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July 2, 2003

Blogathon 2003

I'm probably not going to participate, because I don't like asking friends for money, even if I believe it's for a good cause (plus I just found out I can make some money that day), but I found the concept of a "Blogathon" too intriguing not to mention:

Remember when you were in school and you would bowl for charity? And for every pin you knocked down you got, say, ten cents? Or run for a dollar a mile? During the Blogathon, people update their websites every 30 minutes for 24 hours straight. For this, they collect sponsorships. Pledges can be a flat donation, or a certain amount for every hour the blogger manages to stay awake.

Many of the suggested charities (Amnesty International, Doctors Without Borders) are doing important work, and I have to admit, the experiment of tracing the course of an entire day is enticing, especially given my interest in blogging and temporality. Last year's Blogathon also appears to have inspired several creative approaches tailored to the concept of a blog marathon, including one blogger who posted in haiku and another who wrote a blog novel. Of course, when I participated in these activities as a teenager, including a Rockathon, which required me to sit in a rocking chair all night, they (or at least I) usually faded pretty quickly. Still, I'll be interested to see what kinds of "gimmicks" this year's Blogathon produces.

Update: Earlier today, I was stumbling over what made this sound so interesting, and I think it has something to do with what Dave called the "blog's illusion of immediacy," and a Blogathon seems to play off that illusion, or perhaps better, that desire.

Posted by chuck at July 2, 2003 12:09 PM

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I remember those rock-a-thons, Chuck. Ah the good ol' days... okay, as Billy Joel said, the good ol' days weren't always good...


Posted by: Chris at July 2, 2003 3:52 PM

Yeah--I never really got the rockathon concept (although I suppose I participated in a couple). Something about the utter lack of purpose, other than some weird masochistic impulse, struck me as kind of senseless. At least walkathons (and "blogathons") are usually "public," not to mention good exercise.

Posted by: chuck at July 3, 2003 3:53 PM

Great comments guys. Peter FDA

Posted by: Peter at November 11, 2003 2:46 AM

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