Friday, July 19, 2013

Money, Blogging, Charity, and CentUp

I don't blog to make money (thankfully. If I did, I think I'd need to be admitting defeat right about now.)

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I do, however, spend a lot of time writing and researching posts for this blog. I also spend a lot of time reading other people's brilliantly researched and enlightening posts. In fact, blogs have given me the opportunity to learn and grow in a conversation loop that is invaluable. How can you put a price on that?

You can put a price on it because its not free. There are hosting costs and technological investments, but by far the biggest cost for most bloggers is time. This is important because we've gotten to a point where we sometimes expect content for free. I know that I'm a big fan of watching music videos, listening to songs, and reading poems, stories, and journalism online without having to pay a subscription fee for any of it. 

Still, there are a lot of complicated ethical problems surrounding all of these issues. As we talked about on this blog when Gina of The Feminist Breeder moved to a pay model (which she says is working well. Go Gina!), the hidden costs of free online content is tied up with feminism, classism, and the general concern over the value of the humanities and arts. 

I've been looking for a good way to pay for the media that I consume online. It's not that I want something for nothing. (I still buy physical CDs! I never pirate television shows! I care!) But I couldn't possibly pay even a $5/month subscription service for the blogs I read. I just went and checked my Feedly stream. I have over 150 blogs on that list. Even if I narrowed it down to the blogs that I read the most, there are at least 50 blogs that I read regularly, and they are in very different areas covering diverse perspectives. I cannot afford to pay $250/month to read blogs. 

Pictured: Not mine. 
But I can afford $20. Some months I can probably afford a little more. I would never be able to pick just one or two blogs, but I would love to be able to give a little here and there to all of the different blogs I read. 

But there hasn't been any easy way to do that. 

Now there is. CentUp is a new service that puts a share button at the bottom of a blog post, music video, photograph, etc. If you like it, you push "CentUp" and it takes a penny (or more, if you want) out of your pre-loaded account and gives it to the creator. 

But that's not all

CentUp is split between the creator and a charity of the creator's choice. You not only help support great creative content directly; you also help support important causes of all kinds.

So, two things:

1) "CentUp" Balancing Jane- If you read a post on here that you like, and you'd like to give me a penny or two, there is now a "CentUp" button at the bottom of the post. If you click it, you'll first be prompted to make an account. After that, you can use the money you put in that account to reward bloggers, musicians, photographers, etc. for the content you enjoy across the web. Which brings me to . . .

2) Put "CentUp" on Your Own Work- I'm very excited about the opportunity to pay the bloggers and video creators that create work I enjoy, but they have to have a "CentUp" account so that I can give them some money. If you're a creator, consider adding an account to your site so that I (and the rest of your fans) can help support your hard work!

Any money that you give here on Balancing Jane through CentUp will be split with Pencils of Promise, an organization that works to build schools around the world and invest in local teachers to support education. 


  1. Yay! I love that you adopted this instantaneously! I think it's a smart concept and I am excited to see how quickly it catches on.

  2. I really, really want to see the blogs I read using it. I would love the chance to compensate for the great writing I read every day! Thanks for telling me about it.

  3. Ooh, this is a really cool idea! I might put this on my blog as well.

  4. That is awesome! I just signed up. What a great program.

  5. Are you using it yet? I'm on a mobile versionm and don't see any link...

  6. Hmm...I just went to sign up, but found out you have to preload your account with a minimum of $10. I know that's not a lot, but money's pretty tight for me at the moment, so I'm trying to spend as little as possible. :-/

    For now, I might just put a paypal donate button on my blog, and think about signing up for CentUp once my job situation is a bit more stable.

  7. I am using it, but I'm on my mobile now and don't see it either. I'll check it out. Thanks!

  8. Knights of Columbus InsuranceAugust 21, 2013 at 5:07 AM

    To do charity for a good cause is very good thing to do its good if we donate small part of our salary to needy person. This is really a good post.