The Bean Blog (currently on hiatus)

Monday, January 31, 2005

You Are Asking Me for Money?

I have been quite annoyed with a fellow blogger. Many of you might remember Caliblog from a ways back when it was a "Blog of Note." It was/is a group blog, supposedly about four friends (now three--one left) who move from Michigan to California to "make it" in the movie industry. One of the bloggers, Mike, is trying to raise money to make an independent documentary about a bicycle trip across the USA. He has started a new blog, Project Pedal, to document this process. He's gotten three of his four necessary crewmen. But he's only gotten $189 of the $8000 that he needs to finance the film. Apparently, he expected his devoted readers to foot the bill for this film.

I was actually quite excited by his project. I'm not a film maker, of course, but like most, I am a film watcher and getting "an extensive and personal 'behind the scenes' look at the making of an independent film" sounded very cool to me. Mike made it clear right from the beginning that he was hoping to get his readership to donate money. And I thought about it. Seriously. I'm not rolling in cash. Not by any stretch of the imagination. But I have very seriously contemplated giving him about $100. Not a lot, I know, but something to show him that I support him and his goal. And if 80 people each gave him $100, well, that would be the $8000, wouldn't it?

At first, I showed my support of his blog and his idea by posting comments to his posts. He only responded to one of my comments. That sort of annoyed me. I mean, he wants me to give him money, but he doesn't have time to respond to me (and the others) who take time to comment on what he's doing? It was off-putting. And then, suddenly, the option to comment at all disappeared. Instead, if you have questions or comments, you were forced to post them on a "forum."

My first forum posting (now deleted, I noticed) was about this lack of the ability to comment. Mike says that he wants to share this experience with his readers. And I can't hammer this point home enough--he wants his readers to care enough about his project to give him some of their money--but he doesn't encourage us to ask questions? He doesn't respond to the questions and comments we do make? Huh? His response was that he hadn't intended that at all. He said that the comments link became an obsession to him as he kept checking back repeatedly to see how many comments there were. Okay, I can understand that. But if that's so, why the hell didn't he respond to these comments he was so "obsessed" about?

As time wore on, and he wasn't making any strides to get the needed $8000, I posted another question in his forum: What if you don't get the 8 grand? From his response, it seemed like he had no plan to get the money except for us readers to give it to him. However, he responded quickly and politely to my questions...until he didn't anymore. Again, I was left wondering, Do I want to give my money to someone who doesn't have time to answer my questions?

Mike has started getting a little desperate about getting this money. He wants to start his trip/documentary in May. That's about four and a half months from now. And he's got less than $200. Just last week (Jan 25,2005) he posted about "getting the word out." He noted that the web-stats "could be worse - but not by much" and formulated a plan to get the word out via stickers, since he can't afford anything more expensive. I ventured to the forum yet again and asked him if he had considered using cafe press, which could possibly raise awareness and generate money for him. I asked the question on Friday. Has he bothered to respond? No.

I guess I just have to stop reading this blog. It pisses me off too much. I keep feeling the urge to help him, but everytime I reach out to try to form a connection--you know, give myself a reason to hand over my money--he just ignores me. And then he seems so desperate and confused about why his readers aren't forking over the dollars. Maybe if you weren't such an inaccessable asshole, people would give you money. Oh, and the funny thing about the comments, which were "too much for him to handle," is that now he double posts his project:pedal posts on caliblog...which has comments. And then he doesn't even respond to the comments made there! I mean, what is with this guy? Does he really think he's just going to get this cash handed over to him while ignoring the very people who would give it to him?

Well, I'm done with project:pedal. And just to think, last week I almost went to get a money order to send to him. Forget it. I don't exactly hope that he doesn't get the money, but if he keeps going along this way, I would be shocked if he did. At least from his readership. Maybe some great-aunt will die and leave it to him.

16 Comments:

  • Mike left a comment on my site today asking me about cafepress, so I e-mailed him. I haven't heard back from him as of yet. I know someone who could use a $100 money order... *cough*me*cough*

    I'm sorry. I have a cold.

    Just kidding. I don't NEED money. I just want it.

    By Blogger Dan, at 10:45 PM, January 31, 2005  

  • I totally agree. I mean how else do you expect support from your readers, if you're not there, letting them know that you're there. Make the effort. Sheesh.

    And is it just me or what, but dont you think CaliBlog has gone down hill? Like, I mean, way downhill...

    By Blogger D.T., at 11:31 AM, February 01, 2005  

  • Dan, You got a comment from MIKE? That thump you just heard was the sound of me falling to the ground.

    DT, Oh yeah, caliblog's gone way downhill. It basically seems to just be Mike posting now with an occassional word from Amanda....and as Mike doesn't respond to any comments, well, the whole thing feels a little one-sided. Chuck used to post great little stories and stuff that really gave a feel for what life was like out there. Luckily, he's got his own blog now, so we can still hear what he has to say. And then Billy split out and started "generic city" instead of posting on caliblog. I guess what it comes down to for me is that Mike's posts were interesting in the mix, but all alone...not so much, especially when he offers no opportunity to interact with his readers. I really hate it when I ask someone a question in their comments and they never bother to answer. How rude.

    By Blogger Oz, at 12:20 PM, February 01, 2005  

  • yea.. this guy mike sounds like an asshat. maybe he's one of those "hollywood types" who thinks he's too good for the "little people" but doesn't recognize that he's a little person. some people don't realize that fans or whoever.. people who support you are the people that get you places... and this guy.. i dunno.. he just sounds dumb. maybe it's not even a real project.. now he just wants stuff.. like that raft. honestly.. $8000 isn't "that" much and if he was really serious about making his doc then he could charge it all up on credits as a lot of people i know have done. they put so much into their movies when they don't know the outcome just because they believe in it. i'm sorry that this guy sucks.. i hope he goes back to michigan... we don't want him here :P

    anyways.. i don't know if i've harassed you about this yet.. but if you like movies and/or documentaries.. check out "in the realms of the unreal" http://www.realmsoftheunreal.com it's a movie that my sister co-produced :) it's really good and it got two thumbs up from ebert & roeper and was on the short list for the academy awards... WAY better that project pedal. hahah. i don't know if it's playing in PA, but if you ever venture out to NY or something :)

    if you've seen the movie better luck tomorrow.. i could also send you a documentary about the behind the scenes of .. i think the making of.. i'm not quite sure.. i haven't seen it yet.. but it's supposed to be interesting.. and if you like stuff like that :P

    wow.. sorry this comment is so long.. i just hate those kinds of people.

    By Blogger Jean, at 9:33 PM, February 01, 2005  

  • Guess 'ole Mike' will just have to resort to getting his money the same way everyone else does...by working for it. At least it's a sure thing and then he doesn't have to "interact" with anyone except his employer and the bank. Forgive this cynical old fossil... I just always had to work too hard for things. Never asked anyone for money and probably wouldn't get it... Sigh. Car payment's due. Anyone? ~;^)

    By Blogger foxymama, at 10:37 PM, February 01, 2005  

  • Jean, Asshat...heh-heh, that's funny. I, too, have wondered why he doesn't get a bunch of credit cards...or why he hasn't been saving up for this. I mean, he's had this idea for many, many months now. Why not get a second job? He'd have one or two thousand saved up by now from that, probably. Yeah, it would suck--working two jobs--but that's the dealio if you want $8000 to make your movie! BTW, we've got some art house theaters here in Philly. If In the Realm of the Unknown pops up, I'll try to check it out. I think I do remember reading about it on your blog.

    Foxy, That's how it looks to me, too, but who knows? I guess we'll find out closer to May....if I bother to look at that blog again. BTW, the check is in the mail for your car payment. And I assume that I can expect my car insurance payment from you? ;)

    By Blogger Oz, at 11:49 AM, February 02, 2005  

  • Oz, oh yeah, definitely. As a special bonus I decided to include some extra for a manicure or something. ~;^)

    By Blogger foxymama, at 3:05 PM, February 02, 2005  

  • although.. this girl's dog got hit by a car, and her friends emailed people and posted it on some message boards and set up a website and basically people donated the three or four thousand dollars she needed for the dog's operation. i mean.. a)we knew it wasn't a scam, b)this girl is friends with a pop-star and wrote somes poems that he turned into songs that people (his fans) love and c)people were sympathetic and animal lovers. i'm still amazed how total strangers donated all this money to her, and felt like they knew her, and how she got it done basically for free... i guess people can be kind, but it still shocks me.

    By Blogger Jean, at 8:09 PM, February 02, 2005  

  • Well, from the results of his donations so far, it sounds like you're not the only one who feels this way. It sounds like he is going to need to need to figure out that his actions speak louder than his words.

    By Blogger Diva, at 10:31 PM, February 02, 2005  

  • Jean, Yeah, people can give up their money for people they don't know... especially people who are famous or are associated with famous people. I think part of that is because you probably have some evidence that what they want the money for is real (although when it comes down to it, who the hell knows?). I have had some suspicions about Mike.... but not really. I believe him that he wants the money to make this film. But he's going about generating the funds for it the wrong way.

    Diva, Sort of a continuation of the above response, I agree that he's going about getting the money the wrong way. He needed an actual plan for raising the money, based in something concrete--like, "I'm going to save $50 from each one of my checks." You might not get the entire $8000 that way, but you at least know that you're getting something. There's that old saying, "Don't put all your eggs in one basket." Hopefully he'll learn that from this experience. Although who knows, he might get the money from another source in the end.

    By Blogger Oz, at 11:22 AM, February 03, 2005  

  • I think it sucks that I have to investigate organizations (or especially people) before I donate money. I mean, it should just be part of their business to make it totally obvious to me that giving them money is a no-brainer good idea. A not for profit business is still a business. Unfortunately many of them are poorly run businesses.

    I wish you luck in finding an organization that is truly worth your devotion and generosity.

    By Blogger Wheelson, at 12:54 PM, February 03, 2005  

  • Ouch... I've become an "asshat".

    By Blogger Mike, at 4:00 PM, February 04, 2005  

  • hi Oz, i wrote you a kind of private letter that's too big for this comment area but i can't find an email link for you. help me out... how can i get this to you?
    thanks, amanda

    By Blogger The Girl, at 4:43 AM, February 05, 2005  

  • oh yeah... in response to some earlier questions.... mike has applied for numerous credit cards and has been turned down every time for lack of credit. trust me... if he could get his hands on some credit cards he'd max them out in no time to pay for this film. and also.... "hollywood type" ??? he makes about $200 a week!!! the cost of living in LA is very high... we are bottom of the barrel income. we can barley pay rent let alone save extra $ for the film. he's applied for so many editing and other jobs to try and earn extra cash... but without connections in this city, it's not that easy. i don't know why people think that mike is so stupid that his only plan for getting the money for this film is from blog readers. it's really the last place he expects it to come from. he set up the website so that other people, not just from the blogging community, that might be interested in donating or investing can have a place to go and check out info on the film, too.

    By Blogger The Girl, at 5:02 AM, February 05, 2005  

  • i don't know if these people will come back and read this, but here is my response anyways. sorry to philly for using your blog as the medium.

    regarding getting rejected for credit cards.. that sucks. i don't know what to tell you, but i guess i'm glad at least you tried. i read on your project pedal blog that you were proud that you never had a credit, which is good to keep yourself out of debt, but you can always have a credit card and not be in debt and pay it off each month. it's possible... (not in terms for the purposes of this movie.. but just in general).

    regard the "hollywood type" comment.. it has nothing to do with money. you can be broke on your ass but still think you are the shit. you can be the richest person, but still be the nicest. it's not about your status, what list you are on, and whether or not you are starving. it's about attitude, and it came regarding oz's blog about him not responding to her comments and seemingly not appreciating her support. i don't think it was about not having comments on your site.. but just lack of responding in the forum, which you have said you are slow. but it's all hindsight now. besides if people want comments, why not have them? more user participation and awareness is what you wanted yea?

    i know the cost of living is high in LA.. and it's hard to get money and save it... trust me.. i KNOW. it's definitely hard to get a job, especially in the industry. if you REALLY needed money, you can always work retail or food service. even on minimum wage if you worked 40 hrs/week you'd make $400 or so. i think in-n-out starts out at $9.25. or a temp agency, i assume you're smart and computer savvy - they have tons of jobs for anyone. maybe you don't want a 9-5 unrelated job or want more time to devote to your projects, but there are ways out there to make money - no connections necessary.

    and the reason people reading his blog think he wants to generate the $8000 from the donations is because that's what he put on his page. it doesn't state any other plans (until recently) to raise money, so how are people supposed to know? no one said he was stupid... we are just wondering.

    i'm glad that you (mike) made an attempt to answer some of people's concerns. you have to realize that as much as you look forward too and enjoy people's comments in the forum, the feel the same way about a response. and also realize that if you're going to put yourself out there, on the internet for the whole world to see, and ask for people's support... be prepared for feedback, negative or positive about you, your site, your project.. etc etc. personal or not people want to be happy about what they are supporting and even if they like your project, they might be turned away if they think you're an a-hole. i guess just be glad you're not ashlee simpson eh?

    By Blogger Jean, at 3:26 PM, February 09, 2005  

  • Nice site. Check mine out if you can. international investing

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:05 AM, October 25, 2005  

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