I just read the book version of One Red Paperclip, a quest by Kyle McDonald to trade up a red paperclip for a house. It reminded me of all the crazy things people have set out to do, with varying degrees of success.

Sean Aiken’s One Week Job; the Pursue the Passion tour; the 1 Second Film project where for $1 (goes to the Global Fund for Women) you can be a producer and possibly join Oprah (my producer ID is 9859 btw); selling a million dollars worth of web advertising or different works of personal art; or just making a million dollars in a year.

I’ve done my version of an Inspiring and Slightly Nutty Web Thing – after being sick of an empty mailbox and watching Ryan Fitzgerald get a zillion calls just by posting his phone number, I got myself a P.O. Box and asked people to send me mail. The P.O. Box is still available, and so is the offer – feel free to send me anything (as long as it’s legal and not food, because AusPost will confiscate it) to:

Tiara Shafiq
P.O. Box 6216
St Lucia, QLD 4067
Australia

I mostly got mail from other Mefites, but it was good fun, and particularly lovely as I went through a really bad patch in life after making that video – so all the letters helped.

This website is one of those Slightly Nutty Web Things too. How many people document their progress at applying for something online – and risk having it all fall apart? The end decision was the one thing I couldn’t control. I was rather hoping that this website will bring some sort of Internet fame…it hasn’t reached Red Paperclip levels (and possibly won’t unless KP NL accepts me), but I did meet a whole bunch of interesting people this way. All the KaosPilots past and present and future, general supporters, social activists like Beth Kanter who promoted me on BlogHer, all sorts of folk.

Even though the project now has taken a sharp turn into a different European country, and has another potential to go really wrong, it still has the potential to go really right. Or at least really interesting. I already have an offer to go to Biel to train with BrainStore for 3 months. If KP NL doesn’t work out, there’s another adventure. If KP NL does work out…well! We have quite a ride on our hands!

Obviously there are quite a few turning points for all those projects. The point where it becomes not just a private fun game, but hits the big time. Where things go “haywire”, as Kyle put it. Something can make the difference.

I’ve been getting a fair bit of attention the past few months because of EducateDeviate. I was actually shortlisted for KLue’s Blue Chilli Awards, but I think I’ve been kicked out because I couldn’t make interviews and photoshoots this week (no fair! there should have been advanced notice!). Second time a magazine has turned me down at the last minute (feh). Interestingly, an article I wrote two years ago, which led to one of the most-commented posts on EducateDeviate until now, has now become an email/blog forward thanks to it being posted on one of the Malaysian homeschooling Yahoogroups. So there’s my Internet notoriety. Heh.

The people I’ve highlighted above didn’t fear the repercussions when they set off on their projects. They made careful choices along the way (such as Kyle’s careful choosing of the trades he made) but were more than willing to make big risks and just do really extraordinary things.

The most extraordinary being that they started.

What is your inspiring but slightly nutty idea? Have you done it already? Why or why not?

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