I'll do it if... I must confess, this makes me a bit tingly: In an age of rampant me-first-ism and political entrenchment, PledgeBank offers a refreshing alternative. An online social tool created by mySociety, PledgeBank is about beating the feeling of powerlessness by "connecting you with other people who also want to make a change, but who don't want the personal risk of being the only person to turn up to a meeting or the only person to donate ten pounds to a cause that actually needed a thousand," according to mySociety director Tom Steinberg.

The site works like this: sign up (for free) and make a pledge to do something, but only if other people will join you in that activity. Once enough people pledge to help, dig in and do it.

A recent successful pledge:

- Jeff Rigsby pledged "to edit 100 pages for Project Gutenberg's Distributed Proofreaders site during the month of July but only if 50 other people will too"--which, if completed, will make 5,000 pages of public-domain literature available for free online!

A few ongoing pledges:

- Simon Holledge "will have 10 trees planted to offset my total carbon dioxide emissions for 2005 but only if 99 other people will too." (61 people have already signed up.)

- Al, a "road rage sufferer," will drive in the most considerate and courteous way possible for the entire month of August but only if 50 other people will too." (21 more to go.)

(Via Treehugger.)

Speaking of pledges:
1. To mark its two-year anniversary, Sustainablog will be blogging 'round the clock starting at 9 am July 11. Jeff McIntire-Strasburg has been soliciting per-post pledges, with proceeds going to support the sustainability mission of the Earthways Center at the Missouri Botanical Gardens. Bloggers, including yours truly, will be donating blog posts for the cause.

2. Independent Minneapolis underground theater company Flaneur Productions, one of 12 companies dubbed "hip, hot, and on the verge" by American Theater magazine last December, needs your help to bring its latest production (reviewed here) to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August. Donations—even $5—are tax deductible and can be made here.

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