chez pim and the long tail of campaigning

I had the pleasure of chatting to food blogger Pim Techamuanvivit at the recent NESTA Uploading Innovation Event. I've never read a food blog, even as one as popular as hers, but it opened my eyes to the potential of something I'll call the long tail of campaigning. Pim told me how, for one week each year, food bloggers use their blogs to raise money for a good cause. Here's the blurb for this year's campaign, which raised more than $60,000:

Every year, Food Bloggers from all over the world get together for a fundraising campaign. We call it 'Menu for Hope'. Last year, we raised $17,000 to help UNICEF.
This year, Menu for Hope III raises funds to support the UN World Food Programme, which provides hunger relief for needy people worldwide. To us Food Bloggers, food is a joy. On our blogs, we celebrate food as a delight or even an indulgence. Unfortunately, for many others who share our world do not share that privilege. For them, food is a matter of survival. This "Menu for Hope" is our small way to help.

Those active seekers of new social tactics at Netsquared have a podcast interview with Pim.
chez pimchez pim

And there's more. Pim told me about how they'd organised a Day without Food Blogs to protest against the threat to Net Neutrality. Apparently she had people writing back to her who were outraged about the possibility of a two-tier internet, and who would never have come across the issue otherwise. (That's not to say there aren't any foodies on the ACLU staff :).
There are at least two aspects i love about all this. One is the neat connection between a passion (cooking) and a political issue (world hunger). And the other is the way it connects hard political issues to people's lives in a way that makes them an aspect of our ordinary passions, not a specialisation of dour hacks or paid campaigners.
It really makes me think about the potential for the long tail of campaigning - how the internet can help to ground campaigning in everyday life, where it belongs; and not just as an exercise in scale, like the numbers game played by Make Poverty History, but as something that qualitatively touches the small & important in our lives.