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Panhandling for rent, and how my website is less efficient than flat-out asking - Chronarchy

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May 21st, 2007


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08:36 am - Panhandling for rent, and how my website is less efficient than flat-out asking
Last Tuesday, Maggie and I were having a discussion about panhandling, particularly that I'd done it in the past when short of cash for rent, and I had successfully made rent that month by shaking a cup on High Street.

She indicated that I really shouldn't panhandle (I think she thinks it's dangerous or something), but I pointed out that not only did it work, but it actually got me more cash than I needed.

Then I indicated the sad truth: Panhandling on High Street for an hour and a half had earned me more cash than the PayPal donation jar on my website has brought in in the past year. (For the record, the total as of last Tuesday was "$0.00").

The donation button, of course, is right on the front page of my site, but due to not wanting to appear like a complete whore (I'm fine with being a partial whore), I haven't put it on every page. In fact, it only appears on a couple of pages total.

Recently, though, I received a donation through it, and I was informed that this donation was for "Gas money + food money you punk ass bitch". And I am now forced to say that my website's tip jar has suddenly become more lucrative than panhandling.

On the other hand, the panhandling was demonstrably more efficient, seeing as I earned $25 in two hours on High Street and the PayPal account has been up for over a year.

It is amazing how your options open up when you're particularly low on cash, what you're willing to do to keep your head above water.
Current Location: Southeast of Disorder
Current Mood: amusedamused
Current Music: "Jolly Mon Sing", -JB

(28 comments Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:ariansdreams
Date:May 21st, 2007 01:58 pm (UTC)
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I'm amused that your benefactor has a sense of humor. "Punk-ass bitch," indeed. Who do they think they are?!?! ;)
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:May 21st, 2007 02:03 pm (UTC)
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*grins* Obviously, someone who can call me that and still get a laugh out of me.

Which means. . . pretty much anyone :)
From:bloodlikerain
Date:May 21st, 2007 03:14 pm (UTC)

you never cease to amaze me.

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really, i'm rather suprised, and kinda impressed....
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:May 21st, 2007 03:52 pm (UTC)

Re: you never cease to amaze me.

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Impressed? That I panhandled, or that I was so successful at it?

It's actually kinda funny. I wasn't at all dressed for it: I was in khaki's and a nice shirt, outside the UDF just south of Lane and High, asking people on their way to the bars for money. I certainly didn't look like I needed money, so I'm a bit surprised that I could sell the, "I can't make rent this month" vibe. But I apparently managed.

Weird, really :)
From:bloodlikerain
Date:May 21st, 2007 04:31 pm (UTC)

Re: you never cease to amaze me.

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I have a theroy that the universe will always provide when you really need it, so even if you weren't in the outfit so to speak, maybe people jsut felt nice that day.
[User Picture]
From:duriyah
Date:May 22nd, 2007 12:49 pm (UTC)

Re: you never cease to amaze me.

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You probably looked sincere, even dressed nicely. Like someone who ran out of gas or was having a rough patch and really needed the money. I'd be more willing to give to someone like that than someone who looked like a con.
[User Picture]
From:wishesofastar
Date:May 21st, 2007 03:33 pm (UTC)
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To be honest, I've visited your website many times and never noticed a donation button. Perhaps you should whore it at least enough for people to notice that it's there.
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:May 21st, 2007 03:50 pm (UTC)
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*nods* I dunno. The page wasn't actually put up to be a money-maker (in fact, I figured it'd just suck money out of me over time). I'm also not sure that my mere existence (in reality or on the web) is really worth a dime from anyone, but that's another issue altogether :)

Fact is, though, one often has to wonder, "Hey, is what I do on this site worth being paid for?" I mean, it's pretty much just a lot of writing: there's little interaction (outside of the email form and that silly "confessions" page that people are so amused by, and three oracles), and the page is pretty much a journal more than anything else.

I'm not sure that it is worth paying for the content in general (especially since I offer it for free whether you pay or not anyway), but then, I'm mostly under the impression that little I do is worthwhile to the masses.
[User Picture]
From:joyful_storm
Date:May 21st, 2007 05:31 pm (UTC)
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I'm mostly under the impression that little I do is worthwhile to the masses.

*raise brow*

I suppose it all depends on how you define "masses", but I deeply suspect you undervalue your contributions.

Maybe you're a niche market. ;D
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:May 21st, 2007 05:45 pm (UTC)
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This is entirely possible (both that I undervalue and that I'm a niche. . . I kinda like the idea of being a niche, actually). But there is ever a tension in my mind: "Who would pay to read this?" versus "You know, I'm putting in a lot of time and effort on this."

For the most part, I don't believe that my work is honestly of a quality to have it available for pay. We'll see, though: some of it has been, like the Wheel of the Year document: even though it's available for free, at least 38 people have thought that was worth purchasing. Of course, even that I have mostly sold at cost (or a few cents above cost to give it a pretty, round pricing).

And we'll see what happens when my book is finished. Those at Wellspring will get to see a good chunk of the meat of said book (I expect it to run about 150 pages at this point, all told) in my presentation.
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:May 21st, 2007 03:44 pm (UTC)
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Between opening the acct, figuring out the button, and trying to integrate it? I'd say about 5 hours or so. I actually had a number of problems initially with the damn thing. :)
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From:tesinth
Date:May 21st, 2007 05:18 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, I'm pretty sure you could make way more money by whoring yourself out than by either PayPal or panhandling.

/not that I would give you a red cent
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:May 21st, 2007 05:28 pm (UTC)
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You only have red cents, you damn commie!
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From:tesinth
Date:May 21st, 2007 05:37 pm (UTC)
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Now that doesn't make much sense...

/i'll be here all week
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:May 21st, 2007 05:46 pm (UTC)
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You should be able to add it all up, since you keep putting in your two cents.
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From:tesinth
Date:May 21st, 2007 05:48 pm (UTC)
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I would be able to, but I'm being overwhelmed by all the offensive scents coming from your body.
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:May 21st, 2007 05:51 pm (UTC)
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My apologies; maybe I'll have to send you flowers. Where shall I have them sent?
[User Picture]
From:tesinth
Date:May 21st, 2007 06:04 pm (UTC)
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Just make sure there's plenty of incense in the box as well...
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:May 21st, 2007 06:06 pm (UTC)
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Frankincense?
[User Picture]
From:tesinth
Date:May 21st, 2007 06:10 pm (UTC)
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Sure, just make sure a good censer comes with it.
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:May 21st, 2007 06:14 pm (UTC)
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It's not going to bother your sense of smell, right? I'd hate to get you something you're allergic to.
[User Picture]
From:tesinth
Date:May 21st, 2007 06:25 pm (UTC)
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I'm a hundred percent sure that we've exhauseted this line of silliness for now.
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:May 21st, 2007 06:48 pm (UTC)
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Yes, though later on, it would make sense to revisit this line just to be sure we've covered everything.
From:snakesinspace
Date:May 21st, 2007 05:43 pm (UTC)
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You are a punk-ass bitch.
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:May 21st, 2007 05:45 pm (UTC)
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Damn straight. It's why you love me.
From:snakesinspace
Date:May 21st, 2007 06:02 pm (UTC)
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Damn straight.

That is right, damn all the straights: they suck (and not in a good way).

It's why you love me.

Does this mean we have to get married and have kids now? Because, even though I have always wanted to be a bigamist, traveling back and forth between Ohio and Japan (and Thailand) to keep two families going sounds like too much work.
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From:smithing_chick
Date:May 21st, 2007 09:17 pm (UTC)
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I wonder how well that would work here. The big thing with a lot of my friends was selling blood. Maybe I should try that...
I've thought about busking on occasion. I could stand outside Molly Branigan's & sing Celtic folk tunes. That seems more like working than just panhandling, although either would probably be more lucrative than sitting around waiting for the damn temp agency to call.

There was a guy who used to come into the leather shop who for a while was making his living by panhandling in New York. He'd drive up for a few days every month, sleep in his car & panhandle around on the subway or street corners. He'd make $600 or so in 3 or 4 days & that was his rent & grocery money for the month.
[User Picture]
From:qorinda
Date:May 21st, 2007 11:53 pm (UTC)
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Busking is fun :)

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