Social networks, or online communities, in the context of civic media work are web sites organized to enable individuals to connect with one another and to share information, photos, videos, and personal reflections.
To get noticed as a crowdfunding campaign in 2013, you need to aim high. Three years ago, topping $345,000 would have made you the biggest Kickstarter of all time. In the past year and a half, the platform has gone from zero to fifty-one successful $1M+ campaigns. Long gone (and thankfully so) are the days when simply running a campaign was enough to generate media interest.
As the field of civic crowdfunding emerges and grows, it is spawning many competing visions of what the field is and where its appeal comes from. Lately I’ve been thinking about questions such as: how much is crowdfunding about community and shared values? How much is it about physical places? How much is it about a desire to participate and feel agency, and how much is it about ownership?
It’s unlikely to be just one of the above, and surely differs across contexts. But there are instances that present one vision over the others. Last week President Obama made a clear appeal to the last category, ownership, by tweeting this image about Organizing for Action.
Spike Lee joins Zach Braff and Rob Ford’s Veronica Mars on the list of celebrities to turn to Kickstarter to fund a project. It now seems that no star is too big — or too cool — to crowdfund. But what does the arrival of big names mean for the future of crowdfunding?
With big names, come big backers: Lee raised $1.4 million, a fifth of which came from 29 backers who each pledged $10,000. One of them was director Steven Soderbergh. Lee’s success at the top end of the funding spectrum is relatively unusual, too: the Braff and Ford campaigns each managed only one backer at that level.
Submitted by hiDenise on August 15, 2013 - 11:11am
Atray is a medical researcher. I’m a journalist by training with a bent for community. We each have roots in different strands of critical analysis. As roommates, we spent hours discussing science, cultural context and how to measure impact. One topic we often returned to is whether science can fit into a crowdfunding model.
Ethan opens by saying that his stock and trade is "the unusual connection." He starts talking about the Harvard Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology. The museum hasn't changed since it's early collector mentality. The labels actually list the white dude who collected the items rather than their creator. It's still a colonial approach to museums.
He shows a "rebellib" or "stick chart / shell chart" which is a map from the Marshall Islands with shells representing the islands and curved and diagonal lines representing ocean swells. Since the Marshall Islands are scattered across 500-600km. A Marshall Islander around 1900 is going to be in their boat and traveling between the atolls without seeing them over the horizon. You must travel dozens or more kilometers at a time between them. And when you miss the next atoll you die. And bad things happen evolutionarily if you die on the way to the next atoll. There is a need for inter-island "booty calls" to produce the diversity necessary to sustain a population.
Contemporary scientists have gone back and found that these rebbelib are incredibly accurate. And if you check Google Maps, you realize this is an area of the Earth that we have not sufficiently mapped. Google is a decent proxy for interest in an area since the best resolution is based on demand: people's willingness to pay for high resolution images without clouds.
Along with interviewing and hanging out in the peer economy, I've been reading voraciously since the beginning of the year. The goal of my thesis research is not to publish another version of existing information but to create information that is useful in the world of practice. To understand the landscape, I've been reading a lot of literature for context. The first wave of publications and output I've explored are by analysts and investors like Rachel Botsman's What's Mine is Yours and Lisa Gansky's The Mesh. Many of their thoughts are echoed by articles in mainstream media beginning to broach the peer economy.