Bloggin Bleggin’

One of the least popular comments I ever made was a few years ago, on the blog of someone who asked the visitors who read his blog regularly, to show their support by donating funds to keep his bank balance healthy as he was spending so much time blogging that he was not earning as much as he could be, offline.

Poor thing.

Not.

I strenuously disagreed with his request and made my opinion known. However, the blogger had his share of sycophants and needless to say, you could have hacked off my little Catholic corner of cyberspace with a motherboard after I clicked ‘post comment’.

Now ‘for the record’, I don’t disagree with bloggers placing a paypal button or a ‘Tip Jar’ icon on their blog so that readers can show their appreciation for a blogger if they choose to, and I certainly don’t have a problem with bloggers who offer a service other than writing blog posts, trying to make a living, or at least a little side earner, via their blog. There are bloggers who are for example, authors selling their wares in physical or digital format via the internet, I happen to think that’s pretty cool!

I’ve purchased from bloggers in the past, and one blogger who IMO provides a great service to the Church and to the Catholic Blogosphere, is the Catholic Apologist Dave Armstrong. I bought a disk from him about a year ago containing numerous apologetics books he’d written that I can now access on my laptop/computer at my leisure and though I haven’t made good use of it yet or even had time to dip into it, I know that it’s there at my fingertips when I want to do so…and the same quantity of physical books rather than the CD version, would have cost me much more…well I simply wouldn’t have been able to purchase them. If I remember correctly, Dave was in a pretty tough place financially at the time and he dropped the price of the disc to considerably less than it was actually worth in an effort to continue to support his family financially.

Well I like it when i see my fellow Catholic bloggers taking the initiative to help themselves or to help others. Right now, one of my blog buddies is trying to raise funds for a very worthwhile endeavour, which will involve him cycling some 90 kilometres/55 miles each day over two days, raising funds to help build and/or repair several schools in Asia, Africa and South America.

You can reach Owen’s personal fundraising page by cicking THIS link and you can read more about the Chalice Catholic Sponsorship Programme HERE. The Ontario “Cycling for Children” fundraising bicycle tour benefits Chalice, which is a registered Canadian charity (Registration #13759 1012 RR0001) supporting 38,000 children in 15 developing nations.

I know these are hard times for many of us financially, but if we can just do without our Starbucks coffee for day or two (I must admit, I’ve never had one myself and don’t intend to either) or make our own sarny’s for lunch tomorrow instead of spending a fiver on canteen food or take out or a packet of cigarettes…then maybe we can throw a few quid/dollars etc, into the Chalice kitty instead?

If you know Mr Owen Swain as i feel I have come to know him over the last couple of years, you have to also know that his heart is all about service and doing the right thing when called to do something, whether that be in leaving his protestant pastoral ministry which meant losing the job associated with it, because he heard God calling him to the Catholic Church and obeyed….( the upheavel and uncertainty that followed for his family, can you imagine it!)….or whether that be in cycling 90 kilometres a day to raise money for children in need….yup, Owen is most definately a man of action!

Now, if you’re like me, you don’t necessarily have much to give ….. so BLOG about this worthy cause and bring this to the attention of those who CAN give.  So all I can ask of you is that if you have £1 or $1 (or whatever your currency is) to spend on a coffee tomorrow, why not spend it in a way that will make a real difference to someones life…. and hey, don’t you know, coffee isn’t that good for you anyway!

…but getting back to my opening statement….I do so often go adrift don’t I?…..to me it seems a little arrogant to assume that one’s blog entries are worthy of ‘pay to read’ status.

Would you pay a blogger to blog?

What say you?

p.s this isn’t a trick question, if you say ‘yes’, you won’t suddenly see a tip jar appearing on my blog, I promise!

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12 Responses to Bloggin Bleggin’

  1. Christine M says:

    Would I pay a blogger to blog? Me personally, no. Do I object if people find people who will pay them to blog? – of course not.

    But I blog for fun (if someone wants to pay me, I won’t object) and I always figure other people do too.

  2. Carol says:

    Very bluntly, but as honestly as I’d say it in person, the only thing that pisses me off more than Catholic folks who ask for donations for their blogging/websiting selves (for passing along that which is free –which includes Dave Armstrong, Karl Keating, the person who runs LifeSite, priests, a personal friend, and all the littler folks here…) is to read of yet another cruise ship opportunity for face time with big apologists. Uh huh. I will be donating to Owen’s “Chalice” and I’ll be damned if I’ll ever, ever donate to anything that doesn’t benefit a poor person somewhere.

    And, I do not visit any Catholic blogs that host a paypal button. It is a misrepresentation of the Faith.

  3. Esther says:

    My son asked if he could put a Paypal button on his blog because he has seen them on other Catholic blogs. I told him no. I personally would not ask for donations nor sell anything on my blog and I wouldn’t judge anyone’s motives for doing so. Would I donate? I probably would if the blogger was requesting for someone else. We have done that in the past.

  4. Owen says:

    Carol, thank you again for your generous support of the bike tour to raise funds for these, quite literally, poor children. All the money that comes in goes directly to children via Chalice. Chalice raises separate monies to fund and admin the cost of operating the tours; amazing, 100% of fund raising goes directly to the end user. And, I pay all of my costs. I will be travel roughly six hours to get to the start line and I will have accommodation costs. All of that comes out of pocket along with my registration fee of 75.00 so every cent of my fund raising goes directly to Chalice and so I appreciate your support.

    I have no problem with a published author asking to be paid for the work he has written. I see Dave asking to be paid for his original work to be the same as if I am selling a painting or drawing or print. What he writes on the blog is free in that he’s keeping a blog same as us but it’s different regarding his published and e-published books.

    Regarding the Catholic cruises, well, I agree 100%.

    Deb, thanks for the plug for Chalice.

  5. Owen says:

    P.S. Deb, I was just checking my fund raising site You did more than just plug the cause you put your hard earned and much needed money where your blog is 🙂 and I want to say thank you for your generous donation.

  6. ukok says:

    Christine,

    I wouldn’t object to anyone else paying someone to blog, i just think it’s a bit much for a person to think they write so well that they should be paid for it by their readers. I think that if a person writes that well they should write a book and get paid for their ‘talent’ that way.

    Carol,

    I believe I know just what you mean. Some apologists seem to have ascended before their time! I mean really, would i pay £2,000 to go sit with a handful of apologists for a week? If i had money to burn then maybe i would (mostly for the cruise experience), but with there being such great catholic resources available online, why would I do that!

    Honestly, I think we all have the wherewithall to learn at least a little about our Catholic Faith and while apologists most certainly serve the Church and the people of the Church, and while I will always hold apologists like Peter Kreeft and D. Armstrong in high esteem, some of the others seem to have become something of ‘celebrities’, which I find wholly unattractive.

    Over here in GB we don’t have that kind of thing. Neither the cruises nor the ‘celebrity’ apologists. While I think it would be good to have more going on for Catholics over here for laypeople to become involved in, I’m knd of grateful that we’re also rather understated in such things.

    Esther,

    My son asked me the same thing, he asked if he could somehow make money via his (now defunct) blog…i said ‘no way!’.

    Another gripe of mine is that I don’t like blogs with lot’s of advertising either, but I realise that it provides a nice little earner for the owners of very well visited blogs.

    Owen,

    🙂

  7. Suzanne says:

    Nope…although I don’t have a blog up anymore…at this time, I think if one needs a side income, then they might very well advertise what they have to sell, but no…not just to read what one wishes to blog about…if that is what you mean. Ridiculous.

  8. If the owner of the blog has an item to offer for the buying…yes.

    If it’s just a ‘panhandling’ button disguised as Paypal, NO.

    exception:
    Their is one knitting site where a gal set up a step by step picture tutorial with very clear explanations. She did it just to share the knowledge she has acquired over the years and out of sympathy for those trying to learn the same project. Many, many in the knitting community have benefited by her hard work.
    She asks for nothing in return, but just has a ‘tips’ Paypal jar on the last page..
    Needless to say I contributed to that, donating the same amount as I would have given had I signed up for a class at my Local Yarn Shop where I would have gained less.

  9. Carol says:

    What I didn’t say was that I see a correlation between Jesus’ problem the sellers in the Temple, and Catholic paypal buttons for “intellecual” sharings, even from priests (at least one). And to me, Tips jars, too–in the Catholisphere–are the little white doves in cages waiting to be bought for offering within the Temple. Grr Same for “Wishlists.” I’ve seen many of those all over American seminarians’ blogs. What the heck is wrong with people?

    As for Dave Armstrong, I personally like him, but the thing is, I remember back when he still had a day job.. he pretty much wanted to leave that behind and asked for donations on his site as well as selling his books so that he could. He has also traded on the name and reputation of Fr. John Hardon (one of Mother Teresa’s spiritual advisors) who did once commend him on fine apologetics work.. but Fr. Hardon has been dead for years.

    I guess I would have us be as saintly as God would have us be. I’m not winning any medals in that good race, no, but one must draw a line when it comes to what is done in the Church’s (or Christ’s) own name and reputation, here.

  10. John Bowden says:

    I volunteered my to keep the Saint Blog’s Parish Directory alive a few years ago and have made a few improvements in the time I’ve managed it.

    While I use the least expensive hosting service I could find that afforded what was needed it still costs something to keep it going. Add to that the time I spend responding to emails; sorting through the directory to weed out dead and abandoned blogs or to find blogs that have moved but left no forwarding address or didn’t bother to let me know; not to mention the time I spend providing free consulting services to folks who have questions about “how to” on their blogs.\

    In the end I didn’t feel I was compromising my faith nor my personal integrity to ask folks to help out. Over the past 3 or so years I’ve received a grand total of zero dollars and zero cents.

    I will keep the Paypal button where it is but have long ago given up any hope of anyone helping out and after reading these few comments I can see why!

  11. ukok says:

    Suz,
    I agree with you! And forgive me for saying this, I don’t mean to put any pressure on you, but I really miss your blogging. I appreciate why you stopped, but visiting your blog was one of the things I always looked forward to doing when I had time to stop by…but blogging is time consuming and sometimes it can deter us from spending time with our loved ones or even doing our chores and stuff …I’m guilty of all that. It’s still a battle for me…to blog or not to blog….but I’ll just do it until there’s nothing left to say or unil I’ve had enough, I guess.

    Teresa,

    the knitting site sounds like a fine exception. I like it when those who don’t ask get and when those who do ask, don’t 😉

  12. ukok says:

    Carol,

    Thanks for the further explanation of your point. I didn’t know that about Dave. I suppose that it takes a real leap of faith to make it from a day job to becoming a paid writer/apologist….i can understand him wanting some backup by seeking donations in those early days…the person I write about in my original post didn’t actually offer anything in return for donations except his blog posts though.

    John,

    If I’m honest, I’ve never understood very well your role in St. Blogs. I’ve known for ages that you were involved in it to some extent, and I always expectd, to quite a large extent…. but I never knew what role you played in it really.

    I did however know that you have a kind and generous heart and that if I was in a position to I would certainly have wanted to to offer my support to you, whether that be in donations to keep StBlogs going or for the long hours you must have put into it etc.

    I think it would be a great idea for you to write a post about what you have done, what you do etc…just so we all know and can then better appreciate what you do!

    🙂

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