Looking Back (And Forward)


About this time last year we launched Project OpenBook. 365 days into the adventure, this seems like as good a time as any to recap where we’ve been and where we’re headed.

Some quick stats:

  • 53 poems published. (One per week on average, though it wasn’t nearly that smooth.)
  • 30 contributors, from award-winning authors and illustrators to students and amateurs.
  • $1,000 in freewill donations contributed toward educating girls through Room to Read.

What we’ve learned:

  1. The world is full of good people. I have met a bunch of incredible folks on the first leg of this adventure. All of our contributors have donated time, talent and/or treasure to this cause with nothing promised in return. Indeed, for our artists/illustrators, it’s a leap of faith that anything beyond a blog post will result from their hard work. To me, that’s just amazing. And I could never say thank-you enough.
  2. Starting a movement is hard work. I’ll admit something: I grossly underestimated the amount of work that would be required to organize, push and sustain a project like this. From writing, to recruiting, to making connections, to editing and posting the work and contributor-spotlights, to pushing and cajoling… It all adds up to a ton of hard work. I’ve never avoided work – I often say I’m 10% talent 90% drive – but I admit that I’ve been overwhelmed at times.
  3. Having a baby complicates point #2. We were blessed with a third boy on November 16th of this year. (Things are going great, thanks!) As a result, Project OpenBook sort of went dark for the last couple of months. Some of you have poems or illustrations waiting to be published. We’re finally getting into a rhythm so we should get caught up soon.

Where we’re headed:
I’m excited about what this year might have in store for Project OpenBook. Here’s my vision for 2011:

  1. Launch a book. From the start, our vision was to publish an awesome book. We still think that Project OpenBook will make the most impact once we have something to trade you for your donation. If we’ve been able to raise $1,000 simply by working hard, just think what we’ll be able to do when your donations also get you a book. Our goal in 2011 is to publish a bunch more poems, to curate an amazing book, to launch and market that book, to hopefully sell a boatload of copies and use the proceeds to do amazing things for people in need.
  2. Put Project OpenBook on the iPad. I started this update with a teaser (see image above). We’ve begun concept work on creating a version of Project OpenBook for the iPad. There is still a ton of work to be done. And the amazing dude that is making it happen is doing so in his spare time (see, the world is full of good people). I’m sure there will be bumps in the road – but with a little luck, we hope to launch Project OpenBook on the iPad yet this year.

I would be remiss not to stop and thank the folks that are making Project OpenBook happen: Adrian, Brad, David, Jaime, Ben, Chloe, Avril, Sandy, Jess, Richard, Matt, Marcia, Susanna, Alan, John, Ann, Christy, Nina, Mike, Sharon, Barb, Karen, Courtney, Rachael, Jen, Jesse, Renee, Jodi, Seth, Alan, Maria, Nicholas, Sarah, Fiona, Lynn, Amanda, Rex, Judi, Alexandra, Rahul and every single one of you.

Thank you all! Do good,
Phil

P.S. You can donate directly to Project OpenBook here.

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3 Responses to “Looking Back (And Forward)”

  1. renewabelle Says:

    Yay! This makes me deliriously happy. I hope you know I'm willing to help with anything you may need… just say the word and I'm in! 🙂

  2. renewabelle Says:

    Yay! This makes me deliriously happy. I hope you know I'm willing to help with anything you may need… just say the word and I'm in! 🙂

  3. marblespark Says:

    Thanks for the support (moral and financial!)… and the blank check you just wrote!

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