Funded! This project was successfully funded on October 17, 2012.

Update #1

A Thank You and an Excerpt

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We are a day into this 30-day campaign and TONS of people have supported the project.  Thank you so much. 

I will explain later in the FAQ section, but if the goal IS reached before the campaign deadline, the project will continue accepting donations.  Any donations received will be put towards the book and will be applied to enhance it, like putting drawings in and getting extra editing and graphic design work done.  

Here is an excerpt from the story, 'Bad State of A Fair', about my work at the Iowa State Fair AARP tent.  Enjoy.

Too soon, my time at this post has come to an end, and now I must go back to engaging people again. I work the technology station with the other guy, and I quickly find it mind-boggling. We have three jobs. First, we politely encourage people to sign up to win a trip to South Carolina that I privately think is bogus. By doing this, AARP will procure their email addresses and be able to flood them with information they have no desire to receive. Someone has ingeniously set up poles to move the Spin-to-Win line right by the technology station, so it is the next logical stop. We corral them like cattle towards the computers. “You could win a trip to South Carolina. Sign up now!” I don't know if this is better or worse than the Dream Board, but if I stay close enough to the computers, I can share a little shade with the machines.

The second task is to teach the elderly how to text message. This has already been a huge flop, fortunately. They have connected a giant screen to a cell phone, and we bring in people that have never sent a text message before. We teach them how to type in a message on their phone, and then the message appears on the board. In theory, our eager participants are supposed to write that they are having a great time at the Iowa State Fair and learning how to text at the AARP Magazine Roadshow. But the booth proves a huge flop, and no one is interested. The screen is having trouble, so Anthony says we can nix it, which I am thankful for. That concept never had a chance. Let's use technology to teach technology to people that don't want anything to do with technology.

There is a third and similar activity at the technology hub – the e-postcard station. Like the text messaging, people can write a message on the keyboard that will go on an e-postcard they can email to whoever they want. There is a picture of the AARP tent in the background of the e-card. Surprisingly, despite the worthlessness of this activity, a handful of people do take part. The problem is, most people don't know email addresses off the top of their heads – a detail the organizers of this shindig overlooked. It is sort of like how nobody knows cell phone numbers by heart anymore because they don't have to. Some people write a message, and are stuck because they don’t know any email addresses by heart.

A few others ask me, “Aren't I just sending an email to someone? What is the point of this?”

I couldn't agree more.

“Oh, well this is an e-card,” I explain. “It's special and has an image of the fair.” People aren't convinced. The technology station is not a good scene, and the time drags as I anxiously wait to get moved somewhere else.

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