Drafting our blog post to coincide with FreeCulture.org's first birthday, 23 April 2005
- should include
- major events
- chapter growth
- doesn't need to be more than a paragraph or two in total
SCDC / Diebold
Launch of FC.o
Today, April 23rd, is the first anniversary of FreeCulture.org's founding. We've come a long way over the past twelve months, from one chapter at a small liberal arts college in Pennsylvania, to 9 active chapters around the country, and a growing presence both within and without the United States. [crap about how awesome we've become]
The journey began with our official launch at Swarthmore College, featuring Lawrence Lessig in a rousing speech to a packed room, where we made our first non-Swarthmore recruits, and began building an organization. At the planning meeting immediately after Lessig's talk, we picked up Rebekah Baglini and Nicholas Bergson-Shilcock, who were destined to launch our first two chapters, at Bryn Mawr and Franklin & Marshall respectively. They have been driving forces behind our organization the whole time, attending conference calls religiously and helping to define FreeCulture.org as a voice of sanity and balance, based on solid principles and ideals, avoiding both extremisim and cynical opportunism. Thanks to them both for working hard to make things happen and keep the organization alive, through good times and bad times!
Also thanks to Lawrence Lessig for inspiring us, and for linking to our organization from the website for his book "Free Culture", which produced a majority of our early recruits (since every student who is interested in these issues comes across Lessig's work sooner or later).
Over the summer, we ran exciting and innovative campaigns such as Barbie in a Blender and Save the iPod, using the internet to reach people until we could return to campus and found local clubs. This all would have been impossible without the help of Downhill Battle, who provided us with webspace, technical expertise, and advice in our activist endeavors. This was when we found the resourceful Desirina Boskovich, who provided us with both vision and discipline throughout the summer and fall semester, and whom we will miss as she graduates and moves into the "real world".
Fall and winter
Upon returning to our campuses in the fall, we began launching local chapters, and becoming a real, physical organization, instead of a ghostly website-building club. Creative Commons, along with Public Knowledge and the EFF, were kind enough to send us lots of professionally printed stickers, buttons, and pamphlets to give out at our schools' activity fairs, which made tabling much more exciting and effective. Thanks for the free propaganda! The Center for Social Media at American University was also kind enough to pay for two of our representatives to fly to Washington, DC to meet with our allies and related lobbyists, where they offered us a grant to help us get rolling.
Many thanks to Colin Mutchler for organizing a Free Culture Tour and traveling around the country to spread our message to schools from Texas to Tennessee to Temple University.
Interest remains high, and students interested in forming new local groups continue to contact us.
- Where are we right now?
- What are our immediate goals?
- What do we hope to accomplish in the next year?
- How can reader help us?