Reddit launches Midwest bus tour campaign for the Open Internet, asks for your donations

Reddit launches Midwest bus tour campaign for the Open Internet, asks for your donations

After rallying together against US anti-piracy legislation Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) earlier this year, Reddit has announced it will ensure Washington doesn’t try to pull a fast one on Americans again. How exactly does one do that? A bus tour, of course.

Next month, Reddit is pushing its “Open Internet” initiative with a half-red half-blue bus through the Midwest to campaign for the Open Internet during the Presidential & Vice Presidential debates. Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, Reddit General Manager Erik Martin, other Reddit staff, and some entrepreneurs will be onboard (if you will be present, let us know so we can drop your name in here).

If you want to join in on the fun, here is a partial itinerary for the bus tour:

  • October 3 – Presidential Debate watching event – Denver, CO.
  • October 4 – TBD – Boulder, CO.
  • October 5 – Event at Raikes School, UNL & Event with – Lincoln, NE.
  • October 6 – Event with Dwolla on The Future of Civic Engagement – Des Moines, IA.
  • October 7 – Startup Weekend Demos – Iowa City, IA.
  • October 8 – Event at Kauffman Foundation on The Future of Entrepreneurship Kansas City, MO.
  • October 9 – Start Louis Tech Meetup at TREX – St. Louis, MO.
  • October 10 – Event with Fark on The Future of Local Communities – Lexington, KY.
  • October 11 – VP Debate watching event – Danville, KY.

Reddit is covering the hard costs of the trip (gas, bus, driver, and so on), but it still needs funds to “get a proper graphic wrap for the bus, host events across the country, and properly document and share the stories we find with the whole Internet.” As such, the company has launched a fundraiser for $40,000 on IndieGoGo. The donation brackets range from $5 to $36,000.

If you still aren’t convinced, here’s the pitch in text-form:

This isn’t just about Silicon Valley and big web companies. Start-ups, local governments, small businesses and web savvy individuals across the country are using the platform of the Open Internet to start new businesses, learn new skills, earn extra income, and make their budgets go further. If you have a story like this, please post it to /r/Internet2012. The Internet 2012 Bus Tour will collect, document and share these stories from the American heartland. We will have 10 journalists from major outlets on the bus, as well as our own documentary crew to capture and tell these stories.

The Open Internet is about the freedom for Americans to help themselves, and it’s an enormous engine for economic growth. Let’s make sure both political parties, media everywhere, and local governments recognize it this Fall!

For those who can’t or don’t want to donate, Reddit is asking you to contribute and upvote stories over at the Internet2012 subreddit.

Image credit: stock.xchng

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