The Buzz of Bora – The community shows its benevolence

Click the button below to donate to The “I Owe Bora” Benevolence Fund.

Details are at the end of this post. If you have any questions, Gmail me to abelpharmboy.

With all of the ScienceBlogs bashing that has come out the the Pepsigate/SbFAIL episode and subsequent blogger diaspora (renamed “The DiasBora” by Ed Yong at Discover’s Not Exactly Rocket Science), I have to say that it has been an honorable gesture for the network to feature the departure of Bora Zivkovic on the frontpage “buzz” for two consecutive days.

Bora’s manifesto on the history and future of science blogging, networks, and the legacy media is truly a classic piece. View it here at his relocated blog and be sure to bookmark him while you are there. Although it may already be considered “published,” I would strongly recommend that he consider sending it to a scholarly journal. Of course, he may think that it already has a wider audience now than it could in a staid, old format – hey Bora, how ’bout one of them newfangled open access journals?

Nevertheless, all of the associated posts on that frontpage and elsewhere acknowledge the far-reaching influence of Bora in cultivating community, online and in real-life, pay tribute to someone that we all hold dear, literally, world-wide.

I wrote in a tweet a couple of days ago that Bora’s example holds a great lesson for my friends who make a living in personal branding and marketing. Bora is a connector who cares more about other people than, I think, himself. Bora also doesn’t care who gets credit for innovations in communication, only that the innovations happen and benefit us all. For that, he is widely loved and respected, even when people disagree with his arguments. As his wife Catharine noted elsewhere, we just need to find a way to get him a working wage for the  his invaluable skills.

If you aren’t on Twitter or hadn’t realized it, Ed Yong suggested that all of us having tributes to Bora post our tweets with the #IOweBora hashtag. You can read the growing thread here.

Although Bora is culturally Jewish but a practicing atheist, I can’t help but remembering a church response from my days learning calculus from Sister Agnes Mary in the Jersey Meadowlands:

It is right to give him thanks and praise.

But let’s take “I Owe Bora” to a new and literal level. Lots of you know that he has been in a bit of financial difficulty and I know that he’s too proud to ask for help. In standing for his principles, he’s giving up over $100/month from ScienceBlogs and the network is still two months behind on their payments. Several people have asked me how they might help out The Blogfather.

So, I’d like to put up a PayPal donation button for all of us to show our appreciation to Bora and put our money where our mouths are (and tweets and posts are). This is an authentic request and you can hold me trustworthy – I live 10 mi/16 km from Bora and this is the same PayPal account I used to accept banquet payments for the ScienceOnline2010 meeting. When you donate, you will get a confirmatory e-mail from my personal, real-name account. Bora knows where I live so he will hunt me down if I do not hand over every penny to him, minus whatever PayPal charges are incurred based on how you pay.

Click the button below to donate to The “I Owe Bora” Benevolence Fund.

You can use credit, debit, or your own PayPal account.

As an incentive I will keep a donor acknowledgment roll on a separate page and will link to your blog, Twitter account, professional site, business site – whatever – just send me the URL in an e-mail or if the comment box is big enough. However, I won’t list the amounts because the point is to thank Bora within the confines of your own financial means. If you don’t wish for your name or blog to appear, let me know in the comment box on the donation page. Of course, these contributions are not tax-deductible but you will have the satisfaction of knowing you have helped out the man who has helped all of us.

21 thoughts on “The Buzz of Bora – The community shows its benevolence

  1. Pingback: Twitted by drugmonkeyblog

  2. Pingback: #IOweBora, do you? « DrugMonkey

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  4. Hang on, if regular readers who merely appreciate Open Access journals very very very much (and happen to work for The Man) donate, would that inadvertently make Bora or you an official Shill for The Man?

    Oh well, I sent some beer money anyways. I will understand if you reckon that it is an unacceptable compromise though. Also, I sent money because today I had a long argument with Elsevier over why paying this thing called a “subscription with full text 1966-present” should entitle me to read the articles, so I’m feeling a bit vindictive this evening.

  5. Pingback: IoweBora, do you? And a History of Sci. « Are you Scicurious?

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  9. Wow! Abel, I am speechless. Please know that EVERY SINGLE PENNY will be put to good and careful use. Also, please understand that we would *never* accept this money unless it is absolutely necessary (it is). We are about one month away from being homeless, we park in odd places to avoid the repo man, and worst of all we have literally reached the level of hunger. A couple of weeks ago, all four of us (adults AND kids) stayed up all night for two or three nights in a row. We couldn’t sleep. We were hungry, there was no food, no money and tremendous pressure on all of us. (We are allowed one trip to the food bank per month, and when we recover, I’m going to give very generously back to them.) As far as extended family is concerned; Bora’s side is *extremely* generous and helps whenever they can but my side, in spite of being wealthy, would sit by and watch us starve to death before any one of them would help in any way. (They don’t want to “enable” our irresponsible behavior, etc.) When I was growing up, I thought that if one’s family had to shop at K-Mart, that crossed a threshold, set the standard for being poor. What I have learned since is that even though we do struggle financially, in terms of the things we value, we are far richer than the wildest dreams of our imagination. But, yeah, eating is sort of important — especially for teenagers. Bora will likely be unhappy that I have announced the details of our money problems to the world. But I think it’s only fair: if you are being asked to give, then you should have some idea of our actual situation. Thank you one and all for your support (financial and otherwise). It means the world to us, not to mention our children. May that which you give come back to you 1,000 fold! And Abel, may you always move from strength to strength.

    • I’ve been hanging off donating to the fund until payday. It’s payday tomorrow, and since I have some surplus, it goes to………….. BORA(T).

      Sorry, I couldn’t donate more, but glad to help out like everyone else.

      As Bill says, thanks a bunch for this, Abel.


      • Instant apology. I have just watched a programme on the BBC about online payments. This was only my second usage of PayPal, and as such, one was curious.

        Sorry for my curiosity about an anon. name that I had not seen before.


      • No, no…no apology needed. aidel is sort of my pen name, and fb name so that I’m not found by inappropriate people (think work, etc.) I’m also just a smidge off sometimes (mentally). So I wanted to make sure I haven’t done anything offensive to you.

  10. I remember some time back (a year or two) Chris of Mixing Memory and his Girlfriend were in need and I did my bit then too; however I don’t suppose that was enough as Mixing Memory never posted much again. Blogging returns are pretty nebulous; so more than money, I believe the fact that so many people are actually putting their money where there mouth is, feels good and provides great emotional support, and a rationale for a ll the effort one has put in.
    I’ll request Abdel Pharmboy to keep monitoring Bora’s financial situation and let us know on a monthly basis the need for additional donations!

  11. Pingback: #IOweBora update: You people are amazing « Terra Sigillata

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