On upcoming tour, reddit co-founder to seek stories of internet’s impact
The Internet 2012 Bus Tour kicks off in Denver and concludes in Danville, Ky.
Alexis Ohanian, the co-founder of social news site reddit, is taking a cue from the candidates in the 2012 presidential campaign this fall and embarking on a bus tour that will weave its way through the heart of the country.
But Ohanian isn't likely to deliver stump speeches about most of the issues dominating the political dialogue of the moment. Rather, the focus of his journey, dubbed Internet 2012 Bus Tour, is engaging local startups, colleges, media, politicians and organizations in a conversation about the Open Internet.
The impetus for the journey is explained on the Indiegogo campaign page that's been set up to help foot the bill for the tour:
On January 18, 2012, tens of millions of Americans defeated SOPA and PIPA two bills that threatened the Internet, one of the healthiest parts of the American economy.
And now we’re making sure our government understands just how important the Internet is to all Americans.
The tour will run from Denver, the site of the first presidential debate this campaign season, to Danville, Ky., the site of the first vice presidential debate, and organizers are soliciting suggestions from the public regarding where the tour should stop and what it should entail.
By all indications, the tour will feature a heaping helping of Silicon Prairie. The Indiegogo Campaign description makes specific mention of several spots and organizations in the region:
… this isn’t just about Silicon Valley. It’s about parents taking Skillshare classes on blogging in Boulder, TED meetups in Omaha, Kentucky folk festivals that get funded on Kickstarter, artists in Missouri who can sell to the world on Etsy and retirees who can make some extra money renting out a room on Airbnb. Thanks to the Open Internet, people are learning marketable skills that are turning them from unemployed to gainfully employed.
The Internet 2012 bus will be escorted by the Rally Fighter by Local Motors, designed online and built in the USA. We’re organizing an event at the Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City about entrepreneurship, planning a visit to Dwolla, where they’re building the future of money in Des Moines, Iowa.
While Reddit has committed to paying for some of the basic costs, Ohanian recently launched the Indiegogo campaign with a goal of $40,000. Any donor of $10,000 or more is guaranteed a spot on the bus.