Saturday, April 23, 2005

The Evolution of the Tip Jar

Some of you might have noticed a "tip jar" in the sidebar of this blog. If you haven't seen it, please check it out. Click on the little "PayPal" button and see what happens. You -- and I -- will both be pleasantly surprised.

Knight-Ridder recently circulated a story about how tip jars are popping up all over the blogosphere, with surprising results for the bloggers who use them:

But for bloggers with high traffic, devoted followings, or persuasive begging skills, tip jars can mean big bucks, with some A-list bloggers pulling in thousands of dollars a year.

Susie Madrak's tip jar yielded a car.

"My readers sent me $1,500 when my car died," said Madrak, of Bensalem, Pa., whose feisty Suburban Guerrilla is at

Madrak, a fraud investigator and former newspaper journalist, is tooling around in a used Infiniti after sharing her car woes. She begged, hectored, and put up a photo of a cat, warning: "Hit the PayPal or I kill the kitten."

I promise not to threaten any housepets, but believe me, tips are received with humble gratitude. Or, as Eugene Volokh put it: "Tips are quite unnecessary yet much appreciated."

The Knight-Ridder story points out some of the advantages of tipping your friendly blogger at least as well as you tip your neighborhood barista:

At least in cyberspace, nobody can see you're not tipping. Plus, bloggers write thank-you notes.

"Thanks to all the folks who've sent donations lately. They do a fine job of offsetting the hate mail," University of Tennessee law professor Glenn Reynolds wrote recently on Instapundit (

Reynolds, who says he averages 175,500 page views daily, has told readers he prefers tips to ad revenue because "there's something about someone paying you when they don't have to that makes it nice."

How true. So the next time you visit me here on the Web, please feel free -- but not obliged -- to drop a few coins in the virtual tip jar. Or, for the mutual benefit of a consensual value-for-value transaction, visit our advertisers (particularly and buy yourself a book, CD, or DVD. As Bartles and Jaymes used to say, "And thank you for your support."

Hat tip to InstaPundit by way of Commonwealth Conservative.

1 comment:

Mike said...

Thought you would like this. earning