In which computer programmer begins chaffing at the lily pads, and livestreams his own suicide attempt

Crowdsourced purchase shows amount of mutual misery in Texas state capital but also offers opportunity to build Silicon Prairie

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In which computer programmer begins chaffing at the lily pads, and livestreams his own suicide attempt

His town is empty. He’s done with it. All 600-odd residents sold their stuff and lined up behind him to help him buy the place. He’s already bought it outright. The rumor is he’s made plans to cook some wings.

Meet Dogtown, the town at the heart of a Texas trend of empty, empty towns. It’s the result of a popular online community site called Where’s My Town?, where people post pictures of their homes for sale. About a year ago, a man created the town on it: The Town of Mustang, which contains an entire city block fronting a highway in the middle of nowhere, a bridge and an entire strip of town buildings.

It was fun for a while. But there was something unhinged about it. After about two months, people started removing their items. When one guy posted a sign that said “I regret to inform you my town is for sale”, a few people started taking their stuff and leaving, too.

Then the town took off. The guy was outbid, and the interest went viral. On Friday, he closed it up, and crowdsourced the purchase of the town to a collective of other townsfolk: “The store has been purchased, but unfortunately, it is not open for business yet.”

The man had every intention of living in the town when it opened for business. Instead, the crowd bought him an 8,000 square foot house and more than 17 cars.

They just couldn’t resist getting into town.

The developer who created Dogtown said he was excited to help build Silicon Prairie. He already builds robots and has started hiring a web developer who can build it out. Even before the town was bought, he said, he was thinking about renting a shop.

“We’re not prepping to start a city. We’re not rolling out the red carpet to get people into a town. This is mostly about building an interesting character to the best business idea,” he said.

I bet it’s exactly like the times in which they built him all that.

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