Westchester attorney wonders about donating in the blogosphere

Many of the “writers” in the blogosphere (and I use that term loosely because many of them can’t spell or use grammar correctly) are in it to hopefully make money, to generate income from advertising.  Many others are in it to share their thoughts, albeit I could care less about when Johnny looses a tooth on vacation, but I guess everyone needs to vent.  Then there are others “sharing” their knowledge in cyberspace and soliciting donations, usually through Paypal…………..hmmmmmmmm, the lawyer in me says, ” There’s something wrong in the state of cyberspace.”

The dictionary defines “donate” as a verb to present as a gift, grant, or contribution; to make a donation of, as to a fund or cause.  True enough it can be to present as a gift but how many times have you given a gift to someone and felt like you donated to their cause (and I’m not counting all of those engagement gifts you’ve given to marriages which don’t last!).  Seriously, the word donate connotes more of a contribution than a gift and in the United States the word contribute is generally tied to a charitable foundation or cause.  Somehow, I don’t feel that sharing opinions about gardening, life in another country or guidance on love relationships justifies using the word donate or contribute.

It may be different in other countries where these bloggers are located.  I am not offering legal advice or opinion here but I think I am stating the obvious.  If you are trying to generate income (and there is absolutely nothing wrong with being a capitalist) then why not call a spade a spade.  If you want people to pay you for your advice then run it like a business and have subscribers or have them pay for your service in advance.  However, if you really want to make it a business, then be prepared to answer to the tax man as well; otherwise, get back on your soap box and take away the cyber hat for “donations.”   What do you think?

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2 thoughts on “Westchester attorney wonders about donating in the blogosphere

  1. Oh, darn, I guess I’ll have to find someone else to donate all my money to since I can’t here on this blog….

    Seriously, I have to agree that I find the donate button a bit odd. I would feel weird if someone donated money to me like I was a charity. I mean, I *am* a struggling freelance writer, but if that constituted charity, I think I would know by now. (And there would be even more freelance writers in the world.) That being said, I love it when people show up in Amalfi and offer to buy me a glass of prosecco. Perhaps I could put a button on my blog that says, “Buy Laura a glass of prosecco.” Would that be better?

    Ok, I really tried to be serious.

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