The growing page network is the product of entertainment blogger Hank Miller's deep admiration for the music of Amy Winehouse. Following the 2011 death of the singer, Miller started a blog called Amy's Army Now to discuss his feelings about Amy and to help advance the cause of the newly born Amy Winehouse Foundation.
At first, Miller's associates, all lawyers and promoters thought he must be having a breakdown to be spending his spare time writing about a dead musician and a charity. Within a few months, Miller had won over some of those associates and they joined what the experienced blogger calls The Amy Page Movement.
As more of his friends got involved, the blog began to spread its message onto additional page publishing venues. There now appears to be few limits to the group's plans to expand their hobby projects. That's right: All of these guys and gals are volunteer hobbyists and write and promote the Amy Pages just for fun.
"We think it's a very cool hobby and we have a lot of fun with it," Miller said. "While we are still very sad that Amy is no longer here, we think that helping to promote her charitable foundation is a worthwhile cause and, personally, it helps me deal with my grief," he continued.
Miller followed Winehouse's career very closely for years and saw one of her 2007 shows in Chicago, IL. "I wouldn't say I fell in love that day, because I had already loved her for years, but seeing her perform sealed the deal," Miller joked.
Upon her death, Amy's family established the foundation to help fund charities that provide care, support or services to young people who are disadvantaged by reason of illness or poverty. Started in the UK, the foundation has now entered the USA.
The UK emphasis has been on funding nonprofit hospices that care for sick children. The early focus in the USA is on funding music education programs. In the UK, the foundation also supports emergency housing suppliers, lobbies for drug and alcohol education in government schools, and provides other educational opportunities through a scholarship program. These causes were all important to Amy Winehouse and she devoted a lot of time and resources to them.
The Future of the AANPN
The page publishers expect to be on more than a dozen publishing sites by the end of 2012. The "likkle gang," as Miller refers to his fellow bloggers, is also looking at other venues, like Internet radio and video channels to help promote the foundation. Their motto is, All Good Things Amy, All The Time.
Miller said, "We know we are just a tiny penny in the AWF promo game, but we are thrilled to help build awareness about the work that Amy would be doing if she was here."
The total financial investment in their promotional hobby has been zero dollars. The group only publishes on sites that offer free space. Even their website is on a free server. Many of the publishing venues used by Miller have revenue sharing systems that allow writers to earn a percentage of advertising proceeds. Any funds earned by the AANPN pages are pledged to the Amy Winehouse Foundation.
"We could have fancy pages and expensive sites, but a big part of our efforts are devoted to convincing other fans to start their own 'Amy Pages,' and our pitch is that the hobby can be enjoyed without spending even a tiny penny," Miller said.
Neither Miller nor the other bloggers engage in any kind of fundraising for the foundation. "We have no relationship with the AWF and the last thing on our minds is raising funds. Our sole focus is on raising awareness about the foundation and encouraging readers to learn more about the terrific work being accomplished by the new organization," Miller said.
It appears that the "likkle gang" may have discovered a new way that average citizens can help promote their favorite charities and causes. It’s another creative use of the power of the Web 2.0 phenomenon.