Coming clean: This is written a day late because an article deadline kept me working past midnight, then my computer crashed and then Twitter crashed, so I’m writing this on a wing and a prayer, and postdating it.
Hey, I’m a librarian! They said, “Books!” I said, “Books?” and promptly paid attention. The identify their corporate identity (book store, independent, named Books Actually) and their location (Singapore). The Twitter stream is in English, so I am guessing they are focusing on English speaking immigrants and travelers, but I don’t really know. When I click through to the website, they have lots of social media spaces — Twitter, Flickr, Blog, Facebook, Calendar and (of course) their Christmas / Advent activities.
This one is similar to some of the gaming calendars, where there were games on sale each day, except that it is books, and they are recommended rather than put on sale at a discount. The motivation is that, well, you like books! Works for me. 😉
What is different and interesting about this one, and the next one, is this. You’ve noticed, I’m sure, that most of the Advent activities are coming in the form of some sort of Advent Calendar or other extrapolation of the countdown concept. Right about now on Twitter we are seeing start up the 12 Days of Christmas as an alternative countdown meme. The thing with the countdown concept is that it can really be anything (as we’ve seen with coding and crowdsourcing and games, oh my), but it can also be anyTIME. That is what makes this idea of the Advent calendar so interesting to follow and so extensible. So, the Books Actually calendar came to my attention originally as an advent calendar, then a Christmas calendar, uses the 25 days that is typically of the Advent Calendar meme, BUT started in November! Not even the first Sunday of Advent in November, but well before that. By the end of November, they were halfway through the calendar, and now, halfway through December, their calendar is all finished, with more than ten days left before Christmas. Interesting.
Christian Aid also used a different start date than most, November 27th, however they used the one according to the church calendar instead of the secular calendar. I just wanted you to think about these are beyond the 25-day standard secular countdown to Christmas.
One interesting thing they are doing is using the activities to push out information about charitable partners, non-denominational activities, health information related to HIV & AIDS, and so forth. Like Advent Conspiracy mentioned a few days ago, I had to dig to find out who they are, but unlike Advent Conspiracy, I didn’t have to dig very hard or very far. A few clicks and I had names of people and how they hold themselves accountable for funds.
Christmas 2011, Advent Reflections (PDF): http://www.christianaid.org.uk/images/christmas-2011-advent-reflections.pdf
“Here you will find reflections on HIV and AIDS, climate change, corruption and conflict, suitable for use in a church service or home group. Each reflection contains prayers and a link to more information on our work in these areas.”