Top Bloggers Compete in Support of Public Schools Blogger Challenge Sets Off Philanthropic Clash of the


Google, Yahoo!, Six Apart, and Federated Media To Give Awards

Oct 01, 2007, 01:00 ET from

    NEW YORK, Oct. 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Bloggers big and small,
 including top sites such as Engadget and TechCrunch, challenged their
 readers today to fund classroom projects in high-need public schools.
 Google, Yahoo!, Six Apart, and Federated Media will give awards to the
 bloggers who inspire the most generosity between now and the end of the
     Powering this "Blogger Challenge" is, an acclaimed
 nonprofit website where teachers post projects to fulfill student needs,
 and donors from all walks of life can choose the projects they want to
     At, bloggers have created challenge pages listing
 their favorite classroom projects and urging their blog readers to donate
 to those projects. Engadget and TechCrunch, the #1 and #3 blogs on the Web,
 have set up challenge pages featuring technology requests such as "Teaching
 Literacy Through Podcasts" ($390) and "Laptop For Learning" ($925).
     Lockhart Steele, former Managing Editor of Gawker Media, has also
 tossed his hat into the ring. "We aim to show that Curbed, Eater, and
 Racked readers are some of the most engaged and generous of any blog
 readers out there," Steele said. In keeping with the focus of his three
 blogs, he has opened a challenge page on featuring food-
 and neighborhood-focused projects such as "Learning Nutrition Through Play"
 ($119) and "Neighborhood Ethnography Using MP3 Players" ($1,076).
     Other notable bloggers who have joined the competition include Fred
 Wilson of, Kara Swisher of BoomTown fame, Anil Dash,
 ApartmentTherapy, Overheard in New York, Gear Live, and Timothy Ferriss,
 the #1 NY Times bestselling author. displays "leader boards" ranking the generosity each
 blogger has inspired from his/her readers. During a beta launch of the
 platform, Sarah Bunting of leapt to the top of the leader
 boards after offering to shave her head if readers funded all $30,000 of
 classroom projects on her challenge page. Her readers rose to the
 challenge, and the resulting head shave was viewed 80,000 times on YouTube.
 Now, she is challenging her readers to fund $40,000 of classroom projects
 and will, in return, wear a tomato costume for an entire day, including at
 30 Rockefeller Center, where she works.
     Google will give an award to the bloggers who generate the most
 financial support for public school classrooms in the
 Blogger Challenge. Yahoo! will award the bloggers who engage the greatest
 number of readers, and Jerry Yang, the company's
     co-founder and CEO, will take the winning blogger out to lunch.
     "The Blogger Challenge could inspire the blogosphere
 to help hundreds of thousands of students from low-income communities,"
 said Yang. "This challenge represents a great union of citizen journalists
 and citizen philanthropists. Yahoo! is excited to see which bloggers can
 engage the most readers in improving our public schools."
     Six Apart will award the bloggers who reach the greatest number of
 students. "I'm thrilled to see the blogosphere showing its true colors by
 supporting students through," said Anil Dash, Chief
 Evangelist at Six Apart and one of the earliest bloggers. "The communities
 around LiveJournal, Vox, TypePad, and Movable Type have always been
 generous, so it's natural for us to award the bloggers who help the most
     Federated Media will award the bloggers who come up with the most
 creative incentives for readers to give. "Federated Media is proud to be
 part of the Blogger Challenge," said John Battelle,
 founder and CEO of FM and a founder of Wired Magazine. "We're happy to
 introduce our creative authors to the innovators at, and
 we look forward to the results of these charitable conversations."
     Many of the bloggers participating in the Blogger
 Challenge have small but engaged readerships.
     "My readers care a lot about science education, and
 lets them help real kids in public school classrooms in a way that feels
 very immediate and personal," said Janet Stemwedel of Adventures in Ethics
 and Science, one of 15 members of the ScienceBlogs community who have set
 up challenge pages to fund math and science classroom projects. "Succeeding
 in the Blogger Challenge is less about how many readers you have and more
 about the relationship you have with those readers. Even without big
 traffic, a blog with caring and committed readers can make a huge
 difference for kids."
     About liberates every public school teacher to be a change
 maker, and enables every citizen to be a philanthropist. At this
 not-for-profit website, public school teachers submit their best ideas for
 materials and experiences that their students need to learn -- everything
 from a classroom library, to basketballs, to a field trip to the zoo.
     Any individual can search by area of interest, learn about classroom
 needs, and choose to fund the project that she/he finds most compelling.
 Every donor hears back from the classroom they chose to help. At, someone giving $10 enjoys the same choice, impact, and
 vivid feedback that -- until now -- have been reserved for millionaire
 benefactors. was founded in 2000 by a social studies teacher in the
 Bronx. Since its inception, citizen philanthropists from all 50 states and
 10 countries have funded more than 30,000 classroom projects at, channeling over $13.2 million of resources to students in
 low-income communities. Recognition of includes the
 Nonprofit Innovation Award given by Stanford Business School and; the Fast Company Social Capitalist Award; a Global Technology
 Laureate from the TECH Museum of Innovation; and selection by Ashoka.
     Contact: Charlotte Weiskittel, 212-239-3615 x 220,