In a photo posted on ideablob.com, Chris Elam is holding one end of a white sign; his grin is almost as wide. He has just become the December winner in ideablob’s monthly competition. The prize is a check for $10,000. This may not seem like big bucks to folks in the coporate world, but in the world of not-for-profit dance organizations, it’s a chunk. Elam, however, didn’t win for the enthrallingly odd choreography that makes up the repertory of his company, Misnomer. Ideablob.com was established in the Fall of 2007 by Advanta, a credit card issuer that focuses on small business owners, and the official title of the award is “Best Small Business Idea.” Over 1000 people voted for the plan Elam submitted to the website, beating out seven other finalists chosen from hundreds of entries (online comments range from “I think this could be really valuable to dance and theater companies struggling to grow their base of support and find funding” to “This is way cool. Awesome idea”). Advanta’s Chief Innovation Officer, Ami Kassar, who wrote on ideablob.com that “Chris Elam’s work brilliantly combines web 2.0 technology with the arts,” also emphasizes in a phone conversation that ideablob is less about competition than about entrepreneurs honing their ideas and spreading knowledge about what they’re doing. That’s what Elam’s project... More >>>