The SXSW music (and film, and interactive media) conference is one of the biggest festival/party/social behemoths in the world. It’s also one of the most international. So what better place and time to try to raise money for earthquake relief in Japan?
Bloggers Leigh Durst, Deb Ng, and Rob Woo saw the opportunity to do something to help while hanging out in the blogger lounge during the interactive part of the conference, and they pounced on it. The started with the Twitter hashtag #sxswcares to encourage people to donate to the Red Cross and by the end of the day, they had set up Sxswforjapan.org and raised more the $5,000.
The website is simple and the logo looks like it was scrawled on a cocktail napkin, but there is a powerful social networking component that allows users to set up a page for themselves to encourage family, friends, and various members of their social network to donate. As of now they have raised more than $35,000 and set their fund-raising goal at $50,000. At this rate, they could easily meet that goal too, as they will be raising money for the rest of the festival, which runs until the 20th. Go Internet!
SXSW Cares/SXSW 4 Japan isn’t the only part of SXSW that cares either. The festival organizers themselves are currently working to make the annual Japan Nite showcase into a relief benefit.