“Every Point on the Map” – Fair Questions and the Nitty Gritty Details

It’s only been a few days since we announced Every Point on the Map, but we’ve been asked quite a few very good questions.

These range from the, “Where are you going to start first?” types (geographical) to the “How are you going to decide who to interview?” (logistical) kind.  Here are a few others we’ve encountered:

  1. How are you going to fund this project?
  2. Who have you contacted to publicize your work?
  3. What kind of documentation are you going to do (I like video best; or, I like photos best; or, you’re going to write, right??)?
  4. Could I ride with you during one of your trips?
  5. Are you going to write a book?  Make an installment at a museum?
  6. What about passing along a gift from one stop to the next, kind of like geocaching, only different?

Holy Road Trip, Batman –  we have some decisions to make, eh?

I will say that we’ve begun to sort many of these decisions out.  For example, we’ll be rolling out a Kickstarter fundraising opportunity to bankroll our first year on Monday of next week.  We’ve been working with Tree & Leaf designer Dusty Gilpin on our project logo.  And, we’ll be introducing the project on Oklahoma Horizon TV and through other media or publication outlets as we are ready.  I’ve even outlined various legs of the trip so we can be efficient, cover a good amount of ground, and locate places to spend the night from time to time if needed.

In other words, the answers to these questions are coming together, slowly but surely.  And, we’ll cover each of them in individual posts as they are ready to share.  But there is one we’re still mulling and we could quite frankly use your help.  Here’s the deal…

It’s VERY important for us to emerge at the end of the project with a wide-spread story of the unique, yet usually unfeatured (read: plain folk), Oklahomans who live in our great state.  Therefore, we can’t exactly follow the Georgia Rambler model.  He went into each town and asked, “Who is interesting and has a story to tell.”  We’re avoiding this model because we genuinely believe EVERY person is interesting and has a story to tell.

But how do we be fair about our selection? Random and unprovoked by outside suggestions?  How do we let the project reveal who it reveals, as opposed to let emotionally or financially invested individuals sway our decisions?  And, how do we up our chances of influencing those we request to speak with to say “yes” … even though they may be very unfamiliar with publicity, telling their stories, or wishing to have any attention?

One of our ideas is simply to roll the dice.  Literally.  I mean, drive to the crossroads at the center of every town, then roll the dice to determine whether we head north, south, east or west to find our participant.  We could roll again for odd or even addresses.  And again for how far away from the town we go before choosing a residence.  But…there are problems with this methods.

For example, let’s say we’re in Goodwell, Haworth, Leon or Barnsdall.  Depending upon our roll, we could drive for miles and see NO homes.

And, what if we use the “heartbeat of the community” method where we just walk into a convenience store or diner and start asking around.  Did we limit the possibilities at that point?  Yes.  Some people wander into town very little, and those who stay home a great deal may have some of the most interesting stories to tell.

So, what do YOU think.  How can we meet our goals of being: random, representative, fair, safe (always a factor) and unique?  We’re interested to year your thoughts!

[kelly]

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4 thoughts on ““Every Point on the Map” – Fair Questions and the Nitty Gritty Details”

  1. Maybe use Google maps and the dice at each corner – And set a limit for how far out of town you’d go before starting over again.

    Sounds like a wonderful adventure.

  2. Brittany – you know what you did? You gave me some options…some flexibility in your message. I like the idea of having “using our gut” – – after all, sometimes “guts” give us good advice, eh? OR, if we use our gut for a bit and it’s working horribly, then we’ll know to reset! I wish Minnesota, Oklahoma existed, and that you were the house. What a delightful day that would be!! ~ RDK

  3. I wish Minnesota was a city in Oklahoma so I could see you guys! But I think this is a great project and I am excited to see it unfold. I know how very much you love your state (which I have yet to visit but always wanted to…although I’ll admit the reason I wanted to when I was a kid was so I could try to find where Hanson lived and stalk them) and know this will be a very special and unique project.

    As for who to talk to…I think all of the factors you listed are important, and it doesn’t have to be consistent with every city given the unique (can’t stop using that word!) layout, location, population, culture, etc. of each one. Maybe you can have a set of options, and with each one you go to, use your gut as to which one will work best. Are the houses spread far apart? Maybe venturing in town will mean you’ll at least get to talk to someone, even if a more interesting story is miles away in a house in the middle of nowhere (where you run the risk of being told “no thank you” when you actually find one). If it’s laid out in a way where you can do the dice thing, go for it! Maybe there’s a game of sorts you can do (whether it’s an Eeny-Meeny-Tiger-Toe word game, or an actual game game) to help you decide, or a scavenger hunt you make (i.e. a follower tells you in the next town, to look for the first blue house, or find someone wearing a certain kind of shirt,)…the possibilities are endless and you are both creative ladies so I know you’ll figure it out!

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