NEW YORK: Two environmental activist groups are looking to increase awareness and win new advocates by sponsoring a five-week road trip from Connecticut to California featuring well-known video blogger Amanda Congdon.
Sponsored by Environmental Countdown and the National Resources Defense Council, "Amanda Across America" began September 19 and will feature daily video blogs hosted by Congdon on three main topics: citizen journalism; the environment; and "quirky, weird Americana art kind of stuff."
As former host of the vlog Rocketboom, Congdon generated as many as 350,000 page views a day with her daily online newscasts, which covered an eclectic mix of subjects.
She recently left the vlog because of a dispute with former business partner Andrew Baron, as well as to pursue various potential TV and video blogging opportunities in Los Angeles.
Jed Alpert, an executive producer of Environmental Countdown, a new group which is focused on urban environmental issues, said sponsoring Congdon's journey should help drive a lot of visitors to his organization's Web site, which provides a forum for posting and sharing video on environmental issues.
"The great thing about Amanda is that she can really drive a lot of people to a site," Alpert noted. "She has strong interests in environmentalism. It's an incredible opportunity to take her credibility and develop it around environmental causes."
Congdon said a strict schedule has been created for the trip, which will be documented on www.amandaacrossamerica.com, but will mostly be kept secret to maintain a sense of spontaneity for Web site visitors.
Sponsors are providing several thousands of dollars to help fund the trip, and Congdon and her three fellow travelers are riding in a Ford SUV hybrid donated by advertising agency J. Walter Thompson.
One of the first vlogs produced on the trip was an interview with a vlogger named Josh Wolf, who had been jailed for failing to turn over footage of a political protest for a federal grand jury.
Environmental Countdown will be working with Washington, DC-based 2050 Group going forward, but did not use an agency for this campaign.