Can I Have 50 Thousand Dollars? No Seriously, Can I?

Dunno if you’ve noticed it, but beggars are a big problem in online communities, particularly virtual worlds. Here’s a hilarious post about begging on his blog, over at John Chow Dot Com:

Can I Have 50 Thousand Dollars? No Seriously, Can I?

I get tons of emails from people asking me for stuff but this one from 16 year old Keenen should win some kind of award. However, I’m not sure what award I should give it.

Hey, I’m trying to raise money for a car. I’m a sixteen year old kid in New York city and my parents wont buy me a car or even let me drive until I get my own insurance and my own car. With all the money you make from Adsense per week I was wondering if you would be willing to give me $50k so I can purchase an Audi TT and insurance for at least two years.

Thanks for taking the time to read this and I hope you reply. Note: If you actually visited the site this email address is hosted on I’m asking for a Mustang, but just recently have I seen the TT and I’m hooked. I haven’t gotten a chance to change the layout with all the freezing Photoshop causes on my computer.

From Mustang to Audi TT. Nice upgrade. I guess I’m lucky he didn’t see a Ferrari! How would you reply to Keene if you got the above email?

General consensus was to send him John Chow’s eBook. Me, I reckon I’d send him a good smack and send him to his bedroom. Or can’t we do that anymore? BTW he said thanks once and please not at all.

Anyway, a point that is not raised often in establishing social networks is how to deal with beggars on forums and in-world. This I guess comes under Rules and definitely under Etiquette. Some companies choose to ignore it, while others are stringent about buying/selling/begging on forums and in blogs. Oh and be careful. Sometimes when you see a post called something like “gimmeh stuffz okthnxbai” it’s a joke. You’ll get hammered by the community if you remove it with a “no begging” statement. Seriously. It’s a joke.

Talking of begging, I stole the idea from John Chow (and others I’ve seen lately) and put up a beer/cocktail fund on my blog. It’s a link to PayPal.

I reckon if everyone who gets value out of my blog put in a dollar, in about a year I could afford a cafe espresso martini at Blue Horizon Bar. Heh.

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  1. Oh ok thanks. How about that cocktail huh? 😛 (I think you might be a spambot, Mr professor howdy Sir).

  2. Wow so polite to a Spambot. Good to see high levels of civility to a computing robot.

    Funny story. I can remember an odd sense of unrealistic entitlement at that age. That request reminded me of that phase of my life.

    Also bloggers gaining credibility. Requests for large sums of money and free test drives in new cars. What next, profitable blogs?

  3. “What next, profitable blogs?”

    I’ll let you know, Mr colin campbell Sir, (heh) when I receive enough donations to buy that cocktail. In the meantime, I don’t find it onerous to write – it actually clears my head. Which seriously needs tidying up from time to time. 🙂

    Australia’s top blogs are profitable. Mine isn’t because I don’t monetise it (plus it’s not a top blog, more in the ugly but interesting category 😛 ), but I sure do get work from it.

    And oops. I still have that unrealistic sense of entitlement. Have been known to get quite miffed if I don’t get what I want, RIGHT NOW. I can’t remember ever writing to complete strangers to ask them for stuff. Might’ve done tho. Maybe I should start now?? I do remember starting a character in an online game I worked on, that only begged. This was a few years ago now. To see if it was possible to get to a million gold at level 1 by doing absolutely nothing. Unfortunately, he turned into a sort of wandering bard telling fabulous stories for gold, (and had imaginative curses for those who didn’t comply) which kinda defeated the purpose of the “omg gimmeh gold I needit baaad” social test. I swear, these avatars take on a life of their own…

    We like polite spambots 🙂 Besides, he’s not linking to anything other than his Blogger profile *shrugs* so he might be real not imagined. I wonder if spambots get insulted or complimented if mistaken for human? And if I was Philip K Dick or William Gibson I’d give you a big debate about why it’s not important or relevant to tell the difference between human and idoru (of the bot variety). But sadly I’m not. 🙂

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