Gold Coin Contributors!

First I should point out that all of my contributors are special, lovely people. Even the ones whose arms I had to twist a little to get you to cough up - you're all amazing. If you're ever having a shite day at anytime in the future, then please remember that Geoff and his shiny new iPod love you, even if you think the rest of the world doesn't! (Ok, sycophant mode: OFF, now)

But amongst all of the contributors I feel that it's worth pointing out, that there have been some who have almost committed themselves to this 'project' as much as I have, in terms of support, encouragement, many many emails sent to me, and especially where they've not just given me 50p from themselves but they've encouraged friends and family to contribute as well.

And I thought that they deserved some recognition into their efforts, and thus I've created this special page for them, and given them a special 'Gold 50p' (instead of a Gold Star) award to say an extra special 'thanks' to them.

And they are... (In numerical contributor order)

Reza Maleknia (24)

Reza is a "Fat, bald, Iranian bastard" (his words, not mine) that used to sit right next to me at work, and is full of himself - in a nice way - and the poor bastard had to put up with (pretty much everyday) the continuing saga of how many 50p's I had/hadn't collected.

Reza (#24) was obviously one of the first few on board, but it wasn't until the latter stages as I closed in on the 500 mark, that he got the urge to help me out to reach my goal.

I remember thinking "Why didn't you do this sooner?", when one morning he overheard me talking about "That bloody iPod thing" (umm, again - his words!) and he said to me "Haven't you got it yet?", before proceeding to go mad and ring his wife, his mates, his work agent and practically anyone else that he could think of, or that was in his mobile phone address list and got 50p out of them.

When things were going quiet in the latter stages, he got me 9 in one day, and a few more the next, and most definitely helped with the final 'push' towards the end, for which I was extremely grateful.

Reza has unfortunately moved offices since then - and thus no longer sits next to me - and I know that no one that I'll ever sit next to again in my office career will probably be as much fun, or will teach me as many Persian swear words as he did!

The Sosins (34 & 35)

I picked on my friends Richard & Nicki Sosin (#34 & #35), knowing that they'd probably quite willingly go along with the idea, but what I honestly hadn't realised is that they would then tell the rest of their family and keenly get them on board as well.

So Nicki's brother (#418) and her sister (#211) and sister's husband (#212) all soon followed with 50p.

I also got one from Nicki's sister on behalf on the Sosin's second new-born (#301), and if it wasn't for the fact that I'd reached 500 people by the time I next saw them, I probably could have got some out of their parents as well. Ah well. Perhaps next time I'm after something for free.

Janet Robinson (63)

Janet worked at the BBC with me, but in a different building/department, and to be honest I actually initially thought that she might not 'go for it' when I asked her for 50p.

But in the end she turned out to be bloody marvelous in getting other people to give her money, even when I wasn't there to help persuade them too!

She got her mum Beryl (#72), he sister Sharon (#73), her work colleague Marty (#74), to contribute, as well as two blokes that she met out down the pub one night Steve Rolph (#101) and John Potter (#102) and also an old school friend Karen (#419) that she bumped into at another friends house one evening.

The most amusing story that Janet told me, is that as an iPod owner herself, she somehow ended up with a copy of our spoof song 'iN Da Pod' on her iPod.

And one week she was away on holiday with some friends, and had taken her iPod with her and were playing it through some loudspeakers in random play more in their chalet/villa with all her mates (you can see what's coming, can't you?) - when my version of 'iN Da Pod' came on - which to everybody else sounded like the opening noises of the 50 cent original.

So when Janet leapt across the room and hit 'next' and everyone said "Oh leave it on!", she had to explain that it wasn't actually the original version that they might of just heard ...

Adrian & Sarah Chorley (77 & 78)

I've know the Chorley's for many years, and knew that they'd probably support me - it was just a matter of when and not if they'd give me 50p! Bit assuming, I know, but what I didn't assume is that Sarah would get her whole family on board!

By the time I'd got to 500, her sister Wendy (#200) had contributed, as had her parents (#199 & #201), her brother Phil (#104), who later got his work colleague (#271) to chip in, as well as his cat (#417) to contribute.

Sarah & Adrian also gave me 50p from Toady (#86), as well as Adrian roping in two of his work colleagues Noreen (#87) and Jennie (#88), only for Sarah later too to nab her colleague (also called Sarah - #445) too! Phew .. that's loads!

Julian Smith (149)

Julian is mate .. an excellent friend .. and generally always helps out with whatever madcap scheme I get up to from time to time. But would he give me 50p?

It actually took me a while to get round to asking him, when I did he came up trumps, and I not only got a 50p from him but once from his lovely lady Philippa (#151), his brother (#150), and his parents! (#152 & #152).

Then, when I was nearing the 500 mark and trying to get people at the end, he cajoled his mates Jools (#469), and Tony (#488) to contribute. Tony was about to get his wife to give me 50p to, but by that time I'd reach the five-hundred mark.

George Pilkington (172)

George Pilkington is .. well .. someone who I will long remember for keeping me amused, entertained and an endless source of all things iPod throughout the seven months.

When he first popped up in my mailbox and became contributor number 172, I never imagined the wealth of emails and information that would then flow from him.

George initially endeared himself to me as I think he was the first contributor to send me a 50p in creative way, by adapting an old Christmas card he had, and decorated it with iPod advert stickers, as well as writing a iPod poem inside!.

And then there were the emails. Loads of them. And I do mean loads - six or seven everyday during his most 'intense' phase, to the point that when I eventually got the iPod his wife sent me a message saying "Does this mean I get my husband back now?".

So George emailed me continuously, practically everyday, about all things iPod related or Mac related (he's a Mac user, and iPod owner, and to this day tries to persuade me to stop using Windows and get a Mac!), and I loved it. If I was having a slack day and didn't have any 50p collections to talk about, then I knew that, I could always use something that George had sent me.

Also, he not only contributed himself, but got his wife Kate (#187) on board, and his three daughters Adele (#188), Rachel (#189) and Carmel (#190) , and his in-laws (#370 & #371), and his pet worm (#191) and dog! (#369). So a lot of money came via George.

Sam (274) & Jan (277) at PalmAddict

I can't remember how Sam, the editor of Palm Addict came across my website, but he very kindly plugged it for me on and off over a period of three months and I got lots of hits and visitors from PalmAddict website readers.

Another member of the writing team - Jan Galbraith turned out to be a true pioneer for my cause after she contributed, and also got her husband (#360), four children John (#351), Caitlin (#356), Jake (#357), Will (#358), the cat Sparky (#359), and brother and sister in-law (#361 and #362) on board as well!

Miles Mendoza (320)

Initially I thought that Miles would be the key getting thousands more hits on my website - and thus contributions, as he present a slot on BBC Radio 2 in the afternoons of 'Website of the the day' whereby he talks about and generally plugs a website that has come to his attention.

Now Miles works for the BBC like me, but I didn't know him, and I didn't have the balls to email him out of the blue and just asked him .. so I was a bit more sneaky. Instead I posted an entry on my site asking other contributors to email him saying "Why not use Geoff's website as website of the day?", and contributor Stacie (#232) did just that!

Well Miles refused to plug my site (because of the 'begging' nature of it), but we did get chatting about it, and before I knew it when Miles found out that I knew a bit about computers, I found myself round his house one Sunday afternoon trying to fix some problems on his PC! He was also reviewing some MP3 players at the time, and I got to see what an HP iRiver looked like for the first time (not as nice as an iPod!), but the most important part is that he contributed, (#320) and his wife (#321) , and his three children (#322, 323 & 324), his mother-in-law (#347), and a stuffed woolly sheep called Shaun (#325) as well!

I also felt like a made a new friend, and not just because he promised to give me a plug on air once I'd got all the money and the iPod. This he did at the end of August on Radio 2, and you can hear it here:

The Radio 2 / Miles Mendoza Website of the Day plug.
[ 2,062Kb - 4m 23s MP3 file]


Stefano Pisoni (327)

Stefano was one one of several Italians that got in touch with me after their edition of MacWorld magazine ran a feature on iPods, and gave my website a plug!

He was also an educator to me on a matter of things, including my terribly Italian, Belgian beer - but more importantly he got more of his friends on board to give me 50p's - Alberto (#436), Patrizia (#437), Silvia (#438) and Semola (#439), to give the coffers a boost - and sent me many many emails to keep my spirits going whenever I was flagging.






Helen Blaby (340)

Helen initially started my just giving me 50p from herself after she found a link to my site on the Media UK pages. Only much later did I find out that she then moved jobs to be working for the BBC in the same building as me!

At the time though, she was working on/for a station in Rugby and got listeners to pledge 50p's and got people to call in with their song selections! Those people were:

So Lisa (#374), Chantal (#375), Cheryl (#376), Jon (#377), Dean (#378), Anne (#379), Karl (#380), Pat (#381), Dave (#382) and Michelle (#383) all contributed in thanks to Helen, and this her 'gold' award!

Giovanni Ripoldi (408)

Giovanni was another Italian who spied me in MacWorld magazine, and we chatted about a whole manner of iPod related things, until he sent me eight contributions in one (including his own) - £4 , the rest being from friends and colleagues that he had also managed to rope in - Nadia (#409), Franco (#410), Danja (#411), Daniela (#412), Alberto (#414), La Tina (#415) and an anonymous person who to this day remains nameless - (#416). Marvellous!






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I don't post that often to Instagram but when I do I can promise that it is never the plate of food that I am about to eat, or am eating at the time ...

On November 9th 2003, l set out to collect five-hundred 50p's from people to enable me to get a £250 iPod for free. We called it: 50p (iN Da Pod)

On June 19th 2004 - seven months and ten days later I got the final 50p of five hundred and went out and bought the iPod the next day.

I got friends, family and best if all - people I didn't know from the Internet and all around the world - to contribute towards the fund, to take their 50p (and only 50p - I had to give change back to people who gave me more!) and wrote up the whole story here on my pages as each day went by,