Vote For Deb On The Rocks' Push For A Foundation To Support Bloggers

I believe in writing and I believe in blogging, which is why, over the past seven years, I have created this website, Five Star Friday, the Grace in Small Things social network, acted as a contributing writer at both MamaPop and Life as a Human, and, most recently, created the Canadian Weblog Awards. A friend of mine recently stepped up with a great idea, though, and now I have to add to my list of things I believe in on this here internet.

Now, I not only believe in writing and blogging, but I also believe in Deb on the Rocks, because she believes in us. Deb has a brilliant idea that I believe has transformative power for both this medium and the individuals who employ it. I'll let Deb speak for herself:

Deb on the RocksWe Can Create A Foundation to Support Bloggers!

I believe supporting the Arts is one of the important ways we better our world. Service takes many forms, and all are necessary: the gifted content creators in the blogosphere are artists, and my life is so much better -- our culture is so much better -- because of their work. The heart and soul of blogging, the truth of self-expression online, is so much more than the ridiculous few business models we've tried to use to support our artists.

For many of us, creating content and publishing online is our Parisian salon, our Algonquin Round Table, our Bread Loaf. We are a community of creatives. We know that publishing is a sacrifice, a commitment, the rushing, moving channel for our art, and we want to make way for the highest quality in online work to be supported whether or not it appeals to corporate sponsors. And are devoted to our community of creatives, even when we truly know each other: we are united in our passions, connected in doing what we are drawn to do. Every writer I know has said that her work has improved because of the practice of writing online, the feedback of audiences, and the exposure to other gifted, brave, vanguard authors. We know the value of quality and necessity of blogging, which is what makes us so very generous with our own limited finances when one of our own is in need.

I've often wondered why our rich tech brothers haven't become like the Medici's in Renaissance Italy. Why haven't they stepped up to fund creative development, or to create a foundation to protect our burgeoning art form and its creators? I'd like to encourage them and other related businesses to do so--and not solely by giving us free printers to review. Printers, coupons and samples of cleaning products don't pay emergency room doctor bills or get the electricity reconnected.

As a patron of the arts, I've donated money to many structured emergency relief funds. They are so important, so useful, in helping artists and writers continue to work despite financial setbacks. What if bloggers could have access to a fund like:

the Craft Emergency Relief Fund, which helps craft artists

the ASJA Writers Assistance Fund, for nonfiction freelancers

the PEN American Writers Fund, for published writers

the William A. Graham Artist Emergency Fund, which helps visual artists

or other public, private, regional or local funds.

We have an opportunity to build this thing. I've submitted a request for a seed grant to start the process, from Pepsi's Refresh Everything crowd-sourced corporate giving project. This is what they are doing with the money they saved by not airing a ridiculously expensive Superbowl ad. This is an amazing gesture toward a future that is more authentic because of crowd-sourcing, and because of what we do every day in this space.

I've just put the idea out there to see if bloggers think that our art form needs this type of support. Do you? If so, please register and vote, and share the news. Republish parts or all of this post. Promote on social media. Do what you do, begin to protect what you love. The top two ideas in the funding category will be funded each month. If you have ideas of your own, submit it now for the next round on voting in March.

How it works:

  1. Easy registration.
  2. Vote every day in February.
  3. Promote the link.
If you would like an email each day reminding you to vote, please email me at to be added to the list. It's a very cool list to be on, but it won't be used for any other reason.

I'm offering up this idea because I love us. Even those of us who drive me crazy--sometimes especially them. I love what we do, and that we are lucky enough to do it. My heart breaks when economic suffering or personal and family crises gets in the way of creating for such brilliant people. I'd like to give us a chance to claim this next step in our medium's development. Please join me.

I urge you to click on that link and vote now. Vote every day. Tweet about it. Facebook it. Stumble it. Digg it.

Believe in you and those like you. I do.

Five Star Friday's Edition #90

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