pjk pjk at design.eng.yale.edu
Thu Dec 12 15:06:27 EST 2002

Subject:   Cyberbegging

Never let it be said that I don't keep you abreast of the latest
Internet developments.  --PJK

(from NewsScan Daily, 12 December 2002)

Begging is a booming business. Yahoo is renaming its "begging"
category to  "e-panhandling," and an increasing number of specialized
Web sites have  been designed to ask you to give other people your
money. Some examples:  Karyn Bosnak begged and received $20,000 to pay
off her credit card debt;  Penny Hawkins is asking for money to finish
nursing school and divorce her  husband; Rich Schmidt wants money to
help him get on the David Letterman  show. Let's hear from Schmidt,
who is a freelance music marketer: "To me,  the Internet is creative
anarchy. I just wanted to make my mark. I thought,  what if 1% of the
Web surfers out there sent me a dollar. That was the  impetus for the
idea... I get a lot of e-mail from people who really have  hardships
and are asking for advice. If they think they are going to get  rich
doing it, they aren't. My goal was to be a guest on the David 
Letterman show, having gotten hundreds of thousands of dollars. Who
knows?  I may still get there. ... I think when people come to the
site they think,  'I wish I had thought of it,' and in the spirit of
that they give me a  dollar." ... So you're going to give him a
dollar? Really? Then give  NewsScan a dollar, so we, too, can get on
the Letterman show -- or, failing  that, so we can have your dollar.
(Reuters/San Jose Mercury News 12 Dec 2002)

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