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Created for the Creative and Adventurous: STORYSEEKING.COM wants you to get outside and READ!

Created for the Creative and Adventurous:  STORYSEEKING.COM wants you to get outside and READ!

STORY SEEKING (www.storyseeking.com) as a concept started at the end of 2010 when I started using my iPhone to see out Geocaches in my local neighborhood and also in cities where I was visiting. I enjoyed the hunt of finding a treasure that few knew about with a piece of technology in my hand, but I thought to myself, “Wouldn’t it be neat if these treasures actually told you stories?” And my mind wondered even more. “Wouldn’t it be great if creative writers could submit their own stories and build these treasure hunts on their own?” And from that thought, Story Seeking was born.

The actual company began in January when I made my first “investment” of $35.00 to register our website: http://www.storyseeking.com. All of the company is financed straight out of my pocket, with the greatest expense being payment to our developer for putting together the front end .NET website and the backend database. Thankfully, the developer had faith in the concept and was (and continues to be) very understanding regarding payment for his work.

We officially launched the site on May 10th 2011, only after a series of test sites were debugged by trying every scenario possible to “break” our reading, searching and submission processes. The great part about the site is that since it resides on the Internet and uses a common mapping feature (Google maps), you can use STORYSEEKING.COM with any smartphone or tablet PC and without purchasing or installing any apps to your device. All you need is the ability to get to the Internet, and that’s it!

The premise is simple. A creative writer can submit their short story to us, we read it and approve it and divide it into 4 chapters. We send the authors three small vials (we call the “QuestCaches”), which they hide at a local park and record the GPS coordinates of the vial locations. There is a password in these vials that the “SEEKERS” use to continue through their quests.

The QUESTS begin when a seeker finds a nearby park from our website using their phone or tablet start reading an original short story (written by one of our QuestMasters). When they get to the end of the first chapter, there is a map that they have to follow to get to the first QuestCache. When they find the vial, they enter the password at the end of the chapter which will then take them to the next chapter in the story. The SEEKERS keep reading the story and finding the passwords at the end of the chapters (using the maps) until they finish their Quest!

Our marketing and promotion is currently from social media outlets like FACEBOOK (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Story-Seeking/137679152962906) and TWITTER (@STORYSEEKING). I do occasionally attend Poetry Reads at local coffee houses and hand out business cards to continue getting short story submissions from the creative world. That has been the biggest challenge thus far; finding talented writers who also want to promote their stories in a new and exciting way.

We are currently still in the fledgling stages of our business. Eventual revenue streams include advertising and perhaps a nominal fee for SEEKERS to embark on Quests as the goal is to pay our QUESTMASTERS every time a SEEKER goes on their quests and enjoys their story. We really just want to provide an outlet for creative writers to get their stories in front of a worldwide audience. We see a great potential for teachers and parents that are homeschooling to use our site to encourage young creative writers to use their talents and perhaps make a little money for their effort as well. The authors would become their own marketers, encouraging their friends and contacts via FACEBOOK or other social media outlets to embark on the quest they have just built and offer feedback on the story, which can also be tracked through our site.

I can’t really say what our proposed first year earnings are speculated to be, that really isn’t the driving force behind the site. Exposure is what we are focusing on right now and trying to find willing participants for submissions around the world and hopefully begin a “word of mouth” viral sensation for the concept is what we are hoping for. To that end, we are currently working on a series of movies to upload to YouTube.com that demonstrates the fun and excitement of doing a QUEST through STORYSEEKING.COM.

The entire process of building an online presence without any venture capitol or angel investors has required much effort. One can only hope that with a little luck and some passion and enthusiasm for our product, that word will begin to spread about STORYSEEKING.COM and more and more writers will be encouraged to submit stories and more and more readers will enjoy getting outside and using today’s technology to enjoy great stories written by today’s best writers.

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