Aside: The Money Back Guarantee (Update)

One of my basic quips here is that if you don’t like a post, you get your money back. The point, obviously, is that you read SJ for free if you so choose. Nobody makes you. You don’t have to like it, whether because you think the writing sucks or you just can’t stand the word “twit,” and you certainly don’t have to agree with anything I write. This is America and you can be as wrong as you wanna be.

But of late, I’ve noticed that donations to the cause have dwindled considerably. While I can see how many people read SJ, and the numbers remain remarkably robust, the lack of support is a little disconcerting.

My theory is that I write for me, but I post it here so you, the reader, can read it if you want. That’s about as far as I’m willing to go, however. To add the cost of this joint is a step too far, and so I leave it to the readers to decide whether SJ is worth something to them. As Keith Kaplan, who gives a monthly contribution, says, it’s because “SJ is worth more than nothing.” He’s too kind.

But maybe Keith’s wrong when it comes to you. I write. No one pays me to do so, and I’m okay with that. But I’ll be damned if I also have to pay so that you can read it. If you don’t care, that’s cool and tells me what I need to know. If you do, then do something about it. If you don’t, I’ll get the message.

Update: My sincere thanks to everyone for contributing to SJ. The response has been overwhelming. I’ve read every comment included with the donations (yours, too, judge, and I swear this isn’t RICO) and they’ve been funny, brilliant and touching. Thank you.

54 thoughts on “Aside: The Money Back Guarantee (Update)

    1. SHG Post author

      I wonder if people would feel differently if I posted all your comments. Then again, that could go either way.

  1. Carl Hugo

    Donation sent.

    I’m grateful that you write. I won’t rub your tummy but thank you nonetheless.

  2. Atwell

    I read via twitter. There is no spot for donation. I agree it’s worth more than nothing.

          1. Atwell

            Still no eggs and that mobile website thing…. but I’ll go find my pc and send a shiny nickel.

          2. Casual Lurker

            “I have no idea how the mobile website looks. I’ve never actually used it”.

            And therein lies the problem. As time moves forward, an increasing number of visitors are likely to be using the mobile view, thus accounting for the decrease in revenue. The ‘thin’ “mobile view” needs to be specifically adjusted to keep certain page elements visible and/or prominent.

            You know how, every so often, Ken does that “Road to Popehat” thing? While he’s primarily doing shtick on the “referrer” info, the reports/server logs usually give a good set of aggregated stats on the type of devices visitors sail in on, number of unique visitors, number of repeat offenders, Etc.

            “I never said I had mad computer skillz”.

            Maybe Ken can lend you David for a bit, to help spiff up the place. In most cases, it can all be done via remote access.

            Regarding PayPal, as with Iris, I have similar issues. A decade later, the Controller of the Currency has yet to resolve complaints involving PayPal. (As an aside, some British friends of mine keep reminding me that “America’s banks enjoy a unique form of capitalism; profits are private, losses are public”).

            However, your answer to Iris was non-responsive. I too will gladly send a USPS money order to the 11th Ave. address, a P.O. box, or other designated location, given specifics?

            Being as you are not a 501(c)(3), it won’t be a “donation”, but a “gift”, from me to you, per 26 U.S. Code § 102(a).

            Of course, the Treasury Department has issued its own exception to the IRS exception, so your millage may vary. (As is typical, It’s often a case of “The large print giveth and the fine print taketh away”).

            1. SHG Post author

              Others have managed. I emailed Iris. You, on the other hand, would do best to donate elsewhere. If you’re so inclined, send your donation to The FIRE or EFF instead. Or Ken.

  3. Iris Wong

    Oh, that’s easy. I’m told they’ve cleaned up their act a bit, but back in the day, Paypal was a bank when it wanted the privileges enjoyed by a bank but just a website when it came to the duties owed by a bank. II’m nothing if not a lady who knows how to hold a grudge. Want me to send a USPS money order to the 11th Ave. address listed in the “About” blurb?

  4. Jim Tyre

    … donations to the cause …

    In which SHG begins to morph into ACLU. (And now I duck and run for cover.)

  5. JimEd

    Every time I click the button this weird butt-hurt complaint form shows up and I’m not sure how to proceed.

    1. SHG Post author

      Clearly, my secret algorithm where the button changes to match the needs of the pusher is working perfectly.

  6. Shadow of a Doubt

    A ways back, someone hijacked my paypal account and used it to purchase some euros, the joke was on them as I got my money back and it was right as the euro shit the bed over brexit, but for some reason paypal decided to blacklist me completely while the bandit remains at large (to the best of my knowledge).

    So if you’re willing to accept some “monopoly money” from a Canuck who is a frequent visitor to America and who thinks your writing is worth far more than nothing, I’d be happy to send some, if there is some way I can get it to you that doesn’t involve an auction house-turned-bank-but-not-really-but-sort-of.

    I know your hair is a natural shade and you haven’t claimed anyone is raping you by viewing your writing, but have you considered patreon?

    1. SHG Post author

      I have considered patreon. And done nothing about it. Too many platforms on the internet for me. I’m a simple man.

      1. Shadow of a Doubt

        Fair enough. If paypal ever lets me use their service again (or I get a new credit card), I’ll send a few bucks your way.

  7. Peter Baunsgaard

    Well, you do shoot down commentards rather hard if they’re not up to your standards. Which are pretty high. Not like they’re going to chip in after being shot down – rightly or not (but rightly, as in ” This is my home and I make the rules.”). Being a European non-lawyer this is my first comment so please be gentle…

    Over here in the old world my company pay $15+tax/month for our www presence. I will pay for a fancy beer or two if you ever visit Copenhagen, Denmark. Sour beer is trending hard in the hipster crowd here right now! 🙂

    1. SHG Post author

      You would be surprised. Some of the folks who get slapped are some of the biggest supporters of SJ. Others support it because we try to maintain intellectual rigor. As for $15/mo., this isn’t quite the same thing.

  8. Chris Ryan

    I will blame chasing 3 little kids around with sharp pointy objects for forgetting to do my annual donation. fixed that. now back to fencing class!

    Thanks for everything.

  9. JAF005

    Rumor has it that for:
    $10/month you get 1 unmoderated comment a week, if that’s the case I’m in.

      1. Rojas

        I anteed up this morning thinking Barleycorn was going to host the telethon.
        I guess his check bounced as well.

          1. John Barleycorn

            I should probably start keeping track of all the unborn children of mine you delete on a monthly basis and pay extra for them. Better yet, if you sent me a bill for them, you could probably afford to hire some office help that is into latex. I might be up for that. Somebody has to take a look at all these drafts of yours that aren’t making the cut.

            You could be rich, but not as rich as you are going to be when you sell me the URL.

            P.S. Do you use these funds for self-masochism implements and assorted narcotics or are we talking about, just brick and mortar stuff like electricity and a few sandwiches, now and then, to keep your editors happy?

            BTW, I know a pretty cool electrician lady who travels to Manhattan on occasion who will put a separate meter on your chamber if you want to start itemizing the pain.

            1. SHG Post author

              I’m willing to entertain your bid, so I can move on to becoming a dental floss tycoon. Floss farms in Montana don’t come cheap, you know.

  10. junior

    Clink, clink. The sound of filthy lucre dropping into your jar. Your blog keeps me from doing my work, so well worth it for everyone affected.

  11. junior

    Ordinarily no. However, in my line of work if I am doing my job people are inconvenienced with 500lb crowd pleasers, so probably a good thing for all concerned. Oh, and from time to time, I am ensmartened with the laws.

    1. SHG Post author

      This probably would have made sense if it was a reply to something. Instead, I’m left to wonder what make you a 500 lb crowd pleaser, and I don’t want to.

  12. Bruce Godfrey

    I think that suggested posted amounts would help.

    Examples:
    Pedantic twits: $9.00
    Unpleasant blowhards: $15.50
    Slackoises: $599.00
    Slackoises mini: $499.00
    Slackoises pink edition: $1899.00
    70s throwbacks: $59.97 in three easy payments
    Chai: $18.00
    Kai Ryssdal: $199 and I mail you back an NPR tote bag
    etc.

    In related news, I will be making a donation of $15.50

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