Karyn has been saved.
November 11, 2002 4:26 PM   Subscribe

Karyn has been saved. Her $20k debit has been paid off thanks to her website. 18 months of buying crap at department stores with credit cards were paid off even though her web site wasn't fancy, her story wasn't all that tragic, and many found it hard to sympathize with her . so what have we learned? is this a success story? is this another fine example of the web wielding it's magic? or will this open a can of worms for the next jackass who overspends and hopes the society will pay for their ills?
posted by tsarfan (77 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Every once in a while (and more often these days, it seems), the idea of becoming an ex-pat appeals to me in ways I cannot fully explain.
posted by oflinkey at 4:32 PM on November 11, 2002


So, Karyn, whatcha going to buy now?
posted by devbrain at 4:36 PM on November 11, 2002


excuse me. I need to puke.
posted by crunchland at 4:36 PM on November 11, 2002


I still can't believe people gave her money.
I'm sure this has been beat to death in other threads on this very subject, but I wonder if she was a he or didn't have a hint of hotness to her if she would have made it.
posted by dig_duggler at 4:37 PM on November 11, 2002


Never underestimate a damsel in distress, and the deep yearning for some people to be the knight in shining armor.

I dare say this would have been a complete failure if it was savekyle.com.
posted by Stan Chin at 4:37 PM on November 11, 2002


so what have we learned?

Pretty simple really: the first person that comes up with a novel idea and executes it properly is often financially successful.
posted by mathowie at 4:39 PM on November 11, 2002


so what have we learned?

I'm going to set up a web site for my girlfriend so that she can beg for donations to build a better barn for her goats.

The poor things, Babette and Cleo, are miserable in their current shelter, a half-shed made of wood and aluminum scrap.

The fact that she has $40,000 in outstanding vet school loans bears no relation the the $45,000 price tag of the barn we want to build them.
posted by moonbiter at 4:41 PM on November 11, 2002


what mathowie said.
when i was a kid there was some guy who got ann landers or dear abby to print his story in a column. (i think he wanted everybody to send him one penny so he could pay for college) and it worked like a charm.
so who's got the next big idea?
posted by dolface at 4:42 PM on November 11, 2002


Well, for sheer amusement value, was this really so bad?
Gave me a laugh, anyway. I didn't send her a dime either.

What I want to know is what financial shape will she be in a year from now?
posted by konolia at 4:43 PM on November 11, 2002


Karyn has been saved.

Thank god. Now I can sleep at night.

the first person that comes up with a novel idea and executes it properly is often financially successful

Not always.
posted by gsteff at 4:44 PM on November 11, 2002


CNN covers this web marvel but not Modest Needs? Depressing.
posted by OneSmartMonkey at 4:46 PM on November 11, 2002


$10 says next May we'll be sending her more money because she has problems with the IRS.
posted by cjoh at 4:57 PM on November 11, 2002


Though I never gave her any money, I have to admit I checked up on Karyn from time to time. There were usually pretty funny little bits in "The Daily Buck," and the letters section was likewise entertaining. What have we learned? That content will get you traffic, I think.
posted by Gilbert at 5:03 PM on November 11, 2002


"when i was a kid there was some guy who got ann landers or dear abby to print his story in a column. (i think he wanted everybody to send him one penny so he could pay for college) and it worked like a charm."

Yep. That was my friend Jack Hayes' brother, Mike Hayes, and Bob Greene (recently disgraced for having a fling with a 18 year old reader years ago) was the columnist who wrote about it. Details here.

It's the only "sounds like an urban legend" issue where I can honestly say: "That was a friend of a friend" and am able to cite names and stats.
posted by GaelFC at 5:10 PM on November 11, 2002


What if

What if the debt thing wasn't true to begin with
What if she wasn't in debt but simply craved the kind of People magazine, Today show fame she actually got
What if it simply was a self-promoting publicity stunt
What if people actually gave her only a few bucks, or anyway not the 13,000+ bucks she claims they gave her

To me, this is all more believable than the alternative, i.e. that people actually sent her good money only because she bought stuff she couldn't afford -- and she didn't even raffle off sexual favors to get that kind of money

Never underestimate a damsel in distress

I'm actually a fan of Damsel in this Dress, check out the mp3's
Also here
posted by matteo at 5:18 PM on November 11, 2002


I'm announcing the formation of "send a quarter to amberglow"
(inflation) A healthy glow is important, and requires maintenance. Anyone wanna donate?
posted by amberglow at 5:21 PM on November 11, 2002


amberglow, only if you show us your tits.
posted by WolfDaddy at 5:23 PM on November 11, 2002


the pierced one or the other one?
posted by amberglow at 5:24 PM on November 11, 2002


Neither of those. We want nubbins. We know you got 'em. Stop being so coy. Otherwise, you're Karyn. And we learned with her.
posted by WolfDaddy at 5:25 PM on November 11, 2002


'the first person that comes up with a novel idea and executes it properly is often financially successful'

sometimes they have so many novel ideas that it's hard to believe they are not successful.
'1972 company formed...his inventions were a pocket-sized calculator with advanced mathematical functions, an inexpensive digital wristwatch, and a tiny television with a 2-inch screen.'
can you guess who it is yet?

matteo, you old cynic! (either way it's all pretty loopy).
posted by asok at 5:25 PM on November 11, 2002


sometimes they have so many novel ideas that it's hard to believe they are not successful.

You mean this guy? He invented an inside the shell scrambler for christ sakes! Milestones people.
posted by Stan Chin at 5:31 PM on November 11, 2002


Well all the people that linked to her web site, while giving her both barrels, were doing her a huge favor. If her critics had just ignored her, it's doubtful her web site could have generated the buzz it did.
posted by Beholder at 6:02 PM on November 11, 2002


Did she say something in that article about a movie?? wtf

On a related note: we'd hit it
posted by Degaz at 6:04 PM on November 11, 2002


Look, no one would have given a damn about the welfare of some little Cuban boy if he was fat, crippled, and missing an eye. The corollary to Matt's observation is this: you can be successful at something with the method he mentioned if you're the first to try, but always if you're photogenic, and thusly capable of having an entire media culture eat bullshit out of the palm of your hand. Oh look, young little white girl doesn't know how credit cards work... she's like Rachel on Friends! Aaaawwwwwwwwww. I want to be part of it!

And just like any new fad, any repeat or imitation will be met with lackluster interest... our own karma hopes that the next person to try this will be, in fact, Karyn again, and fall flat on her face like a modern-day Boy who Cried Debt.

And I disagree with this whole "just ignore it" concept. The internet has already proven that it's the kind of genre that refuses to be ignored. New paradigms on the internet are never just ignored; they either succeed, fail, or are exposed as a hoax or fraud and eliminated as a result.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:16 PM on November 11, 2002


Matt nailed it - many things only work the first time someone tries the idea. Dancing hamsters. Jennicam. Ummmm, what else - a community weblog that filters web content?
posted by yhbc at 6:46 PM on November 11, 2002


Jennicam spawned a very profitable industry home reality webcams for pay there are thousands. I suspect this type of thing will continue to take off. People get a thrill out of donateing money, they get to choose. Have you ever seen a street person and given money? And than someone else and not? Some people liked Karen, some didnt. What if there was a directory of 100 websites of creative people vieing for you attention and money. It would be fun to donate to those who seem worthy, $1 each doesnt matter.
posted by stbalbach at 7:49 PM on November 11, 2002


Oh wow, it only took her twenty weeks to pay off her debt. Thats like, (summoning my insanely powerful mathematical abilities) a thousand dollars a week.

Never in a million years did I actually think this would work. But I thought it was worth a shot, and look what happened. Yippie! So what to do next... well, I'm writing a book that is scheduled to come out in Fall 2003. It'll be the funny story of what happened, sort like "Confessions of a Shopoholic" meets "Bridget Jones." Welcome to my wacky world! So look for it then! Buy it up!


Urge to kill...rising...
posted by joedan at 8:01 PM on November 11, 2002


Jennicam stumbled upon something special, but something that never goes out of style: sex. I doubt there will be other save karyns meeting any of the success she did.

Just like I don't think we'll ever see another dotcomguy.

Just like I don't think you'll see another Chris 'n Luke, the "sponsor us to college" guys.
posted by mathowie at 8:02 PM on November 11, 2002


So I'm on my way to the local Blockbuster and this guy comes to me asking for change...

At least he doesn't seem so happy and content about his financial situation, making it easier for me to empathise.
posted by Electrin at 8:34 PM on November 11, 2002


Have you ever seen a street person and given money?

Of course not. Like I said, we see the homeless on the street and think dirty, scary, will buy booze and/or drugs. Karyn was the online equivalent of feeding the pigeons in the park while ignoring the guy on the bench asking for bread. Save the dolphins, to hell with the tuna.

And joedan, don't be too upset about the book deal. "I'm writing a book" means "I was paid a few grand to let someone else make a moderate sum of money writing about my alleged "adventure." I mean, really. How long, or good, is a book about updating a website for five months going to be?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:34 PM on November 11, 2002


Probably not that long, she will likely want to hurry up and sell those film rights.
posted by lucien at 8:50 PM on November 11, 2002


How long, or good, is a book about updating a website for five months going to be?

Incidently, Metafilter: The Telemovie is set to start pre-screening in February. Fascinating stuff!
posted by Neale at 8:54 PM on November 11, 2002


I can't believe this domain name is still free.
posted by skryche at 8:58 PM on November 11, 2002


What if there was a directory of 100 websites of creative people vieing for you attention and money.

Expect to see such a site posted here on Metafilter within the next 60 days....
posted by rushmc at 9:06 PM on November 11, 2002


Well now. pleasepayformytriptoamsterdam.com. C'mon folks, I've never been.
posted by gummi at 9:16 PM on November 11, 2002


we see the homeless on the street and think dirty, scary, will buy booze

I always think of Charles Bukowski..."you have to have stamina to be a real drunk" (Barfly)
posted by stbalbach at 9:22 PM on November 11, 2002


Stan sez: Never underestimate a damsel in distress, and the deep yearning for some people to be the knight in shining armor.

I think you hit the nail on the head there old boy.

I do not have the wherewithal to parse her "thank you" page, but I would be very interested to know the breakdown by sex of her contributors. Particularly, I would like to know the sex and amount of her largest 10 contributors, and the totals by sex.

And, what xqhasenfeffer said.
posted by Ynoxas at 9:26 PM on November 11, 2002


the first person that comes up with a novel idea and executes it properly is often financially successful

Not always.
posted by luckyclone at 9:41 PM on November 11, 2002


the first person that comes up with a novel idea and executes it properly is often financially successful

Not always.
posted by luckyclone at 9:42 PM on November 11, 2002


> Other anti-Karyn sites asked people to donate money to charity
> rather than finance her "bikini wax binge and Prada party.

Well, I was wondering why people would be giving directly to a person
rather than giving to a charity. It might have worked for her
(although, for each dollar contributed to her endeavor, how many more
contributed to charities? Do people giving to her also giving to
charities anyways or did she really struck a chord?)

It certainly doesn't work as dramatically well for your 'round the
corner.

It all depends on how to do it. I wonder if one could pull the stunt
of exclusively living off people's charity -- you can imagine the
site (I haven't searched.)
posted by NewBornHippy at 10:03 PM on November 11, 2002


There should have been a backlash site: karynsave.com.

Comma and bang implied, naturally.

And as for something that is simultaneously lamer and more self-sustaining, Boobies to Florida {NSFW! NSFW!} -- where nipplage is the come-on for underwriting a plane ticket, and excess donations at least go to charity.
posted by dhartung at 10:33 PM on November 11, 2002


What's next you ask? The multi-level marketing scheme to get everyone out of debt.

We just saw it in action: Karyn now has 10,000+ people in her downline. She will teach those 10,000 how to relieve their debt by putting friends and family in their own downlines. Wow. I can't wait to be approached at the local bookstore by that guy in the tie who asks me if I "want to be freed from the burden of debt?" rather than the usual "would you like to make more money?". It will be such a refreshing change.
posted by nix at 10:35 PM on November 11, 2002


the whole thing pisses me off, especially the news media who trumpeted her story and never once ridiculed her. Pathetic.
posted by chaz at 12:15 AM on November 12, 2002


I wonder if one could pull the stunt
of exclusively living off people's charity


Here is a site that tries to do that, and so far he's been quite successful!
posted by sebas at 1:32 AM on November 12, 2002


Do luckyclone posts always come in pairs? /off topic

$45,000 for a two goat barn? Sounds no different from the reality check needed during Karyn's spending spree. /still off topic
posted by Dick Paris at 3:33 AM on November 12, 2002


i love Karen, she so coool.
posted by carfilhiot at 4:09 AM on November 12, 2002


i like karyn too, good on her,
sorry to digress but please folks ...
learn the power of the time cube, huh?

"I plan to sue academic institutions for multi-
millions of dollars for their endangering the
lives of children through brainwashing and
indoctrination stupidity. I am seeking sharp
attorney interested in a case that transcends
the excitement of the Scopes Monkey Trial.
"

now theres an original way to make money!
(he could make money supplying fall lyrics)

whats your best idea for making money?
so far, mine is praying before buying a lottery ticket.
posted by sgt.serenity at 4:34 AM on November 12, 2002


luckyclone- you call that Time Cube site executing a novel idea properly?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 4:46 AM on November 12, 2002


Karyn has been saved. - You should have titled it: Karyn has been ENABLED

She had just taken a job as a producer for King World Productions on a short-lived reality courtroom program called "Curtis Court." Earning "well over $100,000 a year,"

In April, she finally got a job on the Animal Planet show "Dog Days," but took more than a 50 percent pay cut.

So lets say she's making at least $50,000 a year (thats less than half of the "well over $100,000" she was earning) and do fast math:

50K divided by 52 weeks of the year = 961.54 a week times 4 = 3846.15 a month. Subtract 30% (I doubt she's paying that much) for taxes = 2692.31 per month.

I didn't think it would be that much, and now I am sickened all the more by this.
posted by CoolHandPuke at 5:18 AM on November 12, 2002


A few of my responses the the statement:

On a related note: we'd hit it

Stink of failure...still on me...won't wash off...

On a related note: we'd hit it

I wouldn't touch her with YOUR wee-wee, let alone my own.

On a related note: we'd hit it

Yeah with a 2x4 upside the head.

On a related note: we'd hit it

Only if she took me on a shopping spree first.
posted by CoolHandPuke at 5:25 AM on November 12, 2002


For every dollar you send me, I will not post in MetaFilter for one day.
posted by briank at 5:57 AM on November 12, 2002


Dudes, there is this awesome wicked car that I'm totally into buying. It's only like $20,000 USD. I don't have that kind of money right now, but I figured if like, each of you could send in like a dollar or two, I'd be set, you know?

Whattya think? Will you help a guy out?
posted by Fabulon7 at 5:58 AM on November 12, 2002


I enjoyed Karyn's site. It was some fluffy fun. I also enjoyed reading people having vein-rupturing rants about how ev-ul she was.

Ha! People really get their knickers in a twist over the strangest things these days...as riviera asked in the original MeFi thread, 'Though isn't the difference between her site and the entire advertising industry -- 'I deserve this, and someone else should pay for it' -- just a matter of degree?

Save your ire for the real ev-ul kids...
posted by i_cola at 6:15 AM on November 12, 2002 [1 favorite]


I think the demographic data of who gave her money would be pretty interesting.

Is this that much different from all those young girls with Amazon wish lists on their blogs? Well, at least if you buy into the whole "this only works if you're cute and female" angle.
posted by mkultra at 6:50 AM on November 12, 2002


I'm writing a book

Anyone spot a possible "It was all done for the publicity" thing going on here?

Goodgood...
posted by twine42 at 7:00 AM on November 12, 2002


hmmm dont know about the enabling cause i dont
know the whole story,
i am thinking about the wider issue of so many people
being in debt these days.
if a politician were to run on a debt cancelling platform........
posted by sgt.serenity at 7:53 AM on November 12, 2002


sgt.serenity asks:
whats your best idea for making money? so far, mine is praying before buying a lottery ticket.
I came up with rent to own videos in 92. Looks like one of the chains has caught on. I *knew* I'd never see any of the money though.
posted by infowar at 8:18 AM on November 12, 2002


My uninsured girlfriend is in serious need of knee surgery. If you have an extra buck or two, please send it my way. Together, we can banish this ACL injury from her life. Email's on my profile page -- thanks!
posted by Dean King at 8:41 AM on November 12, 2002


So lets say she's making at least $50,000 a year (thats less than half of the "well over $100,000" she was earning) and do fast math:

CoolHandPuke, I'm totally with you there. I was just saying to a friend who'd thought the site was "cute" all this time... Say she's making $50,000 now, minus $20,000 in debt leaves $30,000 which is a little under what I make. So, roughly, if she just lived like I do for a year she'd be debt-free on her own. My friend, after reading the numbers, says he's no longer as "pro-Karyn" as he was.
posted by dnash at 8:58 AM on November 12, 2002


whats your best idea for making money?

I go back in time and.....
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 9:14 AM on November 12, 2002


I say "right on, Karyn". I don't care if her story's true or not. Whomever sends her money does it for their own motive.

And, who am I to tell them it's right or not. Better, in my opinion, to send it to a scrapper like Karyn than to such a silly cause as taxes for war in iraq or the televangelists, with all due respect to those of you who support those causes.

And finally to quote a great, dead Irish-American, Tim Leary: Women are meant to be loved, not understood.
Women who seek to be equal with men lack ambition.
posted by lometogo at 9:26 AM on November 12, 2002


i saw Karyn tittering away to Matt Lauer this morning on the Today Show...in a new blouse...which she was BUYING AT BLOOMINGDALE'S when the show's producer reached her cellphone to ask for the interview! Matt mentioned this on the air, obviously, and Karyn laughed and laughed. she also laughed about the book AND MOVIE deals inked about her escapade. if she had an ounce of humility she'd go get a masters in non-profit management and put her shilling skills to work to even out her karma...
posted by serafinapekkala at 10:18 AM on November 12, 2002


Good. I'm glad she was on the Today Show, so all the people who sent her money can feel deceived and used since they were.
posted by monkeyman at 10:29 AM on November 12, 2002


Karyn is a gold-digger who figured out how to get the cash without getting her knees dirty.
posted by monkeyman at 10:32 AM on November 12, 2002


serafinapekkala: If it comes down to evening out karma then most of the western world needs to get ironing...
posted by i_cola at 10:36 AM on November 12, 2002


Just for the record, if Karyn is making $50k in NYC, her taxes are going to be about 35%. Housing is also not cheap and she probably has herself backed into some ludicrous lease arangement from when she had a higher income. Not that I'm saying she couldn't live comforatbly on her income. But in reality, Karyn was probably living on $32,500 a year (after taxes) which is not a huge amount of money in NYC. I can see why a $20k credit card debt would be crippling.

Was she an idiot who abused credit? Yes. Was the situation she was in difficult? Yes. Did she come up with a clever way to get out of it? Yes. Come on, let's not hold Karyn to some high moral standard. She was honest and upfront and people willingly helped her. End of story.
posted by pjgulliver at 10:45 AM on November 12, 2002 [1 favorite]


Just for the record I don't think Karyn did anything evil or immoral, but it is certainly nothing to be proud of either. The best spin you can put on her plan is that it was creative begging along the lines of those guys with the signs that say, "why lie? I need the money for beer." Her website was charming and she seemed sincere, but that fact is she was sincerely begging when she could have paid her debt herself.
posted by monkeyman at 10:58 AM on November 12, 2002


Metafilter: On a related note: we'd hit it
Metafilter: What's your best idea for making money?
posted by blue_beetle at 11:27 AM on November 12, 2002


I have no problem with Karyn, it is the media who never put her under the microcscope, and didn't examine her claims or ask her any tough questions that gets me. The fact that people sent her money when there are so many more deserving causes that the media never mentions is very annoying.
posted by cell divide at 11:54 AM on November 12, 2002


It would be interesting to know the socio-economic break down of those who contributed to Karyn. Was it other young urban professionals? Was it people her own age but from different walks of life? Suburban/rural denizens who, in a way, wished the led her lifestyle? Was it people of her parents generation who felt a parental bond? Was it elderly grandmothers, the classic people who get ripped off?

Cell divide, agreed. It's a shame that worthwhile charities languish while this woman gets her money in record time.
posted by pjgulliver at 12:08 PM on November 12, 2002


Wasn't she also selling all the stuff she bought. I figure she did not get back the equal amount she spent for them. But the sale from those things would be the big chuck of change in hand now, no?

With a book deal that may have been omitted.
Bosnak has received more than $13,300 from hundreds of donors worldwide. Coupled with the online auction of the high-ticket items that drove her into debt, plus earnings from a new job, she's finally broken even.
Or is this her new job, the book deal? A job is not a donation, too.

I feel the journalism makes it seem more of a success when talking about the $20,000.00 debt.
posted by thomcatspike at 12:55 PM on November 12, 2002


Whoops, last sentence please add: when it seems donations were the contributing factor.
posted by thomcatspike at 1:02 PM on November 12, 2002


I bet we will see her failure again. It's a guess but after reading serafinapekkala's comment of her actions today, her past will equel her future.
posted by thomcatspike at 1:25 PM on November 12, 2002


I have never understood all the animosity towards Karyn. I think it is a much better thing to pay off your debt than to declare bankruptcy. This way, only those people who chose to finance her did so, whereas if she had declared bankruptcy we all would have paid.

Lots of people don't bother to pay at all. People chose to give her money. I don't understand why some people would be so angry about this. I doubt that anyone who has a set charitable contribution - i.e. gives $10 a month to the World Wildlife Fund, or whatever - sent her a dollar and then deducted that dollar from their regular charitable contribution. I guess it is possible, but it seems unlikely. The way some people are acting, you'd think that dollar was taken out of your pocket directly.
posted by moonvine at 2:03 PM on November 12, 2002 [1 favorite]


What's so frustrating is that she asked others to bail her out when she was perfectly capable of paying off her debts herself. Being (relatively) well-off but expecting a free ride anyway is pretty despicable. At the risk of sounding hyperbolic, it seems like a mentality of entitlement by the privileged, the same kind of mentality that led to the debacles at WorldCom and Enron.
posted by spacewaitress at 2:28 PM on November 12, 2002


Please shag me , no i mean send me some money...
no, i mean send me some money and then shag me..
or maybe you can shag me and then send me some money..
why dont you send me some money and then if youre a nice person and witty and everything i might be willing
to shag you.
my best idea for making money was going out with a millionare's daughter.
Can you imagine my joy at breaking off all contact with her
entirely as i stare at my unemployment cheque, split (make that rent)asunder in one lousy pissy day?
At least i dont have strange russian fathers checking my surname on the web to see if im part of the international jewish conspiracy any more.
posted by sgt.serenity at 4:49 PM on November 12, 2002


Gee, I have $66,000 in credit card debt. Better hone those HTML skills quickly!!
posted by {savg*pncl} at 7:57 PM on November 13, 2002


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