oddly enough

E-Begging. Find your favorite beggar – online

Karyn - needs another $17.000The weirdest things happen on the internet. Here‘s another story (link in German) which lives up to that standard.

Karyn is living in NYC. She is working for a tv-station. And while she is not the minor celebrity in the major city impersonated by Sarah Jessica Parker in Sex And The City, Carrie Bradshaw and Karyn do have something in common: both have a strange relationship with expensive designer shoes. And both spent way too much money on them. But that’s where the similarity ends.

In fiction, there’s always a divorced friend who hands out $30.000 engagement rings. In reality, you end up with a huge credit card debt – which is precisely what happened to Karyn. So, lacking the diamond ring, she opened an account with PayPal and designed a webpage to make people donate money to help her pay off the debt she incurred due to obsessive shopping. Check it out.

Now weird things attract everyone’s attention. Just remember the freak shows of earlier, less pc, days. So the word is spreading and that attention is translating into money for Karyn. She claims to have already been given $3000.

I find that stunning, to say the least. But while I am intruiged by her chuzpe to put up such a site, I wonder whether speeding up the process of repaying her designed debt is really money well spent. And there are more people who think that way. As n-tv.de reports, two of them have even created a website dedicated to keeping people from giving money to Karyn – www.dontsavekaryn.com.

These two guys also ask for money on their page – but not to pay off any debt – just to, literally, burn it. In case they can raise enough to buy a pair of designer shoes, they will buy one and then burn it.

As strange as both projects appear to be, maybe it is more useful to think of them as well crafted services: Karyn offers a glimps on begging 2.0 (with the added value of non invasive, client controlled cyber-contact, online debt count-down, etc.) and her adversaries market a service for all those who are appalled by someone who is asking for money for lack of self-control.

In the end, both parties demonstrate significant entrepreneurial spirit. But anyway – I won’t give a penny to either of them.