Before the collapse of the economy and the loss of thousands of jobs in New York, there was a time when a lone, well-dressed but overdrawn young woman captivated the world with her plucky tale of credit card debt and savvy Internet self-marketing. We’re referring, of course, to savekaryn.com, the Web site launched in 2002 by Karen Bosnak, a New York City woman who asked internet users to pay down her $20,000 consumer debt because, well, she couldn’t, like, do it herself or something.
In October 2002, Salon’s Janelle Brown called Ms. Bosnak “The world’s most successful Internet panhandler.” (The article’s headline was a rather unsympathetic Brother, Can You Spare a Dime for My Gucci Bills?)
Mika Brzezinski, then a CBS News correspondent, started a report on Ms. Bosnak with the none-too-flattering lines:
‘It was like living that “Sex And The City” lifestyle that everyone sees on TV,’ she says.
Pulling in a six-figure income, she had a taste for fancy dinners and all things designer.
‘I had great shoes, I had great clothes, I had a great job, I went out to dinner a lot, got my hair done and I spent a little bit more than I made,’ she says.
But, as CBS News Correspondent Mika Brzezinski reports, Bosnak suddenly found herself unemployed. Two years of marathon shopping put Bosnak’s debt out of control.
Ms. Bosnak’s identity started out anonymous but was quickly revealed by The Smoking Gun—that’s how things went down in the early part of the 21st Century—and The New York Times Magazine rewarded her efforts by adding Open-Source Begging to it’s 2002 ‘Year in Ideas’ issue. (Somewhere Meghan Daum was probably thinking about her own Misspent Youth and feeling a little passed over.)
Now the latter book has been optioned by producers Beau Flynn and Tripp Vinson with Anna Faris attached to star according to The Hollywood Reporter‘s Borys Kit. (This comes via NYMag.com’s Vulture blog.)
Per Mr. Kit:
The producers had originally set the movie up at New Line in 2006 according to Variety‘s Dave McNary, who quoted Mr. Flynn saying at the time, “Karyn Bosnak captures the complexity of a modern woman’s sex life with humor, originality and wit in a manner that we haven’t seen before.”