For Those of You Hungry for Pomplamoose News

Here is a trifecta. It is a news nugget that (a) features the blog-war - provoking indie duo, while (b) supporting a worthy Christmas-themed cause; and (c) offering yet another wrinkle on the endless "future of the press in a digital age" theme. How could I resist?

These strands come together in a front page story in the print edition of today's SF Chronicle, that the Pomplamoose singing group is supporting a book drive for several public schools in Richmond, in SF's East Bay. For a list of the schools and why they're seen as deserving, go here. The plan works this way:

1) You go to a special Amazon page that has been set up for the Richmond Book Drive and choose a book (or books) to donate, from the wish-list they have established it.

2) You pay for it, and specify that it be shipped to the Richmond schools address, which is already on the page.

3) You go to a "Thank You" page and download the Pomplamoose Christmas album.

SF Gate photo of Richmond students receiving some of the gift books:


I will confess that across the whole Pomplamoose oeuvre (which maybe I should spell "oovre" for consistency), Christmas songs are not my absolute favorites. This is the Pomplamoose-original I like best; this and this are some of their best covers. But I'll sign up for the book drive because: the "choose the books you want to give" model is appealing (sort of in keeping with the GlobalGiving model that gives you a fine-grained sense of the projects you're supporting);  as a product of the California public schools I'm happy to support them; plus, it can't hurt to have the music.

And the "future of the press" angle? The SF Chronicle's web site today has a mention of the story -- but says that the full text won't be online until two days after it runs in the print edition. Print subscribers can log in and get it right away. One more entry in the ongoing world-wide experimentation in how news organizations can devise new business models to cope with the internet. Check it out.

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James Fallows is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States and once worked as President Carter's chief speechwriter. His latest book is China Airborne. More

James Fallows is based in Washington as a national correspondent for The Atlantic. He has worked for the magazine for nearly 30 years and in that time has also lived in Seattle, Berkeley, Austin, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, and Beijing. He was raised in Redlands, California, received his undergraduate degree in American history and literature from Harvard, and received a graduate degree in economics from Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. In addition to working for The Atlantic, he has spent two years as chief White House speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, two years as the editor of US News & World Report, and six months as a program designer at Microsoft. He is an instrument-rated private pilot. He is also now the chair in U.S. media at the U.S. Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, in Australia.

Fallows has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award five times and has won once; he has also won the American Book Award for nonfiction and a N.Y. Emmy award for the documentary series Doing Business in China. He was the founding chairman of the New America Foundation. His recent books Blind Into Baghdad (2006) and Postcards From Tomorrow Square (2009) are based on his writings for The Atlantic. His latest book is China Airborne. He is married to Deborah Fallows, author of the recent book Dreaming in Chinese. They have two married sons.

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