100 Businesses. 100 Websites. 100 Days.

Can you reboot a small town with open source software?

The Project. This project does something Truly Weird but Truly Good. Very, Very Good. It is a simple project to help a small town begin again by using open source software. The project will create, manage, tutor, badger, cajole, leverage, twist and shout and do anything else to help a group of the 100 smallest businesses show themselves to the wider world using open source software. The group of businesses? The farmers in a local Grower’s Market. All of them. Every Farmer gets a website–not just the market. You can see an example by clicking on the vendor links above.

Volunteer Park Banks of Rogue River  The Market  The Market

The Town. The town is an amazingly beautiful place… but it is hard for you to learn about it or see it. Some of the best things about this place are nearly invisible unless you are already here. The open source software tools to repair that situation are well known, but not obvious for novices. The project fixes it in a couple of simple ways.

  • Everyone uses the Same Simple Tools and everyone learns at the same time. This creates a group that can self support. It also creates a small market so service vendors might be attracted to help–the place is truly too small now.
  • Focus on STORIES instead of design and technology. The skills to continuously publish new info become easier every day. Thank you Open Source Software! Design and technology can be hard… unless you use open source. Open source simply and quickly removes the early obstacles to self publishing.
  • Leverage talents and existing skills. Creating a new page with a photo on a website is not much different than sharing a photo on a personal Facebook account.

Specific Results. The project has a specific result: Simple Self Publishing for every business. Three organizations in this small town will ‘receive’ new websites using this year’s technology–and ALL of their MEMBERS get the same. Included is 100 days of full time on-site guidance from an experienced internet marketer. The focus of the 100 days is to get EVERY LAST ONE of the participants to TOUCH THE TOOLS so they can see what is possible. Each vendor can attend 3 separate how-to classes in groups of about 10. For 100 days an office is open and drop-in support will be available. The organizations (with minor help) will supply separate user-controlled websites to every single one of their vendors: Farmers get a website with their stall rent; Artists get a website included with their gallery show. Craftspeople get… yeah, just like that–100 Businesses. 100 Websites. 100 Days.

Other Results. Some of the results of the project won’t be visible right away. They might include these Very Good Things:

  • Inspire more local businesses to grab these newer technologies and use them.
  • Local businesses increasing the wages of employees who work on this new type of marketing.
  • Show the kids growing up in this town that their future might be here, not somewhere else.
  • Create a local user group that supports open source software and local business.

Fixing invisible. To show possible visitors the town requires some fairly simple tools… but if no one is using those tools then nothing changes.


Fixing Invisible… Since the Week after Next.