At the San Diego convention in 2010, I stumbled into a conversation with Scott Kurtz and others about Kickstarter, the webservice that helps artistic types with a type of cloud fund-raising. As I came in to the discussion late, I was asked what I thought about it. My answer was pithy and accidentally on the same side as Kurtz, so it was the two of us against the mass on the other side for the rest of the debate.
When asked I said, “Oh you mean the site that encourages digital panhandling.”
At the time, I looked at the site as an equivalent to holding out an electronic ‘Will Make Music Videos for Food’ sign, but in the year since then I have come around to the other side of the argument. In my current opinion, Kickstarter is actually a way around normal distribution channels to sell personal (and some times grossly inflated) items to your existing fan base to fund current projects.
I am sure that some creators think of themselves as a Michelangelo smooshing folks together to make one good Medici. I think that it is better viewed as a way around some of the gatekeepers.
From either perspective, Kickstarter works for some so it will be a fixture of digital life. Garrett Gibbons has put together an impressive post that compiles data to show what works best and what fails to raise the desired funds. You can find it by tapping on the link below.
* link stolen from Neil Gaiman