Dustball 2000 Project
Three days. 2,000 miles. 30 cars. I rode with eight of them.
The Dustball is a road rally, not a race. To be more precise: It’s a gimmick rally. You don’t win by getting there first or fastest. Instead, with the Dustball, you don’t know where “there” is. At the launch point each morning, you’re handed a packet of clues that will get you from point A to point B by the end of the day. The teams that win follow the instructions closest, answer the most trivia questionscorrectly and embody the spirit of the rally.
In summer 2011, the organizers of the Dustball Rally asked if I would be the official multimedia monkey on the longest road rally they’d everattempted. So, I got to work:
A big part of my job, and the most exhilarating, was hopping from vehicle to vehicle, documenting the characters and the landscape through video, photos and creative writing. I kept a blog and a Tumblr page, updating live from the road whenever possible. .
I teamed up with the Balboa Park Online Collaborative to install a live exhibit in the lobby of the San Diego Automotive Museum. Visitors could track our progress via GPS, view a slideshow of photos live from our Flickr feed and chat with us live. After the rally, several teams journeyed to San Diego to participate in a talk at the museum.
One of my main roles was to instruct the teams in using Twitter to create a communication network more powerful than CB radio channel. The online archive is available here. I’ve delivered short presentation on this twice, one in 2009 after an earlier rally, and again in 2012. Here’s the video from 2009 (I hope to add the other soon):