Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

A DonorsChoose.org Miracle: My Dinner With Jerry (and BoomTown Plans to Vanquish the Naked Scoble!)

If it’s Oct. 1, it must be time for the DonorsChoose.org’s Blogger Challenge 2008!

DonorsChoose.org is a charity that funds classroom projects in high-need public schools, using the Web to match teacher project requests with donors.

Last year, BoomTown did pretty well, raising $12,199 from 52 donors and impacting 1,940 students.

But Tomato Nation’s Sarah Bunting ran away with the overall competition by raising more than $100,000 from almost 1,100 donors, mostly by promising to dress up like a giant tomato.

In the tech arena, venture capitalist Fred Wilson beat me–despite my best efforts, including the use of BoomTown’s progeny as props in shameless videos over the course of the competition–by raising $18,538 from 92 donors.

Both Bunting and Wilson were awarded lunch with Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang, the prize his company offered to the bloggers who garnered the biggest number of donors.

Since Yang was not talking to me last year, part of Yahoo’s crackerjack cave-dwelling press policy at the time, I tried but failed to capture the coveted lunch, so I could get a little time with the reluctant-to-speak exec.

But we do not give up at AllThingsD: The Yang pursuit lasted all year long. He finally relented in late May, after I cornered him onstage at the sixth D: All Things Digital conference and forced him to promise in front of an audience of more than 600 to have a lovely grilled cheese with me.

Yang’s price? That I donate $500 to DonorsChoose.org.

Thus, a deal was struck and, better yet, we ended up having a lovely dinner at John Bentley’s in Woodside two weeks ago.

Now I am back without an insane obsession, although I have my best begging tools at the ready–now both my kids can talk–and a long list of technology requests in high-need public schools.

You can click here to reach the giving page or use the widget on the lower right side of the ATD homepage or the left side of the main BoomTown page.

Time is of the essence! In the tech blogger space, Wilson is already up to his nefarious VC tricks. Worse still, the very sneaky Robert Scoble has entered the contest too.

I simply cannot get bested by a clown like Scoble, now can I?

(I mean, really, take a long gander at the frequently nude dude pictured here!)

I think I have just found my 2008 inspiration! Game on, naked boy!

Seriously, start giving until it hurts and then give more or I am in danger of being Scobleized.

Until then, here is a special video message from Yang himself, proof that determination and obnoxiousness always prevail:


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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus