Monday, April 4, 2011

Let's Talk (About Doing Something Good).

I recently received something in the mail, and ever since I got it I can think of nothing else but giving it away. I know, it's absolutely crazy - and goes against my previous stated and vehement dislike of giveaways.

I wrote that post over a year ago, when I had nothing to give away other than Inara's artwork. I have always felt (and do still feel) that giving away things just to attract more readers isn't in anyone's best interest...HOWEVER...

...let's just say that I now have something in my possession that I know you, my wonderful and devoted readers, will be far more interested in than Inara's artwork (which frankly, shocks me because who WOULDN'T want a poster-sized painting of blobby people?). The thing is, I want to give this away because even though it's probably one of my most beloved items, I know that paying it forward to all of you will make me even happier. Yes, I know. I'm a crazy fool. But I just know that this is the right thing to do....for you and for me.

Now here's the thing. Giveaways in general drive me a bit batty. I honestly can't stand it when I have to do eleventy million things just to get a fighting chance to win something that I want (and you will want this. I just know you will!). On the other side of things, as a blogger - I do appreciate it when my readers think enough of me to want to share my blog...and I feel weird about making you HAVE to do that as part of the giveaway. But it would also help to give more people a chance to win, and the more people the merrier I say! Spread the love!

So here's where you come in. I'm going to do this giveaway next week. But I'd like your help in setting it up. I've had a few discussions on the Veni Vidi Facebook Fan page, as well as on Twitter about the kinds of things that YOU find the most interesting/least spammy to do as part of a giveaway. I'd like to bring that same discussion here, so we can all talk about it together, and decide how we want this to go. I love the intimate number of readers I have today, and I think of all of you as friends. I would never want to do anything that irritates my friends, and who knows? Maybe the decisions we make together today will shape the direction of V2B in days to come. I think it would be fabulously democratic for you guys to have a hand in that.

You know it's true...

Everything I do...

I do it for you...


One of the ideas I put out there on my V2B Facebook Page was to stretch out the giveaway over a week, and give readers a different way to enter on each day. That way, you're not having to do a hundred things all at once and losing track, or bombarding your friends with V2B spam. Some of the common ways to enter online giveaways are:

- Leaving comments on the blog itself (Love this. Low effort, low spam. Love.)
- Sharing the blog online via Twitter or Facebook (I'm meh on this. But I like that more people can enter the giveaway by you sharing it with them.)
- Following me on Facebook and Twitter (meh. But I do loves me some followers. FOLLOWERS. What a horrid term. How about Potential New Reader-Friend Type People?)
- Subscribing to my blog via email, RSS, Google Friend Connect. (Not sure about this. You should follow me if you like my content. You shouldn't have to follow me if you don't. But maybe you like the giveaway AND the content? Thoughts?)

And then I started thinking about other, non-traditional ways to make my giveaways more fun for all of us, and possibly to turn them into something GOOD for even more people:
- Someone suggested that an entry on one day could be to tell a cute story, or tell a funny joke (could be really cool!)

Do you have any other ideas like that? Something YOU would be willing to get involved in?

Then I had my big huge uh-maze-ing idea.

What if we used the giveaway to do something altruistic? Something good for someone else, not to benefit me or you but just doing something good BECAUSE WE COULD.

See, I've always felt that bloggers have a lot of power. We paint pictures with words, we can incite and encourage, and do so many things with the power of our writing, and the power of the people who read our words. We can hold giveaways and lord our power over your heads - making you send in videos proclaiming your love for us, or Tweeting about us seven times  a day on the hour OR ELSE. Or...


Or we can Do Something Good.

What do you think about a Do Something Good Giveaway? I would like it to not involve money, because doing something good for someone else shouldn't necessarily involve cash. What if part of the giveaway was to help a stranger out? Or to take some baked treats to your neighbor? Volunteer an hour of your time somewhere? Could this work? Am I living in Lala land here? Or could this be the start of something bigger and better for all of us? Maybe there are vendors out there that would want in on this too? I know that it would make me feel pretty good, knowing that my product was inspiring people to DO SOMETHING GOOD.

I know we're all busy people, with kids and families depending on our very limited and precious what if there was a way to Do Something Good online? Does anyone have any ideas about that?

Oh, and I need to give you a hint about what my first Do Something Good Giveaway prize is going to be. It's going to be awesome, because I think that by it's very nature, it is Something Good. I can't think of a more appropriate item to start this off the right way.

Here's a picture - and the hint is that even though these two lovely people have inspired me to become a better version of myself...YOU CAN'T HAVE MY KIDS! And because I'm not giving myself away (Yet. Wait. What?) that just leaves....

 You know what they say - that the happiest people aren't the ones who are getting more, they're the ones who are giving more.

My hope is that in the long run, we all get to be winners in my giveaways.
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