Laying the groundwork

One of the things I did this week, to start to lay the groundwork for an IBOL3D, was to actually reach out to the media. Well, sort of.

I contacted my alma mater, specifically the alumni folks who publish the nice, polished, glossy magazine. It’s very nice, very slick. I sent them a short note, told them that there may be an IBOL3D in the works, and that if they take a look, they might find that the project reflects a lot of the things that the school holds in high regards. Their initial feedback from both positive and enthusiastic.

I also reached out to the national office of my fraternity. Same deal — alumni, polished magazine, etc. I said that IBOL3D might actually happen, but I also pointed out links between the Army values and the fraternity values (yes, the fraternity as well-defined values). They were positive and enthusiastic, and have asked questions, asked for photos, etc. I am confident that they’ll publish something in the next couple of months.

But that’s it so far. I think these are good things — laying the groundwork now for an effort in the spring or summer. Should I draft something generic, for people to use in their guild newsletters? Should there be a deliberate once-a-month type update thing about IBOL3D, where it stands, what’s coming up, so that people can blatantly copy and paste it and send it around?

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10 Responses to “Laying the groundwork”

  1. Jan Myhre Spokane, WA Says:

    Good morning, I read with interest your latest efforts toward a third gathering of hope. I would happily copy and paste a flier to be sent to local guilds and their contacts in the wider quilting world. Please keep me in mind for this worthy effort. Even though my stash is somewhat depleted after IBOL II, I have many quilting friends who were unaware of the effort. I will let them know how to participate when IBOL III is up and running. Thanks for this opportunity to share our abundance with the women of Iraq.
    Sincerely,
    Jan Myhre

  2. courtney Says:

    Hey! Have you thought about contacting the alumni associations for the army/ coast guard/naval academies? those would be great places to “advertise”! If you are looking to update the blog site you should check out: http://www.mesacc.edu/~chago/ he makes some great blogs/business sites! I’ve been setting up my own online shop (selling quilts and knitted items) and have been brainstorming ideas to get the word out, so I’m full of ideas right now. Have you thought about doing an online auction of donated items to potentially raise money for additional boxes to be sent? I’d love to help in any way- Let me know what you need. I’m pretty crafty- literally and figuratively! Best, courtney

    • IBOL Guy Says:

      The academies might be a good idea. I think I have a buddy or two at USMA, and if I remember right, I may have a new in at the Naval Academy, too. Might be worth pursuing.

      Right now, a part of this is about strategic communications — not info upon which action would be required right this very second, but word about IBOL in general and IBOL3D in particular. we’ve actually got access to some pretty high speed ‘net geeks, from graphic designers (I married one, after all) to web 2.0 mega nerds. The hard part is separating what can be done, from what we should do. For instance, the website needs some freshening up — new graphics, and a (gasp!) color theme, to replace the goggly-gook of things I culled together quickly for IBOL I. But that’s already in the works behind the scenes.

      And lastly — the money. IBOL doesn’t use money. It doesn’t seem to need money. The website? Free. The work that goes into it? For free. The stuff people send? They cover the costs themselves. There’s no not-for-profit status for IBOL, no recurring bills, nothing. If actual money needs to be spent on something (like IBOL cards for our trip to Houston), I pay for it out of pocket myself. The reasoning for this is simple — it cannot appear, in any way, shape or form, that I could possibly be gaining personally from any of this. That’d ruin my career. So, the IBOL was designed with that in mind. Odd, but it seems to be working.

  3. Orwell Says:

    1st question: do you have any doubts at all that you can pull off IBOL 3D if you try? For example, I thought you mentioned possibly needing to go legitimate or semi-legitimate. If that’s the case, I’d wait until you’ve reached the necessary level of legitimacy.

    Once that’s achieved, I’d decide on a date on which you’d want the first bundles shipped, and figure on increasingly frequent updates as that first ship date approaches, and then nearly daily updates until the last date that can’t be late.

    • IBOL Guy Says:

      I’m pretty sure we can do this. There are some hurdles, but as I’ve thought through it all, I think it’s well within the realm of possible.

      And yeah, I’ve backwards planned. Ramadan to distro, to all bundles have arrived, to the window for getting there and the window for putting them in the mail. I suspect that if I put something together, every month or so, it’d get use some. Maybe not everyone every month, and maybe not something entirely new every month, but it’d be me generating content for others to then push out. I think that’d work.

  4. Sally Says:

    If you want to grow it, it does need to b e consistent. I’m glad to spread the word here in southwest Ohio and on my blog, emails, etc. Once a month would be good.

  5. Margaret Cunningham Says:

    Regarding your latest post – yes to both questions. Maggie

  6. stephanie allgood Says:

    I like the idea of monthly updates, which I will also be happy to share with my group and on my blog.

    Do you have any contacts with fabric manufacturers or designers who might have bolt ends or leftovers they’d share? I’ll talk to a couple of my local quilt shops about what they might be willing to donate. (My stash has been pretty well edited by IBOL 1 and 2!)

  7. Edwina J Murray Says:

    The idea of updates is great! If this idea is to work you must keep people informed. One of the best packages I sent was given to me as a result of people cleaning out houses of their older relatives who had died. One lady gave me a bag containing 155 spools of thread and a dozen pair of scissors. I divided those up into the 8 boxes I sent this year.

    A year long effort would give many people plenty of time to scrounge through yard sales, estate sales, etc for even more items. It is truly surprising what people donated to me…tape measures, pins, needles, notions of all kinds, lace pieces, some of it old but still very usable. And if we have to pay small prices for some of this stuff, it is our donation!

    Postings to local newspapers would be great. Just telling people about the project brought me some donations. So a monthly update which we could print out and pass out to people would be very helpful.

  8. obscure Says:

    “Yes!” is the answer to yur question.

    And yesterday I discovered 2 skeins of yarn I’d forgotten about and added them to the special IBOL 3 stash which I started with a few things that I couldn’t squish into IBOL 2 package. My $1.00/week envelope is in the same box, so I won’t forget to keep adding anything I find in my stash or buy for IBOL 3 over the next months.

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