#Quakebook: Crowdsourced Japan Charity Book

By Jared Keller

Publishers around the world are offering assistance to Japan's disaster relief effort, either through direct donations or by matching employee contributions. One blogger, Our Man in Abiko, has taken a more unique approach by launching a solo effort to collect prose, photos and illustrations into a self-published book, dubbed #Quakebook, to raise money for the Japan Red Cross. As of today, the work amounts to 30,000 words, crowdsourced almost entirely through Twitter. Our Man in Abiko's self-imposed deadline is 2:46 p.m. today in Japan, exactly two weeks after the quake. In a post on Thursday, March 24, Our Man in Abiko updates his followers on the status of his project:

Thanks all for your suggestions, I've thought long and hard about the title and then I just stopped thinking and my current preferred title is as above. 2:46 is the moment everything changed, and there are other good reasons you'll have to work out for yourself, but also the byline as we old newspaper hacks used to call it, is #quakebook - the good folk of twitter made this possible, so they should get recognition. Should we have the words Japan and Earthquake to optimise those search engines? I'm open to suggestions, but the bottom line is:

We ain't writing for search engines, we're writing for our future.

Anyway, if you have a better idea, drop it in the comments field here, and I'll have a look later.

Got bigger fish to fry today. We've got 30 hours left to pull this off and publish our book by 2.46, Friday, exactly two weeks since the earthquake. The good news - we've got some cracking tales from the frontlines and the home front, all beautifully cleaned up and headlined, some great art - all the ingredients of a great book.

Read more at Our Man in Abiko and Publishing Perspectives.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2011/03/-quakebook-crowdsourced-japan-charity-book/73041/