Blog-a-thons are unusual in the world in that they seem a genuine win-win-win proposition. The hosts of blog-a-thons get traffic from participants’ readers. Participants get traffic from new readers through the host(s). And the world gets new writing, analysis, provocation, and thought that it wouldn’t have had without the blog-a-thon.
In the case of Short-Film Week, we generated roughly three dozen new pieces on short films. This is a small, good thing.
While I hope that the people who host or write for or read a blog-a-thon benefit in some way, that doesn’t diminish the need to express appreciation for their contributions.
First, thanks to Ed Howard of Only the Cinema. This blog-a-thon was his initiative, and I appreciate his idea, his willingness to share the event with me, and his openness to expanding it beyond its initial one-day scope.
Second, thanks to those who promoted the blog-a-thon. Without outside help, a blog-a-thon is limited to the people who already read the host blog(s).
Third and most important, thanks to those who participated in the blog-a-thon. You added significantly to the literature on short films, and the world is a richer place because of you.
One reason I host blog-a-thons is for motivation/discipline to write on a certain topic. I want to publish one new essay for every day of the blog-a-thon. For Short-Film Week, I wrote six pieces in seven days, and I’m genuinely pleased with two pieces. With that performance in baseball, I’d be an all-star.
Blog-a-thons have been around since 2006, and I certainly understand fatigue with them. When they pile up on top of one another, they can be exhausting to keep up with, but I hope they continue. While hosting or writing for blog-a-thons is undoubtedly motivated by self-interest, these events remain amazingly altruistic, and they foster a sense of community rooted in an interest in a particular topic.
With this and the Misunderstood Blog-a-thon, I now have two of these events under my belt. I am committing to one more — Wednesday, July 9, through Sunday, July 13 — to mark the fifth anniversary of Culture Snob. I don’t know the topic yet, but I’m open to suggestions. Leave a comment, use the e-mail form, or send me something at firstname.lastname@example.org.