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Interview With Scotty of Hitch50

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Last night I had the lucky opportunity to chat with Scotty of Hitch50.com. Scotty and Fiddy are travelling across the US in fifty days thanks to the miracle of hitchhiking.

Justin, a friend of mine picked them up and let me know they were in his car. I have to admit to not being prepared, but very excited. I posted about their journey on BloggingPro just before they started it. Now they are over two weeks into it and going strong.

Me: Hi Scotty, this is David from BloggingPro. I posted about your mission not too long ago.

Scotty: Kinda caught you off guard being in the car huh?

Me: Yeah, seriously. I figured I would only just keep watching the website. So to start things off, why was 50 consecutive days was chosen? You could have stretched it out to far more… 100 days sounds like even more fun.

Scotty: Maybe so, but it doesn’t have the same edge as 50 days. We figured 100 days would be easy, so we wanted a bigger challenge. Also, 50 in 50 has a nice ring to it.

Me: What about this “Golden Ticket“, other than the fact of maybe getting to go on a trip, why do you think people would want to give you a ride at a chance to party with you? What activities do you have in mind?

Scotty: We’re hoping and planning as much as we can that the final destination is Hawaii. So Hawaii alone is a good time. We’re also hoping this will snowball enough with the media and publicity, so the events may come through the level of exposure we get. If that is never realized we can just hang out on the beach, surf and eat pineapples.

Me: What about money concerns? Is there some corporate sponsor we don’t know about?

Scotty: No, there is no sponsors. We dont want this to be “Yahoo presents Hitch 50″ or something like that. If there’s a corporate bank account behind the project it takes away the feel of it. It would be easy for people to do this if they had a big budget. We’re trying to keep it ‘grassroots’. So we’re taking the risk on ourselves through our credit cards.

Me: Oooh…credit cards. Nice. Have you found it hard to keep up with the blogging? Getting online must be annoying sometimes?

Scotty: Sometimes yeah, we have mobile broadband service so alot of it is done in the back of cars. Also, we are trying to spend as much time with our drivers and hosts as possible, without being burried in our computers. So alot of work is done between 1-4 AM If we take a day off from updating the site we get just burried in work to catch up. Also, we have a short time-frame, with only 50 days to do the project we need to keep the content comming to maximize the exposure.

Me: How have you found the interactions that you have had so far with other bloggers, commenters and the people that pick you up?

Scotty: Almost all comments have been positive and supportive. We get alot of “I wish I thought of that” or “I’m living vicariously through you”. The people who give us rides are thanking us for letting them be a part of the project. So its been so positive. As for bloggers, we’re getting the same support. I’m not sure how many blog links we have now, but we had like 40 in the first day alone. Its the bloggers more than anyone who see the vision of the project. Many of our rides are from other bloggers and we try to link to their sites.

Me: I am one of the people living vicariously through you guys. Infact my fiance is now bugging me to do something similar across Canada now… Thanks a lot…

You have to come through Canada to get to Alaska, any chance you will save a day for British Columbia? I know it is not the USA, but us Canadians are friendly and would probably give you a ride, and B.C. is beautiful.

Scotty: Sure, we’re gonna be in Victoria soon. Oh ya, we’re both from Vancouver so we know what its like.

Thanks to Justin for creating the opportunity and Scotty for being up to it. I really appreciate the time and effort that he put into going back and forth with me in the car on the move.

Scotty also let me know that his buddy that is doing all the great programming and whatnot on the site is going to be releasing some new features soon where you can see the approximate speed they are travelling as well as some geo-tagged photos.

Great stuff, and the best of luck to them from me.

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