Thursday, July 24, 2008

TBCB, We Hardly Knew Ye

Dear Mr. Henry,

My name is Jason and I am the author of the awfully maroon site that you are more than likely not sitting in front of and reading right now. But in the off chance that you are, I have a few things that I would like to address to you regarding this particular post at The Baseball Card Blog.

First, while I'm relatively new to the card blogging world I feel like a grizzled veteran for all of the time and effort I've put into my blog. I, like yourself, have poured my heart and soul into every post thus far (in my opinion, anyone doing anything otherwise should hang it up and move on to something else.) All of that being said, I would love to one day turn my work here into a "paying" career. Considering the above mentioned "time and effort" I'm sure that my wife would like it even more than I. Personally, I have the utmost confidence that I could one day realize that dream of becoming a professional writer.

I feel this way for two reasons. One. I'm one heckuva writer and I know it. Second, and more importantly, I've had readers of this site acknowledge it as much. That's not arrogance, that's knowing your strengths and weaknesses. After having read most all of your work so far, I think you hold true to the same ideal. You know you're good at what you're doing and you're absolutely justified in feeling that way. You're readers have spoken enough to attest to the fact that you are one of the premier writers in our field. You're longevity isn't the true testament to your talents, your words are.

So where am I going with all of this? Good question. If you had stopped at,

"there are very few reasons why you should make a PayPal donation to The Baseball Card Blog"

then I wouldn't feel the need to put in my two cents. Honestly, up until that point, your post had me hooked as usual. But, after reading,

"I've come up with a short list of reasons why you should"

I have decided that The Baseball Card Blog is no longer for me.

I CANNOT honestly say that TNB will never have a "donations" button located on the site. I think this is an outstanding way for readers to contribute to something that has affected their life in some way. I buckled under the pressure to place banner ads on the site weeks ago. Even though my Adense account mirrors my PayPal (big fat goose eggs) at some point, I'm sure a donations button will find it's way on to the blog.

But, for you to give reasons as to why someone, nay anyone, should donate is a low point in what has been an outstanding source of enjoyment for the collecting / blogging world. UNICEF, Red Cross, and PETA should give reasons that you should donate. Not a card blog.

The fact of the matter is this. Giving your readers multiple reasons to donate is akin to a panhandler begging for food on the streets. No, that's not entirely true. That guy wants something for nothing. It's actually a step up from that. It's more like the guy that pops out of the alley at a red light and washes your window with his sleeve and some spit. At least he's providing a service, wanted or not.

Give me reasons? Tell me your house burned down, your child has a rare disease, or you got laid off from work. That's not begging and no one feels guilty if they do or do not contribute. That's more like helping your family out of a jam. Even though you're more like some second cousin's father's aunt's husbands uncle that I've never spoken to or met, you're still in a weird sort of way, my family. I'd be happy to oblige under those circumstances.

But, don't ask me to "donate" based on what you have done or plan to do. Put the button on your site, mention it to me, and then walk away without a "Vote for Benry" speech. Yes, I've officially and affectionately nicknamed you (it may not be original but I like it.) But, don't give me a vicarious guilt trip for agreeing with your reasons but not donating. This may not be your intention, but I feel that many people will see it this way.

I told my readers back in the early days of this blog that,

"I will give you the fair benefit of having personally surveyed your site for myself."

I held true to my word, and while I've somewhat enjoyed reading most of your work I have to say that I will no longer be visiting your blog. Your post represents and ideal I can't contribute to and a mentality I won't condone. I wish you the best of luck with your future endeavors and hope that you find success in your goals.


Treasure Never Buried

Did you guys see that?!? I just slammed one of the giants at my blog! Surely, this will make me more popular!

If you're reading this post and think that this was my intentions, I am here to inform you that you are wrong. This is not some petty ploy to get some attention by bashing a "Legend".

I wholeheartedly disagree with Benry's post and felt the need to distance myself from it. I will probably end up with a donations button here in the future...

A cold, dusty, cobweb ridden button longing for a push...mad at me for not having panhandled to make it happen...

Goodbye, The Baseball Card Blog...

Goodbye, Mr. Henry...


fielderschoice said...

I agree with you most of the time, JV, but I just don't think that Ben's plea for donations was that bad. Mario did it at one point and you even said that you might do it someday. I don't recall any backlash against Mario. We're all free to decide if we want to donate or not, it's not like Ben is forcing people to pay to read his blog. Just my two cents...

Gellman said...

Im a fan of the monopoly cards. Nice job.

James B. Anama said...

Being critical of Ben Henry is nothing new as you're probably not the first to slam the guy.

Now if you started bashing the guy at Wax Heaven, or even the guys at SCU, then you'll see your popularity skyrocket. (End Sarcasm).

Not that I'd suggest doing it or do I plan on doing it myself as we all should be nice to our fellow writers in the blogosphere. But you're right...asking to donate is one thing, but to give reasons like "because I may have inspired you to get back into the hobby or start a blog" is a bit too arrogant in thinking.


JayBee Anama

jv said...

to Dave...what JayBee said. I don't have a problem with the donations or even asking for donations. The fact that he gave reasons was arrogant enough but the reasons themselves are what pushed me away...

Honestly, it's not big a deal to me as I've never been a true fan of the blog anyways. Not that it's bad, just that I don't enjoy it nearly as much as others. I check in about once or twice a week. Or at least I used to.

I've always felt that Ben Henry's blog was a little too smug and arrogant for me and this post just took the cake...

BUT, if everyone will notice, I didn't slam Ben Henry and praised him as much as I felt necessary. AND, I did NOT tell/suggest that anyone else do the same as I did.

To each his own. The Baseball Card Blog is just not a blog for me anymore.

capewood said...

I saw Ben's donation post and thought, he's gonna take some flak for this. Several blog posts today have been all over Ben for this post. Every post I read had comments, mostly not supporting Ben. So I decided to click back to Ben's post to see what people were saying to him directly. Well, he's taken the post down, taken away the donate button and apologized. I guess he got the message.