I would like to see a world where public art provides a routing mechanism through which people can financially support the artist directly, even in micropayments, and where books provide a similar mechanism for people to send money back to the publisher and author(s) - even if they are not buying the book new, but are merely borrowing it or have bought it used.
In the meantime we have paypal - when paypal first came around, we all had high hopes that it would be a good answer to person-to-person financial transactions, and for people who have personal paypal accounts tied to bank accounts, it does provide a way to exchange money at a distance without the fees and interest rate bother of credit cards (in fact, now Paypal pays me interest on the money I keep in my paypal account) or the requirement that one of the people in the transaction must be a business. But all the world didn't buy into this concept, and so paypal started accepting credit card payments as well, and the credit card companies charge fees, and therefore so does paypal, for upgraded accounts that accept credit card payments.
And there is also now a stigma associated with putting a paypal donation button on your website -- I don't know where this came from, but I was talking to a local political candidate about it and she said something about how taking paypal seemed somehow lower class, or something (that's really not what she said, but the gist of it was that paypal is a sort of shabby secondhand beggars tool, as opposed to high class donation tool). I refuse to accept that! I have encouraged any organization I support to accept paypal - I asked Planned Parenthood Online why on earth they do not and I got an email just recently saying they will soon. You don't have to qualify for a line of credit to use paypal, you just have to be able to open a bank account (I do suggest using something other than your primary bank account)-for those who have access to the internet, it is in fact more accessible to have a paypal account than a credit card.
So despite the fees for upgraded accounts, I support the idea that everyone should get a paypal account, and especially that everyone who is an artist -- sculptor, singer, author, etc., in our society should be both technically and philosophically prepared to accept funds this way. Because we ought to support our artists, and not just through Buying Stuff.
So the long and the short of this overly long statement is that I'd like people to help me convince at least one creative friend of mine to do this: the author Steven Brust. He's balking on principles that are admirable by the value system he grew up in, but which I think are outdated and wrong. His email address is skzb -@- dreamcafe.com (take out the spaces and the dashes to use as an email address). If you have a paypal account, please paypal skzbrust some small amount of money - but at least $2 - and see if we can't convince him to get a paypal account and get set up to accept donations.