(Sorry for the lapse in posting. I’ve been very busy. See below.)
As you may be aware, I was recently involved in a class which required that several projects (mine included) raise a small amount of money through crowdfunding. (You can watch the short intro I made here.) Having heard that Internet fundraising is difficult, I thought I was mentally prepared. Besides, my “ask” was small: $1,500. Since longer campaigns aren’t more successful, all our efforts were capped at about four weeks.
Initially, everyone in the class pledged to everyone so there wasn’t a net gain but these efforts helped “seed” each of our projects.
For me everything pretty much came to a standstill after that.
After a couple of weeks of no activity, I started to wonder if I was trying to sell something that no one wanted to buy. I remembered reading many years ago that Thomas Edison had invented things he thought the world needed but those weren’t always successful. He ultimately changed his philosophy to:
I find out what the world needs. Then, I go ahead and invent it.
Was I trying to sell something that the rest of the world realized it needed but United States wasn’t ready for? If the campaign failed, what then?
After some soul searching, I made a decision that I would not abandon my metric adoption campaign altogether. Sure, making a documentary is terribly expensive but writing isn’t. And while writing can be very time consuming, it’s not expensive if you do it right.
If the campaign did fail, I decided, I’d pull my blogs together and form them into a book and try to sell that. Granted one on the subject just came out (I’ll review it shortly) but I had a very different story to tell. Another possibility would be to go ahead and write the script and spend my money shopping that around. The Westdoc Conference provides one such opportunity.
Then, right before Thanksgiving, I started to get additional pledges. One lovely gentleman (who I didn’t know at the time) even encouraged others on the Reddit metric pages to contribute.
The heartening news was that, in the end, pledges totaled 110% of the goal. And as it turns out, more than a third of those who donated were people who didn’t know me!
I’ve since written to all of them personally to thank them since they cared enough to help fund the project. I’d also love meet more of these sorts of people (regardless of contributions) since they’re the ones who will help spread the word about how our population needs to become aware of this important topic. Ultimately, the documentary is just about raising awareness. Knowledge of our situation needs to happen before any further attempts at political reform can take place. After all, you can’t solve a problem you don’t know you have.
And now for something (almost) completely different
I recently received my yearly statistics report and I’d like to share it with you. (The full report is here.) It’s amazing to me that people from 151 different countries have viewed this blog to date!
Total pageviews to date is 86,727 which is an increase of 47% over the 2013 numbers.
The most popular post has been “Top 10 Reasons the United States Should Use the Metric System (of SI)” with 32,951 pageviews. The fact that people continue to search for information on this topic and find these posts also helps me to feel I’m not out in left field somewhere.
Getting “more class”
I started a new Coursera course today that should continue to build my knowledge base for the project: Image and video processing: From Mars to Hollywood with a stop at the hospital.
Becoming more conversant on image processing could only be a good thing for me. Technology in this area is changing all the time.
Lots more coming in future. Thanks for staying tuned.
P.S. If you want to help on the metric adoption issue, I’d love to hear from you. Optimally, I’d like to locate contacts in different states/regions to help built support locally. If you’re interested, let me know by writing to me at email@example.com. Thanks!
It might be a good idea to raise funds for a metric lobbying group. Evidently the only way to get anything done in Washington is to hire a lobbyist. US Metric Association is prevented by law from lobbying because it is a non-profit, educational organization. If it were to lobby, it would lose the tax-free status it presently has. Also people would no longer be able to contribute tax-free donations to it. Thus, if we want to get any real progress on the FPLA update or anything else, we really need to seriously consider creating a specialized lobbying group.