Fans&Boxer for Charity

From the world of boxing comes news of a fan-organized charitable event that sounds like it was a huge success:

It would be hard to find better examples of the power of the Internet and fans interacting with their boxing hero. Australian based supporters of Kostya Tszyu held a sparring day on Saturday titled “Crewfighter” at the former undisputed champion’s gymnasium in Sydney. All of the details, including the matches, catering, prizes, merchandise, video filming, after fight dinner and designated charity for proceeds were all organised via the Internet and in the Forum at Organiser Mark “Seafarer” Fellows came up with the idea whilst speaking with a fellow Tszyu Crewer late one night.


Fellows took the concept to Tszyu, who loved the idea. The 37 year-old junior welterweight star has always had a close relationship with his fans and regularly holds live web-chats with them through his website as well as making advertised public appearances to meet fans, sign autographs and pose for photos.

I know even less about boxing than I do other sports, but I know I like it when I see someone willing to go out of his way to support his fans when they organize meaningful events in his name.

There are a lot of charity events in which celebrities participate, and this suggests what could be a fruitful way to channel fans’ creativity toward good causes while enhancing the bonds between artists and fans.

Lala’s Social CD Swapping is a semi-socialnetworking website that hooks up people looking to discard the cds they don’t want in exchange for the cds other people don’t want. The charge? $1, plus 75 cents shipping. And they provide the envelopes. From the PSU Daily Collegian:

The site’s logistics are simple — to find music, users browse other member’s profiles or search by album title, genre or artist among a broad range of albums from newly released titles to old school classics.

It’s even got a non-profit musician support component:

The music-sharing organization helps to support working musicians through their charity, The Z Foundation, Kuch said. The Web site has a definition of a working musician as “any individual who has performed live or on a recorded release in the last year and whose music-related income accounts for more than half of their total income.”

Bill Nguyen, co-founder of, said he is glad to see musicians finally getting compensated for their work.

“For the first time, musicians will receive economic support directly from their fans,” he said.

Twenty percent of each traded CD goes to The Z Foundation, Kuch said.

“Giving back even 20 percent can help them buy more studio time or new equipment, so they can make more music,” Sung said. The money collected by the Z Foundation provides musicians with medical and dental care, he said.

As always “for the first time” is pretty far from accurate, but it’s a great idea nonetheless: a nice legal alternative to illegal downloading, and gets the object into the hand for those who still like to read liner notes and see the pictures.

Wrens seek 5th online

One of my very favorite bands ever, The Wrens, has a problem — they’re brilliant in the studio where they can add layer upon layer of guitar, but some of those songs they just can’t play live. It doesn’t stop them from putting on a fantastic show, but evidently I’m not the only one who wishes they could play Ex-Girl Collection live. The solution? Get a fifth member. Their strategy? Post their tabs on their website and seek local people from the towns they’re gonna play to be their fifth member (or members, they could have different people for different songs) each night. They say it’s a way to thank the fans for all the great things they’ve done for them in the last few years. I think I might love this band even more now.

If you’ve never heard The Meadowlands, go buy it right now.

Read my Wrens love story here.

(Link via Large Hearted Boy)