Saturday, June 18, 2005

Blogs and the Realm of Public Service ...

Eric Siegmund over at
Fire Ant Gazette is planning on burning a little midnight oil in August, and not just at midnight ... he's getting ready to pull an all-nighter for his part in Blogathon 2005.

Like many ventures in the media, the concept of Blogathon began with the initiative of a single person, at a single outlet. The 'History' page of the Blogathon website tells, "On July 29th of 2000, Cat Connor of
Frytopia posted an entry in her blog every fifteen minutes for twenty-four hours. At the end of her adventure she had posted a whopping 96 entries and had what was truly a unique experience in the blogging world. The following year when she decided to stage the 24-hour blogging event again, she decided that her event would do more than just gain attention - it would make a difference in the world. So Blogathon was born."

Blogathon has enjoyed growth in the ensuing years. Granted, the growth has been erratic (with the event going on hiatus last year), but it has been growth nonetheless ... would that all media could say the same.

This year's event begins Saturday, August 6, at 9:00 a.m. (Eastern Time). Participating bloggers are expected to follow Connor's original example of posting near-constantly for the next 24 hours ... one of the FAQ's on the Blogathon website is, "How can I stay awake?" The rest of us are encouraged to register as sponsors for a participating blogger, encouraging them and helping them raise funds for the charity of their choice.

And this is where bloggers have a chance to put their money where their mouth is ... uh ... fingertips are. You see, for all their whining about mainstream media (whatever that might be) and how awful it is, citizens of the blogosphere would be hard-pressed to match the example set by local, traditional media outlets in raising awareness and raising funds for charities in West Texas and southeast New Mexico. And DON'T go telling me we're required to do it by law ... because we're not ... guidelines enforced by regulatory agencies for public service programming were suspended years ago.

"Hard pressed," I said ... for now. The role of the blogosphere IN/AS mainstream media is already established, and is growing almost daily. Bloggers have a tremendous opportunity to promote/complement existing public service efforts, and to develop efforts of their own ... which can, in turn, be promoted/complemented by traditional media outlets.

In the meantime, I intend to register at Blogathon this year, and to sponsor Eric in his round-the-clock efforts to raise awareness/funds for charity ... I had recommended he raise funds for the National Association to Send Bloggers to Disneyland ... I'm sure that suggestion will get all the consideration it deserves.

ADDED NOTE: At least I WAS going to sponsor Eric ... now I'm not so sure. You see, I've heard from Princess Erin the Mighty over at, who makes a 'mighty' pursuasive appeal. :-)


annush said...

i had never heard of this blogathon sounds quite interesting...i will certainly look into it!

Jeff said...

annush, the more the merrier! Thanks for visiting today!

little beauty said...

i haven't heard of it either! sounds like pretty hardcore blogging!thanks for posting earlier hope you get to England sometime soon!

by the way great blog!

Jeff said...

Little Beauty, thanks, and the same to you and your blog ... I enjoyed my visit.

Sam said...

Hmm... sounds a bit hardcore for me, and I'm a perma-student :) I'm bad enough at posting once a week- it would take me the year just to think of the ideas for minute-by-minute postings.
Cheers Jeff! Sami

Jeff said...

Sami, there are times I'm a once-a-weeker myself ... which is why I'm going to sponsor Eric ... he's a blogging machine! :-)

princess erin the mighty said...

and i've barely even gotten started with the persuading!

for all the headache you'd think blogging that long is, it's really much easier than you'd think. it's a hell of a day, and in addition to actually doing something with my blog other than stroking my own ego, there are some fantastic folks involved.

Jeff said...

Erin, thanks for stopping in! You WILL have that baby by then, won't you? :-)