Disappointed and Disillusioned

Since the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami in Japan on 11th March, I have written two blog articles requesting support and donation from my readers for the victims of this unfortunate disaster, I am sad to report that I am truly underwhelm by the response so far.

The two posts together have only received 311 hits so far, and that was despite putting prominent links to them on my 3 most popular blog pages. Out of those 311 hits, only 8 persons have responded by leaving a comment, and out of those 8 persons, 5 have confirmed that they have made a donation.

At my top 2 most popular blog posts, Camera and Lens Street Price List for Hong Kong and Recommended Camera Shops in Hong Kong, I regularly get a lot of questions there requesting my help on equipment prices, shopping advise, buying advise, camera choices etc, etc. Since my two blog articles requesting support and donation for the victims of this disaster, I have categorically asked 11 persons who have left question at those 2 pages asking for my help to visit my recent blog articles requesting support and donation. Sadly, none of them have responded at all!

My personal believe has always been that the majority of photographers around the world are good people, that are all willing to share and help those in need. Therefore, I have all along gladly given free advise and help to many people around the world who visited this site. As a consequence, I have accidentally build up a large audience. In times of need and turmoil, like the recent disaster in Japan, I was hoping that I could leverage the power of this site to pass the message of hope and support to the victims.

Perhaps I am just too naive. It seems that just because I was willing to give free help to others does not mean they will give back anything to the world in return.

Most of these people are certainly not poor by any standard. Many have bought and were considering buying expensive cameras and lenses. As I have suggested in my last blog post, even a small donation (of say 1,000 yen) would go a long way if enough people will donate. 1,000 yen is barely enough money to buy a cheap UV filter, but it seems that almost all my readers were unwilling to give.

I am seriously considering whether I should continue this site as it is now. I feel that I have wasted my time and energy helping people who did not really need or deserved my help. Perhaps I should channel my time and energy into helping those who really need and deserve my help from now on…………………….


17 thoughts on “Disappointed and Disillusioned

  1. Roland is quite right. The response has been to slack and I have personally rectified this for my part today. Come on, guys. Donate the value of a circular polarizing filter today !! Oeystein.

  2. Internet can be a disappointing place, because some people uses other’s willingness to share but never give anything back. However, it is also a place where amazing things can happen, and I really hope your posts will get more attention and generate more donations.

    I too found your blog through the posts about Hong Kong camera shops a couple of months ago, and have really appreciated the effort you have put into those articles (and the rest of the blog too, ofcourse).
    I have sent 五千円 to the red cross, and hope this motivates other.
    For your personal motivation to keep blogging, I offer to buy you a cup of coffee if you are in HK around easter.

    • Hi rahlen,

      Thanks for the support and encouragement!

      Yes, I will be in Hong Kong during Easter. There is no need to buy coffee for me, but I am keen to meet my readers and make new friends from around the world. Send me a message before you come and we’ll see if we can meet up!

  3. Dear Dr,

    Don’t be dismayed. Perhaps some others had helped but through other websites/charity organisations/etc..etc… but preferred not to ‘show it’. For instance, I always donate to charities anonymously on PRN basis without anyone knowing…but only HIM.

    Keep up the good work, and know that you have helped many people and these will all be remembered by those ppl and of course HIM.

    Do your part, and let HIM do the rest….

  4. Hey Roland,

    I wonder how many of your readers have already donated BEFORE your first post about this. I for one donated to the American Red Cross pretty much immediately following the disaster, and am planning to donate again, this time directly to the Japan red cross. You may find it comforting that many of your readers might have already contributed their part prior to your thoughtful post.

  5. Hi Roland,

    I’m from Singapore and had just read about your post recently. I would like to thank you for your effort in providing all the camera information, as i would be travelling to HK for holiday soon.

    Personally, i had donated thro other avenues and didnt visit your link to the disaster. Please do not be despaired and i feel your effort to help the victims of the disaster would reap good results too..


  6. Hi Roland

    Just wanted to encourage you on the work you’re doing. Sometimes the response may not have been what we expected. But I hope that this negative response will not taint your compassion and love. Although I have not donated via your site, I wanted you to know that you have inspired me to continue living a giving life in other areas of my life (community, church, workplace)


  7. Hi Roland,

    I am sure many of us are moved by the recent events in Japan. I don’t think you should take the slow or poor response to heart; many have donated to the cause through other avenues. I have made the donations via the Singapore Red Cross through a fund raiser organised by my company. The response was very good. Keep up the good work as most of us who visit your site enjoy your work and the effort. Many thanks


  8. Roland, what you have done to help raise money for Japan is very noble. However, I don’t think you should stop blogging because of the lack of response. Here’s why…firstly, many people have already donated through other networks and websites, can’t blame them for that. Secondly, this is a photography based website, and that’s the main reason people come here. Finally, you got at least 5 more people to donate to Japan – that is reason enough to celebrate the difference that you have made for this cause.

  9. Hi Roland,

    I encourage you not to be discouraged by the relatively low number of responses indicating that people have made donations.

    Speaking for myself, I’ve been so engrossed and subseqently somewhat depressed while following the details of the ongoing disasters in Japan that I haven’t bothered to keep up with any photography related news or sites until just recently, despite it being one of my passions. Concern for family, friends and my ancestral home have taken precedence.

    On the subject of donations, I was quick to make a donation to the relief efforts in Japan in the first couple of days but I’ve never been in the habit of stating the fact. Like yourself, I do however like to encourage people to become aware of the situation and to do whatever they can in the capacity in which they feel most comfortable to support disaster assistance efforts.

    Anyway, think well of your readership and know that those who can, have likely already done what they can to help.


  10. Hi Roland , many out are helping but through different channels.we at work have done just that.I even won a two night stay at a 5 star hotel and re raffled it to make more as i have a bed to sleep in they don’t. So don’t feel down you have my support but its been done this side.Well done Roland as they say in dutch keep the shiny side up.

  11. Take heart Roland…I believe lots of people have donated via other avenues/organizations. I myself have contributed to the cause at my workplace. Its good that you are trying to spread the message and asking people to make a donation, and that itself is what counts! I know of a certain another photography forum that is trying to raise donations as well. Kudos to you all!
    I chanced upon this site when I was doing my research as I will making going to Hong Kong real soon. Your site is very useful indeed! Keep up the good work!

  12. Roland, you’re a kind and noble person. I thought Asian people, especially Chinese, don’t forgive the Japanese slaughtering of millions of other Asians during WWII while , 35+ million Chinese along while continue to honor their war criminals (I assume you’re a Chinese for living in Hong Kong?)… But you sure set an example.

  13. Hi Roland,

    I just wanted to thank you for your great site, and for you caring and compassion for the people of Japan. We recently ran a large fundraising event here in New Zealand for the people of Japan, that was well attended and supported by all kinds of people – including a number of photographers from my region.

    We especially appreciate the support they sent to us here in New Zealand following our own earthquake disasters and it’s great to see people like you supporting them in their hour of need as well. I have donated before, but I will go on to donate again as a hat tip to you and your great site.

    Thanks a ton for you camera advice – hoping to get a friend to pick me up a 60D while she is in HK from Echo Photo and Audio. I hope they appreciate all the business you send them!

    Thanks again, keep up the great work.



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