Top Bloggers Compete in Support of Public Schools

Bloggers big and small, including top sites such as TechCrunch, Engadget, and BoingBoing, challenged their readers today to make donations to high-need public schools. The 2008 Blogger Challenge is powered by, an acclaimed nonprofit website where teachers post project requests for materials that their students need to learn, and donors can choose the requests they want to support.

At, bloggers have listed the classroom project requests they find most compelling and are urging their blog readers to donate to those projects. Technology blogs including Engadget, TechCrunch, BoingBoing, Kara Swisher, and Fred Wilson have all set up giving pages listing technology requests such as "Teaching Literacy Through Podcasts" ($390) and "Laptop For Learning" ($925).

Bloggers in other sectors are also competing to see who can generate the most support for public schools. Science blogs, knitting blogs, mommy blogs, and music blogs are participating with great enthusiasm in the 2008 Blogger Challenge, which will run throughout the month of October.

Michael Arrington, founder of TechCrunch, the #1 blog in the world according to TechMeme, tossed his hat into the ring today. "We aim to show that TechCrunch readers are some of the most engaged and generous of any blog readers out there," Arrington said. displays leaderboards ranking the generosity each blogger has inspired from his/her readers. Last October, Sarah Bunting of leapt to the top of the leaderboards by offering to dance through Rockefeller Center dressed as a tomato if her readers funded all $105,000 of the classroom requests on her challenge page. It worked.

Yahoo! will award the bloggers who engage the greatest number of readers, while Six Apart will award the bloggers who reach the greatest number of students. Fortune Magazine and Technorati are sponsoring the overall campaign.

Many of the participating bloggers have small but highly engaged readerships.

"My readers care a lot about science education, and lets them help real kids in public school classrooms in a way that feels very immediate and personal," said Janet Stemwedel of Adventures in Ethics and Science, one of 15 members of the ScienceBlogs community who have set up challenge pages to fund math and science classroom projects. "Succeeding in the Blogger Challenge is less about how many readers you have and more about the relationship you have with those readers. Even without big traffic, a blog with caring and committed readers can make a huge difference for kids."

See the giving contest underway at