The Internet has been host of many new possibilities previously unattainable. Backtrack a mere 25 years ago, it would be absurd to think one could access such an abundance of information to such a degree that the flow of data is practically a gift economy. That is the reality faced, however, and once again the Internet has begun to offer another possibility for people to take advantage of. This of course is crowd funding, the ability to raise money online primarily through regular Internet users. Sites like Kickstarter, Ignition Deck and Patreon have provided a platform to fund more ambitious projects without having to curtail their vision to meet the demands of big companies regardless of the artistic medium.
The initial reaction to this idea might cause some pause. After all, the prospects of just giving hard-earned money to some online stranger seems like the classic set-up for a scam of some sort. Fortunately, these fears can be put to rest as the online sites that host these projects take preventative measures in order to ensure confidence in a site’s legitimacy. These rules vary site to site, but in general the rules are as follows: projects must reach their monetary goal in the time given or return all proceeds back to their donators. Once the monetary goal has been reached, the creator is obligated to complete the project and distribute it. The creator must also deliver on any promises he made to his donators in exchange for a certain amount of money or any stretch goals he made.
It might be important to note how to actually go about making a successful crowd funding campaign. There is no infallible blueprint, but generally speaking, successful crowd funding campaigns tend to have a strategic social media presence. Pick the site that statistically has the most people that would support your project as well as the site that best fits your marketing strategy. Also, make sure to keep it personal, that is make sure that your demographic gets to know you and the creative team behind the project. Most of all, be sure to display your enthusiasm for project to your target market. Do not just ask them for money, but instead communicate your passion to them.
There are many notable crowd funding successes since this trend began. Some of the most famous projects include a movie based upon the television series “Veronica Mars” as well as the video game “Mighty No. 9,” by the creator of “Mega Man” Keiji Inafune. There have also been a number of successful student projects. FORM1, an affordable and professional 3-D printer for the masses was developed by researchers, including students, at the MIT Media Labs. Most students seem to approve of this recent trend of crowd funding.