I’ve been reading up on the overall internet response to tip jars and it’s been interesting to see how people’s responses go all over the board.
Some people believe that it’s rude, or that it’s “selling out“, or that you’re being a self-delusional egomaniac who believes that you’re actually providing a service when you’re actually just spouting drivel. Certain people seem to actually have a deep-seated aversion to tipping because they feel like you’re asking for extra handouts that they shouldn’t feel obligated to respond to. Still others don’t put out tip jars because they feel as if there’s something not quite kosher about it, in addition to potentially being ugly.
Other people believe that you’re supporting the bloggers you read and that it’s more of a sign of appreciation.
The bloggers themselves run from feeling like their work would be cheapened by asking for handouts to bloggers that feel like they should have the right to the option to ask for tokens of appreciation if they so choose.
The way I see it is:
- If I’m writing pieces of short fiction and putting it online — then it’s not horrible for me to ask for donations via a discreet Paypal button — because I’m providing you with something that you obviously deem worthy of your attention. As such, I don’t feel terrible about asking because then it’s just another form of self-publishing.
- If I’m publishing a personal finance blog and I’m blogging about how I’m a million dollars in debt and then I set up a donation button — that’s slightly on the side of problematic for me. It also depends on how the debt was occurred, mostly. But I wouldn’t donate to such a cause and nor would I set such a donation button up for myself.
- Otherwise, if my blog is mostly a cheese and sandwich blog that has the occasional interesting/useful post on it — I would probably restrict myself to putting up a wish-list and see if any friends I make through the blog would be willing to someday buy me a book or two as a birthday gift or some such. I’d feel slightly icky for putting up a donation button, although I also see it, to a certain extent, as someone showing their support for what I’m doing — although even just leaving comments would be greatly appreciated at this point.
In conclusion, if people decide to put up tip jars, it’s really their business. If you don’t want to tip, don’t. No need to feel bad about not tipping either, I don’t think most of them, unlike waiters, rely on your tips to keep up their quality of life.
On the other hand, no need to bash them for it though. There’s nothing wrong with people wanting a little bit of extra for what they’re doing — and if you are a regular reader, then you really shouldn’t be QQing too much about it.
That said — I’m still torn between my mercenary heart and my delicate artist’s soul. *grin*