Kickstarter is described as a new way to fund and follow creativity.
While I’m pretty sure this model of fund raising isn’t entirely new, I don’t know if it’s been used this successfully before. Kickstarter got it’s biggest boost from the Diaspora* project which was profiled in the New York Times. The Diaspora* team gave themselves 39 days to raise $10,000, and amazingly enough, they raised it in just 12 days. At this point 6,479 people had donated over $200,642 to help them make their project happen. (Yeah, I’m one of them.)
Since Kickstarter got it’s name out there, more and more people have been utilizing it to help fund their projects. Right now if you go to kickstarter.com you’ll see people trying to find funding for their projects dealing with such things as art, film, food, technology, dance, books, comics, and on and on. Pitch a dollar here and there – it may be the cheapest way to support the arts.
And Kickstarter doesn’t just provide an infrastructure to make this happen, they actively work towards publicizing projects. On the home page you’ll find a “Project of the Day”, and on Twitter you can follow @kickstarter, or for the real highlights, see the Kickstarter Blog.
As for the people looking to fund their projects, it’s in their best interest to promote what they are doing, and to drive people to their project page. For instance, Natali wants to start an “UberDork Cafe” in Milwaukee. You can track the progress of how much money has been raised, who is backing the project, any comments from people, and updates from the project starter. (There’s even a film starring Leslie Nielsen listed on the site!)
When I started my film a few years ago, people told me they would back it, but none (except for KeVRoN) really followed through (which is fine, as I’m committed to finishing it with our without external funding.) If Kickstarter had been an option for me back then, I probably would have considered using it. While I said I would complete the project even without funding, there’s no doubt funding would have a hand it making things happen much faster, because as it is, it’s a “passion project” and it always ends up taking the back seat to paying work, because if the bills don’t get paid, well, we’ve got a bigger problem.
I plan on keeping an eye on Kickstarter though, and pitching in when projects come along and interest me, and as a supporter of the arts, I’d love to see you do the same.