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Good Karma $1

There is a long standing rumor that one morning on his daily commute advertising genius, David Ogilvy, saw a homeless man holding a sign and in a burst of inspiration David came up with a better sign. The next day David replaced the man's old sign with the new one and that man went on to become Donald Trump. Okay, I made up the Donald bit but the man is said to have increased is earnings substantially. 

Well I never got to meet David Ogilvy but I do have this weird collection of homeless signs. I think I started buying them as a way to understand this unspoken conversation that occurs at intersections. A cultural conversation we're all fluent in but few of us ever really think about. In the end, the collection has become more of an excuse to pull out ten dollars and spend some time talking with somebody I wouldn't normally have an excuse to converse with.

My friends at Kids at Play found out about the collection and came out to Boulder to make a film about it. We tried our own hand at sign writing too but a very different story unfolded. I can't give it away but let's just say we didn't create any Trumps. You can check out the teaser and if you happen to be at some film festivals this year check out the whole 15 minutes.  


By Alex Bogusky


Editor's Note: Check out some t-shirts we've made inspired by a couple signs we liked. The shirts are screen printed locally in Boulder, Colorado and a portion of the proceeds are donated to the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless.

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    Response: richard goozh
    FearLess Revolution - FearLess Blog - Good Karma $1
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    Response: Hollister
    Hi, this essay is despite the small, but rich in content. Reverie verbiage. If you want to see details:Hollister
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    Response: Hollister
    FearLess Revolution - FearLess Blog - Good Karma $1,Questo articolo è stato scritto l'esatto Tuttavia, se si desidera visualizzare gli articoli correlati è possibile visualizzare le informazioni qui:Hollister,
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    A web that trace whose phone number. And generate information about the owner. 100% accurate information
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Reader Comments (3)


I dream in fractals~reading the signs in a fractal world where most of the meaningful activity is hidden at first, a type of karmic blindness. Once one moves past this, the world holds extraordinary beauty and information. Dharma!


March 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterIN-B-TWEEN

I love the idea of opening our eyes to the simple messaging people use to reach us, from a communications perspective. But I also wonder how we could take the very same tools they use to give them a new 'pen' that could turn that cardboard into something that affects change on a bigger scale.

I came up with something off that idea last year:

Library's have free internet access. And homeless shelters, while not supportive of panhandling, could just accept that it will happen and instead set up a site that lets social workers get homeless people upload their stories, special needs, goals...and them give them a device that lets people donate directly to them and to specific needs (vs, say, alcohol and drugs).

Now, if only people actually used QR codes, it could work. They don't, of course. At least, not much in the US...but there must be similar easy way to 'hack' homeless cardboard signs that make them much more powerful and beneficial. It becomes less about giving a dollar and more about giving a new way to get that dollar.

March 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTim

Grassroots media buying. Nice.

March 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJake

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