There are so many “things” out in the world that we see on a daily basis. Some excite us, some intrigue us, others make us jump up and down for joy, while still others repulse us and force us to quickly move on to the next thing. Lately, on a personal note, there have been more and more of these things drawing my attention in the crowd funding communities.
Many of you, my wonderful readers, have seen my coverage of Net Neutrality over the last year. One of the biggest debates regarding the implementation of the rules is whether or not the factor of Title II will stifle or assist in the creativity that is the Internet. The crowdfunding sites like PledgeMusic, Kickstarter, and Indiegogo might not be the example that people initially think of, but they are fantastic representations of the kind of way the world wide community gets together to support new and creative art.
My best friend hosts a weekly board game night where they introduce a lot of the innovations that have moved into the tabletop realm over the last several years. Many of these games started as an idea that was funded by one of these sites. Small tech inventions are another example where even things like an AVB network device can find support from people.
The best examples, though, of what crowd funding is truly capable of comes from the movie and tv industries. Currently, there are two projects on Indiegogo that have surpassed the $2 million mark. One is a web series called Con Man put together by Nathan Fillion and Alan Tudyk of “Firefly” fame. The other is “Super Troopers 2” (which passes that dollar mark in less than 48 hours) by the Broken Lizard production team.
Both of these projects have a built in audience in the fans that they have cultivated over years of producing material, but the fact remains that if you have the right story and the ability to reach people, the chances are strong that there is an audience for what you want to do.
In the last year or so, I can definitively state that I have contributed to at least ten different campaigns. There are two things that get me to contribute – that I have some sort of history with the artist/performer (or previous material) or that the rewards are structured to make them worth the investment.
One of the things that I see often causing projects to fail is that the program runner doesn’t understand how to set the reward levels for optimum success. The higher value prizes are easy, mostly because they are typically limited to just a few items, but the mid and low level rewards for the investors sometimes don’t measure up comparably.
While you don’t necessarily want all projects to have 10 levels, there’s some value there from the initial $5 thank you donation to the $100 level. It’s the people that are going to make or break your campaign because this is the kind of money the average fan, or person in general, is willing to part with in order to be a part of the creation of something they want to see.
Since we’ve made this a more personal blog entry (with a little suggestive advice thrown in for those of you looking to start a crowd funding campaign), here are a handful of the ones that got me to scream, “Shut up and take my money!” (If you’re a fan, I hope you contribute too, and then connect with me so we can share in the fun of helping create something we love.)
New album from Blue Traveler
Super Troopers 2
New album from Rachel Yamagata
New EP from Jenny Owen Youngs
How To Plan An Orgy In A Small Town
Send AVNation to ISE
Kaki King: The Neck is a Bridge to the Body
Veronica Mars Movie Project
Space Janitors Webseries – Season 3