SUMMER 2008:

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Archive for April, 2008

Spontaneous Schwaggin’

Posted by Michael Liskin on April 30th, 2008

Espree helping out

This post is in tribute to those people who spontaneously pitched in to help us with schwag collection or in other ways during the week. We are truly grateful for the support and friendship you gave us, and we think that it’s very much in the spirit of this endeavor that you became Schwagineers with such conviction–there was no stopping you! I’m especially talking about Pastor Dave and Espree Devora, who took time out of their conference schedules to help out in big ways. Shannon Clark also pitched in, and Mike Prasad and Jeremy Broekman lent preparation support in LA. Anna Reidinger hosted the wagon in Turlock, CA.
Thank you!

Flash Philanthropy

Posted by Michael Liskin on April 26th, 2008

This is the first moment I’ve had to reflect on any larger understanding of what the six of us just did in the last 72 hours.

Are we a smart mob?
Not exactly. Smart mobs generally refer to examples of collective intelligence that happen among a very large group of people, not a small group of six. Usually the term refers to ad hoc groups. At least most of us knew each other ahead of time; we are not pure ad hoc.

Are we a workgroup?
Not so much. We had no prior organization; while I knew everyone, some only met each other through me just for this endeavor. We did not set out formal roles. We did not spend any time in meetings ahead of time. We did communicate, but not all at once, and not face-to-face.

Are we a flash mob? Not at all, because we had a purpose beyond the aesthetic: a purpose of donating schwag to charitable organizations, as well as to raise awareness among conference goers about schwagwaste. Plus, we stayed for days, not minutes. Oh, and no pillow fights were involved.

I realize now that we just exemplified Flash Philanthropy. I could have called it “smart philanthropy” to be more accurate and in appreciation for Howard Rheingold‘s great concept, but that would have been misinterpreted later. In relation to the amount of time it usually takes to create awareness and charitable events, spending a few days planning and a few days executing is worthy of the term, “flash.”

In choosing to continue our mission, perhaps we’ve graduated from flash philanthropists to something else.

Bottom line: We had a common purpose, the team sprung into action, and we achieved our goals by tapping into new technology, and we did it in a few days. That’s Flash Philanthropy.

The Schwaggin’ Wagon Interviewed by Financial Times

Posted by andy on April 25th, 2008’s Kevin Allison met up with the Schwaggineers this afternoon at Web 2.0 Expo:

In just ten days, the Schwaggin’ Wagon crew has built a website, procured a van, and attracted more than 150 followers on Facebook. They plan to collect schwag from conference-goers and donate it to Innerkids, an LA non-profit that hosts after-school programmes local youth.


It is still early days, but judging by the reaction among conference-goers, Schwaggin’ Wagon has struck a nerve. Several Web 2.0 companies have lent their support to the project and organisers are looking for more sponsors.

Read, “Whatcha gonna do with all that junk?.”

Photos from the Schwaggin’ Wagon at Web 2.0 Expo SF

Posted by andy on April 25th, 2008

Join the Schwaggin’ Wagon Flickr group!