Funded! This project was successfully funded on February 21, 2013.

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A collection of pieces written over the past 4 years exploring the creative potential of websites like Craigslist, Omegle, and more.

STRETCH GOALS & REWARDS:

NO WAY! INITIAL GOAL REACHED! NOW IN STRETCH GOAL MODE TO HELP PAY FOR ISBN, BAR CODE, SELLING THROUGH AMAZON, AND MORE!

  • $1500: DIGITIZED LEVEL! If we raise over $1500, I will vocode one of the poems from the book (on a stolen vocoder) and perform ambient music behind it, which will get sent as an MP3 to every backer at the $5 level and up. ACHIEVED!
  • $2000: DIGITAL MAGNETIC POETRY LEVEL! If we raise over $2000, I will design a website that enables users to quickly and efficiently create and share their own "Meaning of Life" -style chat investigations online.
  • $2500: MAGNETIC DIGITAL POETRY LEVEL!If we raise over $2500, every order $13 and up will contain a set of magnetic poetry words consisting of a mix of phrases from the book and vacuous Web 2.0 jargon.

Background

The origins of "Open Source Poetry" arise out of an evening of suburban boredom. To kill some time, my friends and I decided to go to Omegle, a website that connects you to a random stranger via text chat, and ask people:

Some of the responses were cryptic:

Some were quirky:

And some were surprisingly insightful:

For weeks after that, I continued asking this question on Omegle and recording the answers. After amassing a ton of these responses, I assembled them into the piece what would become "30 Strangers and the Meaning of Life" a collection of anonymous responses that I found oddly beautiful. It even got selected for my school's literary publication, which was kind of cool.

About the Project

The experience of "30 Strangers" opened my eyes, in a clichéd sense, and reminded me that the internet isn't just a collection of information, it's a collection of people and personalities. In the three and a half years since beginning that piece, more and more content that I've seen on the internet has filled me with an odd sense of emotional and literary inspiration. Open Source Poetry is a 100+ page collection of over a dozen of the pieces I've written over these years, utilizing content from various websites including:

  • Craigslist personal ads
  • Vandalized Wikipedia articles
  • Questions asked to ChaCha
  • and more

With your support, these pieces which have been gathering dust on my hard drive can be given new life on the printed page in the form of a paperback book, and shared with a much wider audience than whomever is within sight of my laptop screen. If I were applying for a grant, I would write: My hope is that this collection can reveal the ways in which technology and art coexist and inform each other, exposing poetry and technology to new audiences, and explore a paradoxical personality behind anonymity. If I was writing a letter to you, however, I would tell you these pieces are filled with insight and humor that anyone can enjoy.

Rewards

Printing books is not a cheap order (hence this Kickstarter) but as a supporter you have so much to get out of your contribution:

  • An unreleased piece not good enough to make the final cut!
  • DRM-free e-book edition for the papercut-averse!
  • Physical copies of the book to outsmart obsolescence!
  • Brand new pieces written to your specifications!

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

The risks of this project are minimal--the content of the book is almost entirely written, and laying out the book will hopefully be straightforward. I have looked at several potential companies to print the books, but have not decided on one yet. I will strive to find an efficient and trustworthy company, but there is the potential that delays in production could delay shipping of rewards. I have tried to allott enough time so that this will not happen, but it is always a possibility. The prospect of packaging and shipping potentially close to 100 books is also daunting, but it is a task I will rise to if successful!

FAQ

Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

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    5 backers

    An unreleased piece, cut from the book, in PDF format.

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    15 backers

    All the above rewards, plus a DRM-free download of the book in PDF, .EPUB, and .MOBI formats.

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    18 backers

    All the above rewards, plus a copy of the book, including shipping.

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    7 backers

    All the above rewards, with a signature on the book, in case I die or something.

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    3 backers

    All the above rewards, plus an extra, signed copy of the book, to give to a friend, or in case your basement floods, and a hand-written thank you note from me.

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    5 backers Limited (5 left of 10)

    All the above rewards, plus I will compose a new poem using the content on a website of your choosing.

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    5 backers All gone!

    All the above rewards, plus your name forever in ink on the Special Thanks page

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Funding period

- (30 days)