After an overwhelming show of support from the community, I wanted to take a minute to thank you.
When I originally discussed the SEO trademark news with Search Engine Land, it was suggested that readers may want to donate to my legal funds. I tried to brush this off and we published the articles. I thought I was just telling the story of the past two years and this case, which took so much from me and the other opposers. Within minutes people were asking how they could send donations and I had to accept the fact that this was no longer just my fight. I gave Barry my PayPal address and within eight hours, the SEO community has raised almost $14,000!
Yes, you read that correctly. $14,000! More than 80 of you donated something and every cent helped.
UPDATE: As of noon on Tuesday, we’re at $17,000!!! This is insane.
The SEO community put aside their differences and showed the biggest outpouring of support I’ve seen since the creation of the IM Charity Parties.
- Thank you Search Engine Land for running the story and your guidance.
- Thank you Brent D. Payne for snapping into action and challenging Twitter to donate $100 per person.
- Thank you Aaron Wall for calling me a Real American Hero.
- Thank you SEOmoz for finding the opposition in the first place and your continued support since then. For the record, SEOmoz has been embroiled in a battle with RipOff Report who sued them shortly after the trademark opposition started. They were unable to divide their legal efforts. Sarah Bird is incredibly talented, but she is not super human. Despite having to drop the opposition, they have contributed an enormous amount of energy and funds.
We’re nearing a figure that was unimaginable to me at the start of the day.
I am working with my accountant to figure out how we can provide documentation to donors citing this as a business expense for services rendered. I will personally notify each donor when we have the details worked out.
What is going to happen with these donations? I will be splitting 50% of all funds raised above $7,000 with Jonathan Hochman, who spent close to $10,000 in legal fees as well (that brings the total legal bill to $27,000 between the two of us!). His case was not sustained, but it makes his contribution no less important. From there we will have to decide what to do. I know I’d like to put some money back into savings and donate to some favorite charities!
Thank you again, I am overwhelmed and I appreciate every comment, email, tweet and dollar. I know this fight had to be won by an individual, but your show of support demonstrates that the community stands for something much greater. 2010 is the year the SEO community had a group hug. :)