One last push

Thanks again to everyone who's contributed already.  It's amazing and heartwarming to me that so many people gave without me having to beg.  There has to be an end date for the campaign and I chose today (actually midnight PST which is 8am GMT) so that I'd have the bulk of funds before I went away.  Credit Card donations are held in escrow until the end of the campaign and I won't get them until Friday.  So if you want to give something *before* the trip has started, maybe you didn't realise it was going to close or perhaps you've changed your mind reading this, please do so.

By supporting this project you will be:
* increasing understanding of the dynamics of social capital created through social media
* co-creating an inspiring online adventure story
* helping create a repository for a large amount of detailed source materials, licenced for use by anyone with some rights reserved. 

However, while I've paid for my flights and have enough for basic expenses for the time being, I need to find some other ways of raising money to fully cover my overhead while I'm away.  This is not only my rent (which is due towards the end of the month) and utility bills but also the weekly contributions I make to my children.  I'm open to suggestions on how to do this – I'm not necessarily convinced that it needs to be another indiegogo campaign, it might simply be about encouraging one-off micropatronage donations – I trust that you'll all have better ideas than I can come up with.  

And I'm not up to sorting it out tonight, I have to finish packing and want to be in bed at a reasonable time to get to the airport for 9am…

Originally posted on Please Look After This Englishman

If you’re wavering, like @robnonsense how does this sound?

We're into the final hours of the indiegogo campaign and I'm preparing to fly to San Francisco tomorrow morning. 

In the comments of a previous post, Rob Mosley said:

"I'm still making my mind up whether to contribute. Partially that's because I'm not sure I'll enjoy the content that much… I mean, I know it will be interesting, and insightful and potentially funny in places; but my jealousy of your trip may ruin it for me!"

and added:

" How would you feel about a contribution that effectively bought part of the rights to sell the story after? My percentage to be shared proportionally with all other contributors. Say with you owning, let's see… 51%

Would this kill the art? Would you want a bigger cut?! (I'm asking because I find this really interesting, and would love to hear your answer… and because part of me thinks if you want to co-fund something, you should profit share… "

So I wholeheartedly agree with the sentiment, but don't feel comfortable with the profit-share idea as a solution.  I do want you to benefit from the material I create, I want to share it, I want you to be able to find insights and meaning that I'm not able to see, but I don't want to  feel saddled with the responsibility for making a financial profit – even if that's not what people are expecting, it's an expectation that I would put on myself.

What it shows me is that I haven't made something explicit that I think I made explicit last year – doh! 

I've left something assumed that is actually quite important.  I've said that I will write a book and make a movie out of the material that I will gather on the trip.  What I haven't talked about is what you will be able to do with that material.  Would it change your mind if I were to say that all the material I collect will be made available online under a Creative Commons licence (probably by-nc-sa) ?  So that I'm creating a free to use repository of research material which you can delve into?  I would retain the copyright of it all, but you could use it without asking permission if. you attribute me as the original source, you don't charge for what you do with it and you share it under the same conditions?  

So rather than investing in something that needs to be a business, you'll be investing in me creating a common good.  If you do want to create a commercial product based on the material (or use the material in any other way not covered by the license), then I am likely to agree, but I reserve the right to be asked first.  The other thing I've left unsaid is that I'll do an event for those who contributed and can get to Central London to explain what I found, what happened and what material is available.

This, incidentally, is almost the same as how Tuttle works – any member can make anything they like out of what goes on there but only I get to use the Tuttle name on commercial offers (and those have involved profit-share) – and I think that's why people who know me from that sphere have been more willing to just jump in.

Originally posted on Please Look After This Englishman

Service and Presence

This badge is an aide-mémoire – it reminds me both that I am here (right now) and what I'm here to do.  In the excitement of preparing for the trip and talking about it, answering questions and asking for help to just get over to San Francisco tomorrow, something has become a little obscured.

I believe that the most important factor in the creation and conversion of social capital (and that's what this trip is supposed to be looking at) is for me to be of service to those around me, to focus on what I can give to each situation rather than what I can get from it.  So my first question for people I meet on the road will be "How can I help?  What do you need doing?" rather than "What do you have for me?"

Now I will forget this again and I will slip up from time to time – I'm not perfect.  But I will be reminding myself daily that, assuming I have what I need in terms of basic food, shelter and transport, my primary focus has to be on what I can contribute to those around me.

I know from experience that my ability to do this will be enhanced when I'm able to remain present to what is going on right now, rather than what happened earlier on or what might happen next.  That's one of the  reasons for me writing about the trip as I go, it helps me put away things that are done with.  It's also why I change the subject when people talk about planning – it's not that I have a philosophical beef with planning, more that I tend, if I give myself over to drawing up plans, to focus on what's not happened yet rather than the here and now and that means I miss out on important stuff.

So I'm here.  And I'm here to help.

Originally posted on Please Look After This Englishman