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I talked to some of the people you traded with, and they all said they wanted to be involved because of you. What do you think it is about you that attracted these people?
MacDonald: It's kind of a tough question. Maybe it's because I approached it like a kid's game and kept things simple. I created a word called "funtential," which is the potential for fun, and I really made trades based on the funtential of them. I really made trades that had the most funtential. For instance, an afternoon with Alice Cooper has a lot more funtential than an envelope full of money.
Can you just talk about the role of the Internet here and how that really made it possible?
MacDonald: I think the Internet was the medium here. It sort of hit that MySpace element, in that there were pictures, text, interaction, videos and really the whole "Choose Your Own Adventure" element where literally you never knew what was going to happen. But I think the key here was that it was a project in real life, and communicated through the Internet. There are a lot of Internet projects where someone just does something and it spreads virally, through like things like Digg.
But I think this touched people from 8 to 88 because I went and met these people. I know them. I shook hands with everyone that I traded with, even Alice Cooper, and I think actually doing that struck a cord because it wasn't just something on a computer.
People have copied my idea and they just simply put a picture of a blue paper clip or a yellow paper clip on the Web and go, someone offer me something. They don't realize you have to market the idea. You actually have to walk out the front door and shake hands with someone, and I think that's what separates the real stories from the schemes of the Web ideas.
Over the course of the year, how has your understanding of technology and communications tools changed?
MacDonald: I just got a Writely account (a Web-based word processor), and if I'd had that at the beginning it would have been easier because I could have collaborated on ideas with people. In 18 months, I'm sure there'll be all kinds of tools that are better.
You'll be completing this project on the one-year anniversary of your first blog posting. That's amazing.
MacDonald: Yeah. It's not one of these things that just randomly happened. The offer came in last Thursday and we could have flown there last Friday. But the ticket prices to get to Kipling were cheapest for Wednesday, so it worked out. I aimed at that date and said I'm going to try and make all this stuff happen by then and it lined up and here we are.
What is the town going to do with the movie role?
MacDonald: The town is going to hold like an "American Idol"-style audition over the Labor Day long weekend. So anybody in the entire world can go to Kipling on Labor Day. I'm going to have my housewarming party then and I'm going to bill it as Saskatchewan's biggest housewarming party ever, and Corbin Bernsen will be there. He'll be judging the auditions, and the rumor has it that he might open it up to a few more roles. He has potentially up to 10 roles that might need to be cast right there in Kipling. So, it's going to be a good draw for the town and a good opportunity for someone who didn't have anything that they could offer for a trade but really wanted to be in the movie.
And I read that the town is planning to put up the world's largest red paper clip. What's that going to be like for you?
MacDonald: It's going to be cool. It's going to literally put the red paper clip on the map. Hopefully it's big enough and Google Earth images get it so we could actually see it from space. And they said they want to unveil it on July 12, 2007. So one year from Wednesday.
So you're going to work on a book. What will be the title?
MacDonald: I'm pretty sure it'll be "One Red Paper Clip."
What is next for you? Movies? Hollywood?
MacDonald: Yeah, I've gotten a lot of interest. I guess you could say we are well into talks with entities about the film and TV rights and stuff.
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