30 Hour Day starts tonight

Hey, there’s this live-streaming telethon that’s been put together by a bunch of bright lights from Portland’s tech scene. It starts tonight, 19 December 2009, at 4 PM Pacific Time, and runs until 10 PM Saturday night (which is where the “30 hour day” title comes from). Cami and Rick are the co-hosts, the tech side is handled by Dr. Normal, Cami’s husband and co-conspirator on the Strange Love Live podcast, and there’s going to be lots of local talent and entertainment throughout the broadcast.

They’re doing it to raise money for Toys For Tots, the Oregon Food Bank, and Free Geek, because they’re awesome like that.

It feels like a monumental first to me; the first open-sourced, Creative Commons, charity fundraiser. It may not be the official first; I haven’t poked around to see if anyone else has done this kind of thing before. But it’s still a shining example of how folks, working together with all the amazing enabling technology we have available to us, can make a huge difference if we just get involved.

All the iPhones and netbooks and Twittering in the world are just tools; what makes them make a difference in our lives is people. Like you or me. Not Senators or Presidents or CEOs. Just folks with a crazy dream and the spirit of “Hey, let’s put on a show!”

Which is why I stopped just reading about all the prep, and decided to give a little myself. I’m the “assistant stage manager” for the graveyard shift tonight, from midnight to 8 AM. I hope I’m just a behind-the-scenes kind of guy; I’m not photogenic like Cami or Rick. I imagine the shift will be quiet; Cami and Rick will be tired, I’m sure, but not punchy.

There’ll still be plenty to do, though, and of course, tech doesn’t always work the way we want it to, so who knows if it will all be running smoothly. That’s what makes it fun.

Plus, there’s going to be a pie-eating contest at 4 AM with Whiffies pies! Who doesn’t love pies?

Tune in by clicking here to check it out. And feel free to donate if you can.