It’s been 6 months since we launched our Indiegogo Campaign to raise money to purchase a bus. Our ‘crazy’ idea of having a mobile maker space in London, Ontario has come a long way since then. Although we still have far to go, I thought we’d take some time to recap what we’ve been up to.
Our campaign did not reach its funding goal, but we did raise $2856 towards to the bus. We learned a lot about crowd-funding in the process: it takes a LOT of effort to raise money on Indiegogo, Kickstarter, or similar platforms. If we did it all again (which we might – watch this space!) we would have a professional video, loads of press releases, and a full time campaign manager in place before we launched. Still, it was a learning experience, and Ryan points out here, those experiences have been integral to the DHMakerBus team.
One thing we’ve managed to do well is spread the word. Via social media and conferences, we’ve touched base with many members of the digital humanities community, whose support for the effort shines through when we see our project being spoken about as “doing” “public” digital humanities. We had great conversations out in Lincoln, Nebraska this summer, and will be implementing many of these ideas as we continue our project. This means so much to us, and we will continue to keep this community updated with our progress.
The local London community has also been a source of inspiration. They’ve supported us at different events, such as Making in the Market and Nuit Blanche. The local newspapers have given us great press, and through in person meetings (Thank you Ryan!) we’ve managed to have important conversations with members of each of the institutions in the diagram above. We owe a special thank you to Titus Ferguson and unLondon, who took our idea and ran with it, allowing us to purchase, safety, and insure the bus under their non-profit. We look forward to working with unLondon on the bus and other projects that inspire creativity, learning, and community in our city.
We know that Londoners love the idea of the bus, and now that its road worthy, it’ll be making its way to see Paul and his team at Alpine Systems Engineering. They are going to use their extreme talent to help us outfit the bus with the basics so we can start making and teaching on the road. Until then, you’ll see myself, and my fab co-founders Ryan Hunt and Beth Compton around town, raising funds and having fun. And when you do, please say Hi! and tell us what you would like to see happen on the DHMakerBus.