Or fandom, in any case. Neil Gaiman announced on his blog that the following authors are auctioning “cameos,” if you will, in their forthcoming works. The proceeds will go to the First Amendment Project (which really needs a new color scheme). You can name a victim in a Stephen King novel, an utterance by Sunny in a Lemony Snicket book, a character in a Jonathan Lethem comic… and many more.
I’m sure you can write a nice little article about how postmodern a phenomenon this is, but it’s cool to see creative ways of leveraging fans for chartiable causes. It’s first amendment, internet-based, pop-culture… all we need is for some video-game designers to auction off cameos too. Then the academy would go crazy-go-nuts.