it for a while and decided that although I could squeeze the $20 out of my budget, it wasn’t enough of a priority for me to do so. I’d get a lot more fun out of using that $20 when we take the kids to the fair over Labor Day weekend, just to name one activity. So, I set about saying my goodbyes and preparing to depart from this community that I have now been part of for many years.
A couple of people asked me to reconsider, and after hearing my reasons, volunteered to chip in a small bit towards the renewal fee. I was completely not expecting that, and agreed that I would look into putting a PayPal donation button on my site. I thought about it over the next few days and realized that I felt uncomfortable doing so just for this community; it seemed, well, presumptuous. Then, I was reminded of an old joke that I shared with many members of this community back in the days before I owned a Mac — I would gladly accept any and all donations to the “Devin Needs a New Mac!” fund. This was good for many laughs and (if memory serves) even a few small donations, which actually went directly towards upkeep of my web server (I host sites for free for a few people from the mystery community).
So, here’s the deal. I added a generic PayPal donation button down near the bottom of the sidebar. I am comfortable with having an ad for a book I have written (and that is on sale) up at the top; I am not comfortable pleading for stray pennies. Down to the bottom it goes. But if you ever want to prod me to, oh, make time to work on the next chapter of Silicon Cats or write an essay on a particular topic, making a donation is a good way to let me know you’re serious.
If it’s good enough for The Bard, it’s good enough for me. Heck, I’ll even write you a customzied sonnet as a thank-you note — and post it publicly — if you (the indefinite you) ever donated a largeish amount at one time. Since I once submitted a sonnet as a weekly status report, don’t think I’m not up to the challenge.
I have a line on an interesting writing project. All I want to say about it right now is that it involves group blogging, possibly introducing some established writers to blogging for the first time. As I am able to share more details, I’ll let you know.