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Sunday, 22 March 2009


Mike, some of us would rather make a donation without any strings, never did like recurring payments, please modify so i can make a contribution/payment.
Bill OBrien

There is a "tip jar" in the right-hand column for one-time contributions. It's not the latest version, and I'm going to replace it tomorrow. (People apparently have trouble with it with certain browsers.) I'd get to it tonight, but it's one of those nights with "too much else to do."

Thanks, though.


Mike, I was about to ask for a way to make a donation by PayPal when I noticed the "Contribute a few bucks" button,to the right, just above the archives. How long has that been hiding there? I suspect this is just the thing that Bill OBrien is looking for too. Maybe it's a "Bill" thing. :-) You need to advertise the option or at least make the button more obvious.

What happened to annually?

I don't do paypal, is there another way to subscribe?

Unfortunately, no--

Sorry! But thanks anyway.

I figured once every two years was better for the least expensive option.


When I click on the subscribe button (Safari and Firefox, Mac), I get sent to a Paypal login page, and when I log in, I end up on my Account Overview page on Paypal, not a page to make the subscription...


I'd be happy to contribute, but via paypal involves setting up an account, which means that they store my financial info. in perpetuity, ready to be hacked if and when 128bit is broken. Come up with a non-storing alternative and a sackful of good King George's coin of the realm will be winging its way to a certain traitorous colonial dog.

I click on the pay monthly link, and it takes me to the paypal site and asks me to sign in, but then that's it, am I doing something wrong?

I am glad to "do" a contribution. But... the PayPal program does NOT give me the opportunity to pay by CC, as in your example.
I'm from Amsterdam. That is Europe. Maybe that's why? Please give us, far-out readers a(nother) way to pay.
Happy Reader Bas
(from Amsterdam that is.)

Does this mean no more advertisements? I'll sign up just to get certain ads off!

James M.,

I was at a Microsoft presentation not long ago, and their hacker guru livened up his pitch with some jokes. He was talking about the fear people have of banking online. It went something like this:

"128-bit encryption has been broken. You know how long it took? Six months. You know what that means? DON'T LOG INTO YOUR BANK'S WEBSITE AND LEAVE IT RUNNING FOR SIX MONTHS!"

Oh, and I had no problems with subscribing via PayPal.

For those who are worried about security on PayPal I suggest you get the security widget that generates a one time code that must be appended to your password during login. This pretty well prevents anyone from using your account unless they physically steal the code generator from you.

I'll be sending my contribution along as soon as my funds transfer is completed. The pledge drive model works for me. Just don't start trotting out the 60's Doo Wop singers to pad your audience during pledge time.

It took me a moment to realize that it's 6$ for all subscriptions -- unlike a traditional subscription where the amount increases with periodicity.

I guess I should read the post before pressing the button(s). ;)

Also: I do not get the page you picture here, but a different one that states I have to be registered with PayPal (which I am).

What worked for me [Safari+MacOS] is to login to my PayPal account first, then come back to this post to subscribe, which took me directly to the right PayPal page.

I didn't have any luck with Paypal either, so I tried the donation button via tipjar. So far so good, as that also takes me to Paypal but this time Working;
HOWEVER, the Browser window tells me the new screen where I'm supposed to login is not encrypted. BAD BAD. Sorry but until thats changed by Tip Jar or TOP, I'm not budging.
I can supply a screenshot if required.

If you are already signed into PayPal, then when you click the donate button, it will send you to the correct page. If you are not signed into PayPal or if you do not have PayPal, it will not send you to the correct page.

I went for the "tip jar" instead. My thanks to you and your guest writers for all of the great content!

I'm quite happy to make a contribution for my favourite photo site bar none. Less than the price of one coffee per month for a site that gives me more value than some of the photography magazines I willingly pay for...

By the way, no Paypal problems at all here (Brussels, Belgium), but then I'm using the service since years for my evilbay adventures ;)

"The pledge drive model works for me. Just don't start trotting out the 60's Doo Wop singers to pad your audience during pledge time."

Hmm...Doo Wop singers...

(Reminds me that I keep meaning to take a picture of an oil-change joint near the highway in Chicago. It's called "The Duke of Oil.")


Subscribed - no problems with Paypal.

Keep up the good work Mike!


"It took me a moment to realize that it's 6$ for all subscriptions -- unlike a traditional subscription where the amount increases with periodicity."

Yes, it's a little confusing. The reason I have to do it that way is that PayPal charges me 2.9% plus 30 cents for each payment you make. To get the payment below 32 cents or so per month as a monthly payment, it would actually COST me money. On the other hand, I wanted at least one "significantly inexpensive" option to encourage people to sign up even if they don't have a lot of "disposable" funds.

The way it is, for every $6 payment, PayPal takes 47 cents and I get to keep $5.53. That seemed like a reasonable compromise. I'm assuming that many peoples' participation is going to be relatively price-sensitive, since it's an expenditure nobody has to make in the first place. But on the other hand, the purpose of this is (hopefully, eventually) to give me a certain fairly steady income every month, so I didn't want to make the amount so large that a monthly contribution couldn't be an option.

It's going to take a while to get all the bugs out, like everything else about blogging! (And computers, for that matter!)


Good Lord Michael! Just give them your street address and let those that would like to make an annual donation send a check.

Now I don't want to make anyone feel cheap but remember that any good magazine subscription will set you back a buck (one US dollar for those of you in other countries) a month. And in the time I've been reading, which is since Mike has gone live, there hasn't been a time where any of the nine magazines I receive has come anywhere close to the content I've read here.

Paypal (or something) not working right... I have an acct, I follow your link, it takes me to PP, I sign in, and I'm at my PP homepage, without ever getting to the TOP subscription page. (Same in IE, F'Fox, and Chrome, same problem if I go back to the TOP page and click again on Subscribe.)

Please advise...

Mike, it's great to see you have your stimulus package. :)

For those who can't use PayPal for one reason or another, another good way to contribute is to use the affiliate links the next time you buy from Amazon or B&H. It's easy to bookmark the links for furture purchases. That's the main way I've been helping to support sites I enjoy, including this one.

I've just tried logging in to paypal first and then going to TOP and hitting the subscribe button, but still get the login screen and no subscribe option :(

I think the $6 amount spread over whatever time period you wish is a clever solution.

I left a comment in favour of a subscription model in previous discussions, and now I'm pleased to say that I've put my money where my mouth is.

Keep us posted on how it works out!

Well, now that I am an actual _paying_ customer, I think that it is now my right to be a lot more pushy and demanding about the "product". I say, cut out most of this philosophical and aesthetic fluff and give us more Nikon vs. Canon comparisons. Wait! Wait! No, I've got it! What we need is some Mac vs. Windows PC discussions. Also, there has been a real dearth of pixel peeping on this forum that needs to be addressed post haste. Yeah, that's the ticket!!! =)

FWIW, the PPal option is now working for me, I was able to contribute (with the new IE8, but who knows what "fixed" the situation... maybe PPal took a couple aspirins...)

Here you go, Mike. With gratitude.

I figured I should give you a little token of my appreciation while I still have a job...

How about a post office box address for us, and a dedicated checking account (for deposits only) for you? Would that help some of those reluctant to E-pay?

I'm in for $6/month via Paypal, by the way. This site is much better than waiting....and waiting...for the Seventh Frame, or whatever it was you called your newsletter...

Mike, I intend to set up a monthly contribution via PayPal, but it's supposed to take 2 or 3 days to put the bank's funds in my new account (I've never used PayPal before). Hopefully, when the money's there, I can make the PayPal system work and make the contribution.

Mike, shoot me a mailing address, I'll mail you a check. For cryin' out loud - YEARS ago I had PayPal set up to my Amex card and they still have that in their system. Every time I try to use Pay Pal they send me an automated "that card is already registered...yadda yadda yadda." I am completely at odds with that "service" - even after repeated attempts they cannot seem to get things right. I love TOP, am certainly willing to pay the going freight charge - but send me SOMETHING in the way of a snail mail address where I can send something called a "check" drawn on a "bank" that will furnish you "money".

PayPal may be the bees knees for EBay, but...I'll leave out the rude words. Send me an address. Best regards,


OK, I just signed up monthly. This time it worked smoothly. Not only that, it was the simplest and quickest paypal signup I have ever done, 8 seconds flat! Excellent.

Now that I have paid $6 for a subscription and given a small donation to mcjohnston at your mac account (I didnt see theonlinephtographer account address) I want lots more camera and lens reviews of the ones I am just about to buy :-)

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