Building up to a fundraiser

Remember FtBCon, the online conference we did before virtual conferencing was the only way to hold a conference? We’re going to be doing something similar, but different, at the end of this month — we are plotting some video events, some twitch streams, some auctions, some targeted blogging, all that sort of thing, all geared to provide content while we ask you all for donations to our legal fund. If you look at the top left of the window here, you’ll see some text saying “COMING SOON: FTB’S SEPTEMBER FUNDRAISER”, and if you click on that, it will take you to a page listing a schedule of events. Well, it will…it doesn’t yet. We’re working on it. We aim to have that list up next week, and then we’ll start spamming you with mentions of the fundraiser itself, which will be over the weekend of 26 September. We’ve got some ideas ready right now, but the purpose of this post is to ask you for suggestions. What would you like to see?

For example, for me we’re considering forcing me to watch some ghastly video, while you chortle at my reactions. Maybe we could let people bid for a seat at the viewing so you can react too? I’m thinking of some niche science blogging (that is, spiders) with donation requests in the post. I may also do a live video/Q&A of my macrophotography and photomicroscopy toys, with real time video from my cameras/microscopes — would you chip in a bit to watch that? There are some other ideas floating around here that we’re whipping into shape, but please, do make suggestions for what you’d like to see and do.

It’s not just me, either. We’re going to ask lots of other FtB bloggers to join in. Who’s your favorite blogger, and what would you like them to do for a few extra dollars?

All donations will end up in our GoFundMe or our new PayPal donation site, Look for more information next week!


  1. hemidactylus says

    Would love to watch you try to endure hours of Swedish Meshuggah extreme metal but I would probably tap out watching you watch and need Lawrence Welk bubble therapy. Not good at tortuous schadenfreude thing.

  2. Owlmirror says

    PZ Myers Reacting to Extreme Creationist & Flat-Earth Mental Contortions for TWO WHOLE HOURS While Cosplaying Gomez Addams and Eating Funyuns!

    (I dunno, I’m just trying to string together the sort of Youtube clickbait phrases that catch the corner of my eye when I’m looking for something else)

  3. Paul Ditz says

    What about a podcast on the latest in developmental biology, reviewing a recent paper, guests and so on.

  4. Bruce says

    You should ask Marcus Ranum StdErr to make several knives and or dog fur combs as easily and quickly and cheaply as possible. Let there be some detail to distinguish each from the other. Then auction them individually as a fundraiser. Maybe Charlie can contribute one as well? And the several people who have experimented with resin molds can auction some simple little artworks perhaps?
    Maybe some of the computer experts can auction off a simple web page or spreadsheet customization, or whatever there’s an offer for? Maybe some origami art could be auctioned too?
    Of course, all such items can go with blog posts explaining the items, to increase bidding. Each item should be made as easily as possible, so that it is a high profit item. If it only sells for costs plus postage, it’s a poor choice as a fundraiser item, even if not undervaluing labor.
    Others could think of PDF things to auction. For example, Great American Satan could auction a combo of a scan from a page of some ancient manuscript, plus his translation from the medieval for it. Intransitive could auction a document listing the most worthwhile tourist attractions in Taiwan, and why. I’d hope this would be like 15 minutes of work for something that could get bid up as a unique item. Of course, everyone else could do likewise. PZ can do a guide to Minneapolis, and another guide to Kent or Seattle. Sure, such books exist, but these would be uniquely personalizable etc.
    it’s better to have lots of cheap items that can get bid up. There’s not time to make lots of fancy stuff, and this is more fun if there are more items to bid on.
    Good luck to all.

  5. Sean Boyd says

    How about a Mock The Movie, but instead of Twitter use Discord, then invite/admit those who have bought a ticket to the movie, so to speak. Or simply invite all participants in the conference to join in and turn it into a “pay what you can” event.

  6. says

    Marcus has already volunteered to auction off something!

    A Mock the Movie on Discord? That would be an interesting approach. I’d have to figure out how to do it, but maybe.

    Somebody suggested a musical event, and we have a few people who could pull it off. Not me, though.

  7. says

    I will not be participating bc I am working full time for Tha Man and my personal life is a bit rugged this year. However, when I get my novel edited into a slightly less embarrassing state, I will publish it and use proceeds to help with this bill.

  8. Sean Boyd says

    I’ve only a rough idea of how it might work, PZ. I’ve never used Discord, but I think you can create a server that is invite-only, and that invites can be provided by emailed links. I think you (maybe) have a GoFundMe set up? GoFundMe will let you add a comment after you make a donation. Have those who wish to participate enter the phrase “Mock the Movie” into said comment. Those who do so can have a link to the Discord server sent to them.