Home > Life in General > Creative giving part 3

Creative giving part 3

January 15th, 2005


I haven’t managed to come up with a creative new idea for helping the tsunami aid appeals, so I’m going to copy Michele Agnew. From now until midnight Sunday, I’ll give one $A to the Australian Red Cross tsunami appeal for each comment[1] I receive on this post, up to a maximum of 1000.

To add a tiny element of novelty, I’m inviting others to join the effort by sponsoring this offer at whatever rate they can afford. You can work out your maximum exposure from the limit, for example, if you offer 5 cents a comment, you’re promising to give up to $50.

If you’re interested, please send me an email at j dot quiggin at uq dot edu dot au. I’ll record it in the updates with your name, pseudonym or anonymously as you prefer. When the appeal is over, I’ll write and tell you how much you’ve promised. Feel free to nominate a charity of your choice.

Update The Eudora mail server is running hot, with the first contributor to join the effort already coming through:
William Burroughs’ Baboon” says pls put me down for 10c per comment
Update 10:12 pm An anonymous regular reader offers 50 cents per comment, nominating World Vision
rdb offers 50 cents per comment
Nicholas Gruen offers to match me dollar for dollar, in return for an ad. Accepted!
That’s $4.10 $3.10 per comment! (sorry for late-night arithmetic errors)

Update 6am
An anonymous regular reader offers 15c per comment
“Saint Straightjacket” offers 20c per comment, up to $300

So we’re up to $3.45 per comment, and the total amount raised is nearly $500, with most of the day still left to come.

It’s particularly good to see lots of visitors from Tim Blair’s blog – a reminder that, whatever our disagreements, we can all work together at a time like this.

In the comments, Tim has offered $100 if I shave my beard off. That’s nowhere near enough, but I’m eager to secure Tim’s money for the cause so I’m making a counteroffer in the spirit of national unity and cash for comment. If Tim will give $100, I’ll write a 200 word post saying exclusively good things about John Howard. I’m willing to increase the amount proportionally for further pledges from Tim’s (or my) readers, until I run out of good things to say.

Update 10:30am We’re well over 200 comments now, and thanks to the generosity of cosponsors, within sight of the original target of $1000, with the capacity to raise a lot more

wmmbb has offered 20c a comment, up to a total of 500
Mark Bahnisch has offered 10c a comment

I’m really impressed by all of this. Quite a few cosponsors have offered more, in relation to their means, than my starting offer. This is one area where I’m unreservedly in favour of competition, and I’m already thinking about my next move.

I’d also like to thank everyone who’s linked to the post. In particular, I now have a full set of Tims, at least among the blogs I read regularly: Tim Blair, Tim Dunlop, Tim Lambert and Tim T have all sent visitors this way. For any other Tims or non-Tims who want to link, there’s still more than 12 hours to go.

Update 1:34pm
Crossing the ideological divide, Andrew Norton offers 10c a comment
Paul2 also offers 10c
wmmbb offers 10c more
Harry Clarke offers 20c up to 500 comments

That puts us over $4 a comment, and with well over 300 comments, we’ve easily passed the original goal of $1000. But there’s still plenty of money on the table, so keep the comments coming in.

I forgot to mention it when I put this post up, and I’m not going to worry too much about it today, but this is a PG blog, so no more coarse language, please. Double entendres and dirty jokes are fine, as long as they’re funny.

I’ve had the first taker on the Howard challenge. “2dogs” has sent in his $50 to the Red Cross, and emailed me the receipt, earning 100 words of sincere praise from me for John Howard, to be published as soon as I’ve tallied up the donations and tied myself to the keyboard. Come on Howard-lovers, and set me a real challenge. I could write that much defending Don Rumsfeld, and have done so. 1000 words in praise of Howard might give me some trouble.

And here’s the ad I promised Nicholas Gruen, who’s agreed to match my donations. If you click here you can see a further generous offer from him.

<img src="wordpress/wp-content/images/Peachanimatedgifbanner.gif" href="http://www.peachhomeloans.com.au/quiggin.htm"

Update 6pm We’ve passed 400 comments and raised more than $1500. Looking at the current pace, there should be more than 500 comments by the time the appeal ends, but probably not many more than 600. A number of cosponsors have limited their contributions to an upper bound of 500 comments, thereby giving themselves a fair bit of certainty. Now I’m appealing for some risk-tolerant types to cosponsor the remaining comments, starting at number 501. Why don’t you put in, say, 50 cents a comment. There’s a small risk that you might be hit for $250, but in the absence of a last-minute surge, it’s more likely to be around $50.

Update 10:30pm

Jack Strocchi and Claire Rodda have promised 10c per comment up to 500

Down and Out in Sài Gòn has promised 50c for each comment over 500. At this stage, it looks as if he(?) will get off cheaply, so let’s have a flood of last-minute comments.

Final Midnight has come to Queensland, and we ended up with 470 comments. I’m off to bed now, but in the morning I’ll send my own contribution, rounded up to $500, and advise commenters how much they’ve promised to pay.

fn1. At my absolute discretion, I’ll delete bots, spammers, repetitive commenters etc. If you don’t trust me to act fairly in this respect, don’t participate.

Categories: Life in General Tags:
  1. Anthony
    January 15th, 2005 at 14:12 | #1

    Well, for the sake of getting a discussion going, I declare this a peculiar thing to do. Why not just (1) decide how much you want to donate, (2) do it?

  2. January 15th, 2005 at 14:19 | #2

    I am all for these stunts. They keep the issue alive and are thus effective in maximising the final amount of aid that will be received by the victims. And that is the only matter of importance. (Also this type of public challenge giving does not exclude any prior private donation that may have already been made.)

  3. January 15th, 2005 at 14:31 | #3

    Excellent initiative, John. I’ve noticed that the papers are already shrinking coverage of the Tsunami aftermath so wbb’s commendation of efforts to keep the situation alive are salient.

  4. January 15th, 2005 at 14:41 | #4

    Can blogging software even cope with a post that has 1000 comments attached? Let’s find out!

  5. matt
    January 15th, 2005 at 14:44 | #5

    good onya prof.

    this method looks to have become nearly “the way” bloggers are raising funds for this disaster

  6. Owen
    January 15th, 2005 at 15:11 | #6

    Excellent work Professor Q! The generous response to this disaster threatens to restore my faith in humanity.

  7. January 15th, 2005 at 15:17 | #7

    Lovely work John. I’m dressing up as a Wiggle to comment. Any other fancy dress commentors out there?

  8. Anthony
    January 15th, 2005 at 15:22 | #8

    I’m wearing Kylie’s gold hotpants.

  9. Vee
    January 15th, 2005 at 16:24 | #9

    I have to wonder with the whole world all given those affected by the tragedy half the global income (an exaggeration) do they really need any more?

    Do they not just need people in there helping to rebuild? Perhaps an army factory that can prefab some temporary accommodation en masse?

  10. John Quiggin
    January 15th, 2005 at 16:44 | #10

    After today’s effort, Vee, I plan to redirect my giving towards general foreign aid. But I think one more big fundraising push won’t do any harm.

  11. Johnny
    January 15th, 2005 at 16:51 | #11

    It is pleasing to see that you are supporting your fellow Australians John. I praise your efforts and look forward to seeing the number of comments can be left on this web site. I’d almost propose to you if you weren’t a leftie (I’d also consider it if you have a shave…. otherwise you would remind me too much of Janette.)

  12. Nicholas Gruen
    January 15th, 2005 at 16:52 | #12

    Tell you what John. Put up an add for my mortgage broker Peach Home Loans for a while on your blog and I’ll match you dollar for dollar!

  13. January 15th, 2005 at 17:02 | #13

    Sometimes academic plagiarism of ideas can be a good thing! 😉

  14. January 15th, 2005 at 18:52 | #14

    “I’m wearing Kylie’s gold hotpants”

    as Deborah Conway sang, “I’ve got my string of pearls”. nice one, John.

  15. January 15th, 2005 at 20:20 | #15

    Pretend I’ve said something witty. Nothing to see here. Please move onto next comnment.

  16. Tom
    January 15th, 2005 at 20:20 | #16

    Seems a good enough reason to me!

  17. rdb
    January 15th, 2005 at 20:26 | #17

    foresight.org has used a matching donation appeal. Someone offers a sizeable donation to be matched by other donors.

  18. January 15th, 2005 at 20:48 | #18

    Let’s see Channel 10 set up a 55c-a-minute number under the same system. If they can do it for big brother…

  19. January 15th, 2005 at 20:51 | #19

    This is an excellent idea, John, and I’ve just linked you on my blog… but you may have to up the celebrity quotient to keep my readers interested.

  20. January 15th, 2005 at 20:52 | #20

    PS – Anthony Callea sucks.

    I throw it in by way of debate.

  21. James Farrell
    January 15th, 2005 at 21:08 | #21

    Sydney’s Sri Lankans turned out in force today for a food fare at Carlington to raise funds. Wonderful people, wonderful food.

  22. meep
    January 15th, 2005 at 22:25 | #22

    Got here via Tim Blair. So just saying “howdy” from NYC! Best wishes on your comment-drive…

  23. Michael Logan
    January 15th, 2005 at 22:34 | #23

    Very generous of you to make this offer. Good luck!

  24. Daniel Nolan
    January 15th, 2005 at 22:43 | #24

    Well worth making a comment. Gee, at $4.10 for charity, this might be the most valuable blog comment I’ve ever made!

  25. Vance Maverick
    January 15th, 2005 at 22:44 | #25


  26. Mike Turner
    January 15th, 2005 at 22:57 | #26

    Also got here from Tim Blair, and doing my little bit for the victims.

  27. lewisinnyc
    January 15th, 2005 at 22:57 | #27

    Great idea…

  28. January 15th, 2005 at 22:57 | #28

    Add another to the list…

  29. erp
    January 15th, 2005 at 23:01 | #29

    A more interesting question would be to find out what percentage of the gazillions people have freely given will actually be spent helping victims and what percentage will enhance the bank accounts of “leaders” from all sides of the globe.

    Run a pool and let bloggers and posters pick a number. I’ll start the ball rolling with 97% = leaders; 2% = lost in the mail; 1% = actual relief aid to victims.

  30. Harry Tuttle
    January 15th, 2005 at 23:01 | #30

    and now they are paying to hear my opinion!

    I always knew my time would come…

  31. Josh
    January 15th, 2005 at 23:02 | #31


  32. Josh
    January 15th, 2005 at 23:03 | #32

    Lets do another post

  33. Josh
    January 15th, 2005 at 23:03 | #33

    Aha let me correct my first post, it was actually 32

  34. January 15th, 2005 at 23:04 | #34

    Good for you!

  35. mike
    January 15th, 2005 at 23:06 | #35

    happy to participate

  36. mike
    January 15th, 2005 at 23:06 | #36

    and some more

  37. mike
    January 15th, 2005 at 23:07 | #37

    that free preview is trippy

  38. mike
    January 15th, 2005 at 23:07 | #38

    im coming back here stoned

  39. January 15th, 2005 at 23:08 | #39

    erp – definite darkside reader – shits himself that maybe not every cent will go where it’s most required. Better not to give then. Better someone dies than some aid truck driver somewhere treats himself to a cold Bintang on the way.

  40. mike
    January 15th, 2005 at 23:11 | #40

    im happy to see your giving this money to a group that will actually do constructive work with it and not have it end up in a rich crony or dictators’ swiss bank accout

  41. Daran
    January 15th, 2005 at 23:15 | #41

    wbb – I don’t have a problem with the truck driver, but more with the talking mouths jetting around the world and filling up expensive hotel rooms. But a little due diligence in selecting your favorite aid group should go a long way in reducing that loss.

  42. January 15th, 2005 at 23:21 | #42

    Good for you!

  43. January 15th, 2005 at 23:25 | #43

    Tim Blair says to come here so you give your money to help the tsunami victims. Add a shiny dollar for my comment. Thanks!

  44. Dan
    January 15th, 2005 at 23:27 | #44

    Here via Tim Blair. From Melbourne. Let freedom reign.

  45. Pedro the Ignorant
    January 15th, 2005 at 23:32 | #45

    Righto, send in your dollar.
    See ya.

  46. J F Beck
    January 15th, 2005 at 23:32 | #46

    Great effort JQ. And kudos to Tim Blair for the referral.

  47. david
    January 15th, 2005 at 23:34 | #47

    Also Via Tim Blair. Connecticut, USA (originally from New Mexico and damned proud of that)

  48. roy in nipomo
    January 15th, 2005 at 23:36 | #48

    I trust that the money won’t be spent by the Aus Red Cross for five star hotels and other perqs of the “Toyota Taliban.”

  49. January 15th, 2005 at 23:36 | #49

    The virtues of charity, liberality, hospitality, and generosity would all become impossible in a world without private property
    -Hernando de Soto

    My additional 100 cents. All my beer money now go to the Red Cross. I might even lose the extra weight. (smile)

  50. January 15th, 2005 at 23:38 | #50

    Lots of folks here. Hey, I’ll crank up Rage on the telly, get out a couple of kegs, and we can get this party started!

  51. maugrim
    January 15th, 2005 at 23:41 | #51

    Noble sentiments prof, though is that a real beard? It looks like you are attempting to swallow a wombat.

  52. January 15th, 2005 at 23:41 | #52

    Interesting to see all the linkages between Tim Blair and John Quiggan! Has anyone ever seen them in the same blog at the same time?

    After all the aid giving has died down, we’ll have to have some more debates about fair trade with all these countries.

  53. Mick Moriarty
    January 15th, 2005 at 23:45 | #53

    Thanks Professor for your donation.

  54. Madison
    January 15th, 2005 at 23:46 | #54

    The positve note:
    Hey John, nice idea. All the best.

    The cynical note:
    At least I hope the UNocrats tip better in the 5star hotels than this!

  55. Manuel
    January 15th, 2005 at 23:55 | #55

    I’ve been a fan of your posts at CT, now an even bigger fan. Thanks for doing it.

  56. Ray Eckhart
    January 15th, 2005 at 23:58 | #56

    Another Blair refer-ee.

  57. January 16th, 2005 at 00:03 | #57

    I came here via th’ Timber with nothing in particular to say, but I am now wildly impressed with this live preview widget that it is that you have…

  58. Jorgen
    January 16th, 2005 at 00:05 | #58

    Yet another comment from the Blair-side. I feel as good as if I had donated the $1 myself!

  59. drscroogemcduck
    January 16th, 2005 at 00:07 | #59

    Good work!

  60. Ruth
    January 16th, 2005 at 00:13 | #60

    I’ve already given alot this month to the tsunami victims. I would have given more if I could so this is a great way to make a contribution with someone else’s money. Thanks.

  61. Lorna
    January 16th, 2005 at 00:16 | #61

    Great thing to do. Best of luck. (Found this via Crooked Timber)

  62. January 16th, 2005 at 00:20 | #62

    Onya John!!

  63. January 16th, 2005 at 00:22 | #63

    Here via me. Very generous offer, Prof! Congrats.

    (PS: remove the beard and I’m in for $100)

  64. Jacob
    January 16th, 2005 at 00:23 | #64

    Way to go. It’s almost like I’m being charitable.

  65. January 16th, 2005 at 00:25 | #65

    Thank you for that, John. Keep up the good work!

  66. Kyra Jucovy
    January 16th, 2005 at 00:32 | #66

    Yes, these are the only blog posts I comment on.

  67. Steve
    January 16th, 2005 at 00:41 | #67

    Good on you!!

  68. Steve
    January 16th, 2005 at 00:42 | #68


  69. Steve
    January 16th, 2005 at 00:42 | #69

    So . . .

  70. January 16th, 2005 at 00:42 | #70

    Toss one in for Troy Broadbridge.

    Go Dees!

  71. Steve
    January 16th, 2005 at 00:42 | #71

    how much is the eventual aim?

  72. Matt
    January 16th, 2005 at 00:49 | #72

    Thanks, John- It’s good of you to do.

  73. Matt
    January 16th, 2005 at 00:52 | #73

    thanks for your generosity!

  74. Pat
    January 16th, 2005 at 01:01 | #74

    nice one John, and I get a chance to parade my compassion free!
    everyone’s a winner

  75. Barry
    January 16th, 2005 at 01:03 | #75

    Throw a couple in the pot from Michigan!

  76. January 16th, 2005 at 01:07 | #76

    That trackback was from me. Just in case it doesn’t count I’m leaving a comment as well. Wow, the live preview is cool. I’m just writing more words in this comment to watch it in action.

  77. Stewart Kelly
    January 16th, 2005 at 01:13 | #77

    Very good idea this 🙂

  78. MB
    January 16th, 2005 at 01:15 | #78

    A sincere thanks and cheers from St. Louis, Missouri, USA.

  79. Dave Culp
    January 16th, 2005 at 01:20 | #79

    Tim Blair told his minions to come over here, so here I am. This is a great idea, and many thanks to you.

  80. January 16th, 2005 at 01:28 | #80

    82 dollars! Come on, people, you can do better than that!

  81. January 16th, 2005 at 01:28 | #81

    I’ve never left a comment just for the sake fo leaving a comment before, but how can I resisist? All I can say is “good job”. It’s incredible to see the generosity of the western world when disaster hits.

  82. January 16th, 2005 at 01:44 | #82

    We’re about 1/12 of the way there. Fortunately, my office does most of its work on Sundays, so I’ll photocopy the page for “tomorrow”. (I’m about four hours behind you, so it’s still Saturday. Barely.)

    Are you taking up Tim’s offer?

  83. Jeff
    January 16th, 2005 at 01:48 | #83

    how can i not post?
    keep up the good work.

  84. January 16th, 2005 at 01:53 | #84

    Sweet…I got Maxwell Smart’s number.

  85. January 16th, 2005 at 02:09 | #85

    great idea, just adding my name to the list.

  86. Santos
    January 16th, 2005 at 02:12 | #86

    You are a good man.

  87. ScottR
    January 16th, 2005 at 02:15 | #87

    G-d Bless.

  88. Joey_F
    January 16th, 2005 at 02:18 | #88

    What a wonderful way to start the day here in North America on a lazy Saturday morning. Thanks so much for doing this & good luck…

  89. Kramer
    January 16th, 2005 at 02:21 | #89

    Good luck

  90. January 16th, 2005 at 02:22 | #90

    Shiny idea. Keep Flying.

  91. Daniel Nolan
    January 16th, 2005 at 02:23 | #91

    Only $3.10, not $4.10. My previous comment wasn’t as valuable as I’d hoped. At least now I’ve put up two two comments! Though after I didn’t notice the original addition error, others might not trust my ability to count to two either…)

  92. January 16th, 2005 at 02:27 | #92

    This preview thing is cool.

  93. January 16th, 2005 at 02:28 | #93

    That’s quite a beard.

  94. Garrick Williams
    January 16th, 2005 at 02:34 | #94

    Linked here from Tim Blair. Good work, John, and good luck with your blog.

  95. chattr
    January 16th, 2005 at 02:53 | #95

    referred by Tim Blair

  96. Rob Dionne
    January 16th, 2005 at 02:53 | #96

    This comment intentionally left blank.

    But worthwhile!

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