Saturday, January 17, 2009

Bus.The.Bloggers road trip


Dear Blogger Pals--

Would you believe that nobody has stepped forth to write a check for $50,000 to send a busload of bloggers and community-dialoguers from Cleveland to Akron to Columbus to Cincinnati to DC and back again?

Can you even begin to imagine that nobody as yet wants to sponsor an exercise to bind Ohio together, in wholly public discourse, from the road and from the capital and then from the road again, over 4 wired and connected days from January 18-21? To have the content posted forever on the internet as blogs and tweets and podcasts and videos? To usher in the new intergenerational Woodstock on wheels?

I offered the Greater Cleveland Partnership the opportunity to write a half-check for $25,000 to send us on a one-way trip and not come back--something I thought they might snap up-- but nobody got back to me.

My rolodex was out of date when it came to calling Mike White down there with the alpacas or the llamas, so I called around and found everybody else had trouble reaching him, too. I was hoping he would be able to make the call to Sam Miller so that Sam could get behind the "participatory democracy" he holds so dear.

I tried to get a news operation to partner with us by sending along embedded journalists; the blog-based Huffington Post didn't seem to understand, and one of their blogger/journalists, Paul Krassner, is still too bunged up from a 70s police beating to put in 4 days on the road (Paul knew Magic Bus people like Ken Kesey and Wavy Gravy and is a piece of walking/limping history himself). I was going to try to embed Dick Feagler, recently available, I hear, because of his prior successes at interfacing with the blogosphere, but I didn't want to ask him outright until I had the trip paid for.

I've established a couple of things, or a few:

--Nobody who wants to ride the bus has enough money to carry the whole thing off, and doesn't know anybody who could help at the last minute

--There are no civic-minded sugar daddies out there who specialize in making seminal events happen, at least not among our contacts

--There may be more than one way to skin a cat.

Therefore, it's now time for all of you who think that the Blogger Bus needs to roll out of here tomorrow to begin to ASK SOMEBODY TO GIVE US A BUS FOR 4 DAYS. Dan Gilbert over at the Cavs might have one, or the Dolans may have one that's not being used next week, or the Browns organization may have one that needs to be exorcised by having joyous riders for a change.

After somebody gives you the bus, then ask them where's the food going to come from? Then, ask to borrow their air card. It's simple. Like back in the days when everybody went to San Francisco.

Hey, I've blogged this a bit at--

--and I've Facebooked it at--

I've asked some of our politicians, but some were immobilized by fear of conflicts and others thought that, if this were a proper thing to do, their brilliant Washington staff would have already told them about it.

Gloria this morning told me to leave this whole thing alone, that people would start thinking I was crazy, and I thought, "Yeah. So what else is new?"

It's been fun. Call me or email me or tweet me when you get a bus, or a check for food for 40 people for 4 days, or blog it or make a video and stick it up on U-Tube, or even call WKYC or the PD first--I don't care. What I do know is that we can fill the bus in a heartbeat, create a heck of a lot of good will, create great content and post it for time immemorial to the internet, and bring three generations together on a very favorable basis, conducive to telling stories that need to be told and tales that need to be kept in the public consciousness.

I'm going to the market now, before it closes. I have no Plan B yet. I still have faith in Plan A's being executed by a group of bloggers and other people of good will on a bus, somehow, so open-source it and see what happens.

Tim Ferris


  1. TIM we are still working on it. The first of our group is in DC, Lawrence Auls at

    We are looking forward to developing this Bus trip along with our 34th Annual March in Cincinnati from the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center to Music Hall. RSVP at

    As you know we had a meeting this past week, organizationally, with Federal Reserve Chairman and major money center banks as a NCRC initiative. This is a follow up of the September 2008 where the Board of Directors of NCRC met with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and three of the four Federal Reserve Bank Board of Governors.

    NCRC's members [like us] from across the country shared their view that before acting to shore up Wall Street, the government should first provide assistance to homeowners to avoid foreclosure and then act to help Wall Street out of its current liquidity crisis.

    Last week we spoke to the Chairman about the need for stronger consumer protections and use of TARP as a investment tool for people, not institutions.

  2. Tim,

    I am greatly saddened that we were unable to put this together.

    Perhaps we could arrange this for another time, albeit of lesser import to the country. Perhaps we could do this for next year's Martin Luther King Day Volunteer activities in DC -- it would still make a compelling story (or stories, as it were).

    And who knows: maybe we'll start a new national tradition.

    We just didn't have time on our side with this one.

  3. Will, we just need to get more money together so we can react tactically as situations arise. Maybe we should line up a group of like-minded souls who can respond as the needs arise.

  4. That would work.

    Alternatively, we could start generating a war chest for things just like this. The advantage with doing this would be if we ever needed to send a blogger or two to DC (or elsewhere) for a couple of nights, we could do so without much effort at all.

    What we would need to do, however, would be to figure out what kind of legal standing and financial organization we would need to make it happen in the most responsible way.

    I think we have a few folks in our group that could advise us in this...