Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Compelling And Successful Cyber Begging Campaigns

Cyber begging and internet panhandling has many names and definitions, however the idea is the same; to ask for money on the internet. Just like everything else, the idea was taken from off the streets and into the long series of tubes known as the internet.

The exact first known instance of begging is unknown, however there are many articles that point to 1997 and 1998 where the early examples of cyber begging emerged. One particular case is that of Karyn Bosnak, who launched, a website that blatantly explained that Karyn had accrued over $20,000 in debt and took her story to the internet. Over the course of several years, Karyn added new features to her website and updated the amount she collected and ways she was saving to meet her goal. After she finally conquered her debt, she turned her site to be more about the dangers of credit card abuse and about her experience cyber begging, but no longer accepted donations. She later earned a book deal and is now an advocate for saving and living a debt-free life.

Karyn's example of internet panhandling is one of millions these days. But why did her story work and so many others suffering with their donation pages.

It's the story.

Humans are attracted to compelling stories, as it is a natural evolution of our species. Sitting around hearing and listen to stories is as natural to us as yawning.

Karyn's story began with her problem. She knew she had an addiction to Starbucks and designer clothing and had accumulated tens of thousands of dollars in debt. She started a cyber begging website with the little money she had left. She truthfully explained her story and created an entertaining website. Her story was picked up my the media, and little-by-little she climbed her way to her goal. Upon completing her goal she reorganized her website to teach what she had learned.

Now that's a compelling story! There have been many other similar stories like this, and truthfully explaining your compelling story and following through with updates appears to be the most direct way to have a successful cyber begging campaign. Once again here is the essential list you need:
  • Truthfully explain your situation
  • Set a goal
  • Update your progress
  • Announce your success and pay-it-forward

If you plan on choosing the cyber begging route to reduce some of your financial pain, take the time to be honest, truthful, and explain your story and situation in a compelling way. Even if you know that you are the cause for your financial misery, many anonymous donors have sometimes been in your situation and are willing to help out. It never hurts to try.

1 comment:

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