Participating in Blogathon 2009 on Saturday, July 25th

It’s now official — as of yesterday evening, this blog is registered to participate in Blogathon 2009, a distributed, simultaneous fundraiser for a huge number of charities from all over the place. As you may or may not be able to discern from the name, a Blogathon is similar in spirit to a walkathon. Starting 6am on Saturday, July 25th, I will be writing and publishing one blog post every 30 minutes for 24 hours, all to raise some money for my cause of choice, the Vancouver Public Space Network.

I’m super-enthused to be doing this, for a whole bunch of reasons:

  • I get to blog! My long-time subscribers will tell you — I more often than not hit a bit of a wall with blogging sometimes, where I get too obsessed with getting every. last. detail. together under just the right subheads and end up never actually posting the darn thing. Blogathon is a wonderful excuse to take out all the dross that keeps me from hitting Publish so often. I will essentially, in the space of 24 hours, write about the same number of blog posts that I typically publish in an entire year. I have more than enough back blog posts I’ve been wanting to do that I think this will work out quite well!
  • I get to support an awesome cause. I’m a great believer in the work of the Vancouver Public Space Network: I’ve started volunteering for them as a coordinator for their Public Transit working group. They are also an awesome, smart, committed group of really neat people, and I hope that the Blogathon will bring a broader limelight (especially online) to what they have done and the role they play, as well as what we want to do in the future.
  • I’ll be in great company. Rebecca Bollwitt‘s has a list of others in Vancouver who will also be participating in Blogathon 2009, and it reads like a Vancouver Who’s Who List of Awesome supporting Equally Spectacular Charities and Non-Profits. Rebecca’s also taken it upon herself to secure the Blogathoners as venue to provide moral support, which, as a first-time n00b, is very comforting, to know that there will be someplace to go where the coffee is strong and the looks are reassuring as I blog down the homestretch through the 20th hour and beyond.

What to Expect

As a Blogathon n00b, this is all conjecture. I expect to get a little manic, but I’ll also be looking to seasoned pros like Hummingbird604 to talk me through their tips and tricks for getting through the long haul — chocolate covered coffee beans? The WordPress scheduled posts feature? I also have some things up my sleeve to try out…but those will have to wait until Blogathon Day.

Speaking of Blogathon Day…the stars must have aligned for July 25th or something: there is so much going on around town that day: Illuminares Lantern Festival, an opening house for the Canada Line Station at Granville Street, not to mention the second night of the annual fireworks competition…there’s something to be said for blogging being mobile! I’m going to do my best to make as many of the offline events as I possibly can, since those make the best blog posts. ;)

A Bit About My Cause – The Vancouver Public Space Network

I hope to be sharing a whole lot more about the VPSN in the lead-up to and during the Blogathon, but here’s some basic background off the VPSN website:

The VPSN is a grassroots collective that engages in advocacy, outreach and education on public space issues in and around Vancouver, British Columbia.

This includes challenging the increase of advertising ‘creep’ in public places, promoting creative, community-friendly urban design, monitoring private security activities in the downtown core, fostering public dialogue and democratic debate, and devising creative ways to re-green the neglected corners, alleys and forgotten spaces of the city.

We also like to devise ways to have fun in public space.

On a more personal level, as a student of social science by way of Communication, I’m a big believer in the form of our cities having a strong hand in shaping our relationship as individuals to groups and society more broadly. As I do more reading into thought on space and architecture, I’m coming to agree with what someone I spoke to at Vancouver ChangeCamp said, which is that space, as it exists in cities, is in many ways the “original” and most important medium, in the way that Marshall McLuhan talks about media being extensions of man.

Our space says a lot about us — so what do we want it to be, and who gets to decide? The VPSN takes a very nuanced yet, in my experience, overwhelmingly optimistic, approach at answering those questions, and I look forward to cooking up excellence with them, and tagging along for the ride!

This is Where You Come In – Pledges!

The VPSN is entirely volunteer-run, which means any they receive money goes straight towards The Doing of Cool Stuff, and all proceeds from the Blogathon go straight to the VPSN. Pledges can take a number of forms, such as a certain amount per post, or a lump-sum total amount if I manage to finish the entire Blogathon. All pledges are handled through the Blogathon.org website, where you can sign up as a sponsor. Here is the link to my page to enter your pledge.

In addition to the knowledge that you are helping enhance the well-being and atmosphere of our fair city, you’ll be happy to know that there are plenty of other things in it for you should you choose to submit a pledge:

  • Got a project, business, non-profit or cause of your own to promote? I’ll be including a link with the names and causes of all my sponsors at the end of my blog posts. Sponsor early and get your name on all 48!
  • If you sponsor extra early, I’ll write a blog post about your cause or business as one of my 48. Give me something obscure. I’m feeling lucky. I have the Intarwebs! :D
  • All sponsors who e-mail me with their amount and e-mail address will be entered into a draw for a copy of the 2006 Straight 8 DVD, a super-8 filmmaking contest run out of the UK featuring some amazing short-films that were all edited in-camera. A $30 value, but it’s worth at least as much as a good day of people-watching, if you like that sort of thing.
  • My eternal gratitude, which I often express spontaneously on the Internet with links on microblogging websites! :D

Other Blogathoners

Interested to see who else is participating in Blogathon this year? Miss604 has a list of those who will be crashing at WorkSpace on the sidebar of her Blogathon page, and Blogathon.org keeps a central blog list that you can sort by charity or amount raised.

One Comment

  1. Good to hear you’ll be joining us!

    Posted July 17, 2009 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

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