The most obvious example is the person with the cardboard sign at almost every intersection. The most unfortunate fixture of today's economy, these folks are pleased to take a buck or two.
Political candidates apparently need money to convince me they're worth voting for, and my donation helps these people to communicate to me that they deserve my vote, via highly polished and expensive television ads.
Retail stores ask if you'd like to round up to the next dollar to support a local charity.
Tip jars are everywhere.
Try to escape by listening to the commercial-free National Public Radio, and you may find yourself in the midst of a membership drive. "Oh, crap." That's what I usually say, usually out loud, with every change of season that's ushered in with a new membership drive.
In keeping with all of these annoyances, I've fallen lock-step in line with so many others who have come before me. As you can tell from the widget located on the upper right portion of my lovely bloggy blog, I decided to passively offer my readers the option to slide me a few simoleons.
And, not unlike giving some ching to your favorite NPR station, membership has its privileges.
No, I'm not fashioning unique Paradigm Thrift mugs created from the rich red clay I've dug out of my backyard, fired in my personal kiln and designed with my unique brand of quirky creativity and personal style. You won't be receiving a mug if you choose to monetize my blog.
What you'll receive is much more interesting and valuable than a simple, utilitarian mug.
I'll write something for you.
When you monetize (donate sounds so telethon-ish) at a certain level, I'll write something, just for you.
Maybe you want me to blog about you.
Maybe you're in need of a personal profile or bio at your job. Your job may need a bit of material about you; something they'll use to showcase how bright and interesting their employees are. I can make you sound very fascinating.
Perhaps you'd appreciate a piece of short fiction in which you're the protagonist.
Or maybe you've been toying with the idea of finding a significant other, and don't exactly know what to say on your match.com profile. I could help you with that.
You may not need anything written for or about you. Maybe you just like the blog, and feel like supporting it vis a vis some of your hard-earned money.
You certainly don't have to monetize this site at all. Because my payment, really, is your readership, no questions asked.
To be sure, part of me finds the entire subject of monetizing somewhat vulgar. I'm not a salesperson. I'm not comfortable even offering up the option of monetizing the blog.
But there it is, up there in the upper right area of this page. It's a lovely new widget, and I sheepishly wanted to point it out, just in case you were wondering.
My new widget is my bloggy version of a tip jar; my approach to rounding it up to the next dollar.
And if you choose, I'll write something, just for you.
And if you pass, I completely understand. I keep on top of the news, and I know our country's in the midst of an economic crisis, despite the recent odd revelation that the recession is over.
I love your input. I thrive on it. Your feedback is what keeps my chalkboard filled with white and my floor peppered with chalk dust.
Honestly - every time someone tells me they read my blog, the feeling I get is its own payment.
I value the reading people are doing, and I'm completely overwhelmed by the positive stuff I hear. I also value the controversy. Reaction to the 9/11 blog was completely unanticipated.
It's been interesting, hearing which entry some people like a whole lot, and other entries I particularly enjoy that have flown under the radar.
I appreciate every single person who's landed on my blog. Thank you so much for reading, and for coming back for more.
My ideas come faster than the time I have to crank them out on the blog. But rest assured, I'll keep coming back, and I hope you will, too.
So monetize me or don't. Either way, I'll keep doing what I do. I trust you'll continue to tell me what you think about what I'm doing.
Your input is more valuable than any widget.
And don't get me started on my opinion of widgets.
Sounds like a good topic for a blog.