An update on the auction of my sandals. Regular Crikey readers will have seen this editorial last Friday, which recorded my decision to auction my sandals for charity on Twitter, after they were brought to unexpected notoriety by this Miranda Devine piece in The Daily Telegraph reporting my appearance at the federal government media inquiry.
During a brisk day of bidding on Twitter under the hashtag #journosandals, the deal was negotiated up by the bidders to include signatures on the sandals from me, the Crikey news team and ABC Media Watch host Jonathan Holmes, plus coffee with me and Crikey editor Sophie Black. Devine was also asked if she would be willing to sign, but so far there is no response.
Bids for this package of goodies were received from as far away as Seattle, from public servants involved in helping to run the media inquiry, who claimed to have a plinth ready for the items, and from journalists and media watchers far and wide. Late in the day the sandals were sold for $160 to the person behind Twitter name @maybeee2011. The buyer wishes to remain anonymous — but is not a journalist. Nor a chiropodist. The buyer has donated the purchase price to Amnesty International, and the sandals are currently on the way to Holmes to collect his signature.
Who would have thought it? The sandals, dear reader, are very boring in themselves. Basic, comfy, black and flat heeled, originally purchased from Ziera Shoes. The auction was written up in The Australian’s Media Diary this morning, but oddly diarist Nick Leys mentioned neither the original Devine item that prompted the auction, nor the fact that he placed a couple of witty bids himself, joking “sure, I need a new look for summer”. In fact, it was Leys (@leysie) who brought Black into the deal, offering an extra $20 if she joined us for coffee.
The auction was fun, and collected some good comments from bidders and observers. My favourite was from the Tweeter who suggested that we should also hear what footwear News Limited CEO John Hartigan wore to the inquiry “so we can assess his arguments”. Which made me think: let’s suppose all those who take part in public debate, only to find that the media is more interested in their clothing or appearance than in what they have to say, then auctioned the relevant item for charity. It could be a considerable source of revenue for good causes. Though, hopefully, a declining one.