Apparently someone named Ben Horst has taken up the failed SpreadOpenOffice initiative in order to buy out the back page in New York free daily Metro, following in the footsteps of Spread Firefox’s campaign which lead to a two-page ad in the New York Times last year (which I designed).
Ben’s goal of raising $5,000 is a bit more modest than the $100,000 we set out to collect in 10 days (raising nearly $250,000 by the end) — and the audience of the Metro is noteably smaller and less geographically diverse than the TImes, but the effort is nonetheless to be commended.
I have my own issues with OpenOffice as a product, but I do wholeheartedly support Ben’s efforts to galvanize the community around a specific action. He’s currently 75% of the way through raising funds and there’s already been a good deal of pick-up on Digg and Slashdot so I imagine he’ll meet his goal before his self-imposed deadline.
It’s interesting to see this effort emerge organically — especially after the initial thrust to create a SpreadOpenOffice project fashioned after Spread Firefox died on the vine owing to internal struggles over branding control. A similar project SpreadKDE made it out of the gate, but it’s unclear whether it ever took off.
So why did it work for Mozilla? And will it work for others? Not sure, but it’ll interesting to see whether Ben’s micro-donation effort pays off.