Something's always happening over at b5media - new blogs, new hires, new acquisitions... And, every now and then, a new project pops up that excites us in more ways than one.
And, one such recent project is "The Great b5media Blog Off" - a 24-hour charity blogging drive where a few of our bloggers from the Business and Entertainment channels (as well as some folks from our Lifestyles channel) blogged for 24 hours last Friday, 20th of June. And yes, all for a cause!
The chosen charities are Accion International (Business), The Actor's Fund (Entertainment), and The Children's Hunger Fund (Lifestyles). You can read more about this through our official press release. Or, you can go directly to Accion to donate and/or The Actor's Fund to donate. (Yes, there's still time to donate!)
Anyway, there are a few things that I love about this Blog Off -
1. It was Blogger-Driven. Yes, the whole idea originated from bloggers - not management or staff. Actually, it was Kelly Phillips Erb, the Business Channel Editor who first approached me with the idea a few months ago. Got excited about it from the start. And, we started brainstorming. Of course, I wanted to be more involved. But, when my dad passed away, I had to slow down with a few things. And you see, that's the best thing about blogger-driven community projects: It goes on without me as Community Strategist (or any other management folks). Even the logo was designed by our very own Entertainment Channel Editor, Arieanna Schweber. And I find that really, really wonderful!
2. It brought the b5 Community Together. People got excited about it. Folks shared ideas and suggestions. Those who were not blogging for 24 hours offered to support other bloggers who were doing it - either by offering guest posts, donating, sharing the news, and/or providing some kind of moral support. It was a fabulous way to work together for a good cause.
3. It extended to a Wider Community. Not only were b5 bloggers involved, but there were also invitations to other (non-b5) people to get involved - either by spreading the word, donating, or by becoming guest bloggers on participating blogs. It allowed folks outside the network to take part in a common goal.
4. It supported relevant, great Charities. Each charity by the respective participating channels were chosen with much thought and care. There are soooo many great causes out there. And, one challenge in doing charity events is how to choose which one to support. Business folks chose Accion because of the nature of its cause - micro lending to help people get businesses going to fight poverty. Same thing with Entertainment and The Actor's Fund, and Lifestyles with The Children's Hunger Fund (some of our Lifestyles blogs are about parenting, family, etc).
5. It inspired us to do more. It was a great reminder that we can do more as a network. We can do more as bloggers. We can do more as members of our community, our society. And hopefully, we will keep doing more.
Since this was our first official Blog Off as a network, we have plenty to learn from the event. And, I'm looking forward to take those lessons and apply them accordingly. And, we're hoping that this is just the first of many blogathons.
Again, a big thanks to everyone who were involved in this event - from our fantastic Channel Editors to our bloggers, as well as our staff, various supporters and readers.