December 18th, 2003


Free as in speech or free as in LiveJournal credit?

As discussed a few days ago, LiveJournal invite codes are now deader than; if you feel like starting an account, fire away, no charge, no invite code required. (Or just go and play with their audio test to ensure that it's people rather than spamming robots who are starting up new accounts. It's kind of nifty.) This means that many people have invite codes left and nothing to do with them.

As discussed, these invite codes can now be converted into LiveJournal credit; the exchange codes for credit page will do the business. You can use the free credit coupon you generate for paid time, for extra icon time or for rename tokens. (Nifty, ne? You can't use the credit towards clothing, though.) You can use the coupon yourself, but you don't have to do so; all coupons are transferable, so if you have a permanent account and don't need to spend money on LiveJournal any further, you can do with the coupon as you will. Christmas comes early for someone with an early present of LiveJournal credit, perhaps.

The rate you'll get is $½ of credit for each of your first ten codes and $¼ of credit for each of your next eighty.
  • 4 codes = $2 of credit = two free months of extra icons;
  • 10 codes = $5 of credit = two free months of paid time;
  • 14 codes = $6 of credit = six free months of extra icons;
  • 30 codes = $10 of credit = one free year of extra icons;
  • 50 codes = $15 of credit = six free months of paid time = rename token;
  • 90 codes = $25 of credit = one free year of paid time.
Gentle but nevertheless sharp intake of breath from around the LJ world, I suspect; not what people were hoping for, particularly for the people with fewer than four codes to convert. You can use a $0.50 coupon (or a $1 coupon, etc.) as part payment towards some item; you can combine coupons generated by multiple accounts and so forth.


I have $25 in my PayPal account which I intend to use to buy a paid account for a year. However, I would rather use this $25 to go to the American Cancer Society Holiday Campaign instead. If the world e-mails me (e-mail to jiggery_pokery att livejournal dott com) a total of $25 worth of valid LiveJournal coupons, I will use the $25 which I have earmarked for this year of paid account to go to the ACS instead.

(Deadline: Christmas Day; if I raise less than $25 then I will return all the coupons unused; if I raise more than $25 then I will use $25 of coupons as exactly as possible and return the rest of the coupons unused; if I use the coupons and fail to donate the aforementioned $25 to charity then you are free to spit and stamp upon me before trashing my reputation as a foul-hearted blackguard; all donations will be anonymous, but feel free to claim having made a donation in a comment. Void if LiveJournal voids it or if it otherwise all goes pear-shaped.)

Why the American Cancer Society? Well, largely because I know they take PayPal. :-) (PayPal highlighted four charities and I picked the ACS from the four by whim.) If you'd rather some other charity got the benefit instead, feel free to go ahead and repeat this scheme yourself. If I raise $50 instead of $25, I'm not going to buy two years of paid time in one go and donate $50 instead, though. :-)

It's an experiment. Let's see what happens, if anything.

Current total: $25¼ - BINGO!

Thanks to your fantastic generosity, we managed to reach the $25 goal (actually, the way it's turned out, an odd number of codes means that we're giving it 101%) in about six hours or so. This is wonderful and far better than I was anticipating. Please do not send me any more coupons; I shall return any further coupons unsent. If someone else wishes to start a similar coupons-to-charity scheme to benefit some charity, I would be absolutely thrilled to promote it here instead.

Many thanks to LiveJournal for giving out the free coupons, but even more thanks to you all for having the kindness not to use the free coupons for yourselves and funding the donation. I'm just the intermediary here; you're the ones being generous.
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6 hours, $25

Not a vastly interesting post, this, just a lj-cut hiding some pictures to show the process being transparent and working as intended.

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The net result of today's effort is that my PayPal account is -$25.25 and my LiveJournal account is + one year's paid time, so I'm not out of pocket, but that $25.25 of people's coupons have been used and that the American Cancer Society has gained to the tune of $25.25.

It's that easy. Who's next - which user and which charity?

Many thanks to LiveJournal for handing out all these coupons in the first place, but particular thanks to the selfless LiveJournal users who spent their coupons on giving to charity rather than on their own accounts. You're the good guys; I'm just the facilitator.
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