Do you see your facebook/twitter/whatever social media friends say “Please support my new project with Kickstarter/IndieGoGo/Pledgemusic” and immediately groan and un-friend, unfollow or block that person? Sigh. ‘Tis the age of crowdfunding, and everybody has a project.
Crowdfunding is the collection of finance from backers—the “crowd”—to fund an initiative and usually occurs on Internet platforms … Kickstarter: The company’s stated mission is to help bring creative projects to life. Kickstarter claims it has received over $1 billion in pledges from 5.7 million donors to fund 135,000 projects, such as films, music, stage shows, comics, journalism, video games, and food-related projects. People who back Kickstarter projects are offered tangible rewards and special experiences in exchange for their pledges. This model traces its roots to subscription model of arts patronage, where artists would go directly to their audiences to fund their work.
In my social networks, I see it mostly with music, art, film and sometimes nifty inventions or delicious food products like Punk Rawk Labs vegan nut milk cheeses (SO GOOD). I have backed around 15 projects, from my friends (Ida Jo, Toby Thomas Churchill) to one of my favorite musicians of all time (Jane Siberry) to an international documentary that tugged at my heart strings (Embrace).
I have successfully funded an album in 2012 with Kickstarter:
and am in the middle of another campaign to record “Live to Lathe” at Welcome to 1979 Studio in Nashville this summer.
I am not hesitant to fund projects as I see it as a way for people to follow their dreams AND if the project doesn’t get funded, nobody loses any money (but maybe the inventor’s heart breaks a little). However, I can understand the irritation as SO many people – any old joe off the street – can try and raise funds for a project. They can get their fans’ hopes up — and if it doesn’t get fully funded then it’s seriously disappointing. Or what about if you funded something and the award never came? GAH! And yet, as awkward as it seems, it can be validating to pursue … It’s exciting as a fan to be a part of something and I still am giddy to get packages in the mail other than bills. Go fund something! www.kickstarter.com