CURRENTLY: New York City, NY

First Entry - Statement of Purpose

More in the Pre-Trip, Preparations

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Welcome. Take a seat, get comfortable, relax. Would you like a drink?

No doubt, if you’re reading this than someone has told you about the project Around America in 2.0. What exactly is it you ask? Well, it’s an attempt to make it across the United States and back in less than 80 days while not spending one dollar on gas, food, or shelter, and instead relying solely upon users from video sharing sites, like Blip.tv and YouTube.

“Huh? Why? What the…?” Well, allow me to explain.

I’m a mid 20-something American-born, New York City based reporter and researcher for a major foreign newspaper. I’ve been reporting on emerging communicational technology quite a bit this past year, and through it all I have come to one solid conclusion, which is that web 2.0 sites, like MySpace, YouTube, Flickr, and the like have created somewhat of a unified global culture particularly amongst America’s youth.

Internet users now, more than ever, have a better grasp on what makes their peers tick. These websites have given those left outside of the public eye a voice and a human element that, in my opinion, has the potential for significance. The world’s citizens, and more specifically the United States’ citizens, want to come together, interact, and understand each other on a more personal level than ever before. From scanning through MySpace profiles of DJs in Brooklyn to watching daily YouTube entries from teenagers on the beaches of California, Web 2.0 websites have given us a platform to finally realize that we, the younger generations of the of the United States, are more similar than previously believed. However, this manner of digital communication has left out one key ingredient in what makes a relationship a relationship, human interaction. My goal is to bring that to you.

Combine some of that profound fancy wording with the fact that I, like most journalists, have no money, and there you have it.

For this project, I will be posting a video of myself on my website at www.aroundamericaproject.com asking viewers from around the United States to both house and transport me during an 80 day adventure. I will not pay for gas, food, or any other form of transportation, but instead rely on you, the viewer/reader to volunteer your services and gas tanks.

Shack me up for the night in your treehouse and take me to my next driver via your scooter? Sure, why not. I want to meet you, document my experience on the road, and post a weekly video blog to my website. However, I want to meet as diverse a crowd as humanly possible. If you have a particularly interesting story you would like to tell, location you would like to bring me to, or just feel under-appreciated, never fear. I’m hear to listen… and eat your sandwiches.

I am asking for every manner of individual to get involved. I want to hear your story. From the political interns in Washington DC, to the snowboarders in Vermont, to the farmers in Iowa, to the cattle herders in Wyoming, I want you all to contact me.

What’s the benefit for you? Well, participation in this project will most likely lead to you being featured in one of my videos, but it’s also a chance to participate in the first project of this type. I aim to breath life into the pictures, profiles, and commentary posted on social networks and video-sharing websites — to show that this era of digital communication has the potential for a form of personal interaction never thought possible.

Plus, road trips are rad.

Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have, or if you would like to jump the gun and volunteer your time in advance, feel free. I will need your name, age, location, contact information, and proposed route across your state.

Cheers!

Matt

matt@aroundamericaproject.com

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