Crowdsourcing is a concept born of the collaboration of organizations, media, and audiences of content-generating prosumers who are willing to share their creativity. Companies and non-profits turn to audience members outside their own walls in search of solutions and ideas. Crowdsourcing includes micro and macro tasks, contests, ideation, crowd creation, voting, and the wildly popular phenomenon; crowdfunding.
Oxford Dictionaries defines Crowdfunding as “the practice of funding a project or venture by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet.” Kickstarter is probably the best-known crowdfunding platform. According to the Kickstarter website, “7.2 million people have pledged $1 billion, funding 72,000 creative projects” since its inception in 2009.
This week in MMC5427, Research Methods in Digital Media, we have been asked to explore the Kickstarter website and share our insights as well as any creative endeavors of our own that we might like to crowdfund.
This is not my first adventure through Kickstarter. I’ve perused the site in the past when considering funding for various projects. (My clients frequently ask if I have any books published yet, and I think crowdfunding may be the way to go since I already have an audience primed and ready to support my creative efforts!) Upon visiting, I am always intrigued by the vast array of projects from the brilliantly complex to the simply genius; (and everything else). Below are the popular campaigns at the time of this post, but they can change at any time.
Notice The Basics Wallet, a “slim minimalist wallet”, is a simplistic design with plenty of interest and financial backing. It has already surpassed its goal of $10,000. (as evident by the “977% funded” and the “$97,778 pledged”), with almost a week still left in the campaign. Congrats to Jon Richards and Jacob Durham on this huge success!
After visiting The Basics Wallet on Kickstarter, it appears that these two gentleman have put in the work to properly promote their idea. The campaign page is well-rounded with plenty of details in the form of informative and catchy text, infographics, and clever vignettes (videos) to showcase the product’s features. The creators also ask for support across their social networks: Basics Products on Facebook, Basics Products on Instagram, Basics Products on Twitter, and Basics Products on Pinterest. Interestingly, none of these social media profiles carry a great deal of social capital with likes and followers numbering 449, 87, 34, and 12 across the four platforms respectively.
Deciding to dig a little deeper, a visit to The Basics Wallet Website finds the accessory’s home to be very professional and nicely done. The front page features a short promotional video. The promo, with 497 views, is hosted on YouTube by “Crowdfundguru” but is unlisted. I originally had intentions of sharing it in this post but, due to this setting, YouTube asks viewers to “Be considerate and think twice before sharing.” This seems a bit counterintuitive to nature of the campaign, but I will refrain.
Collectively, this information indicates little cross-channel social media promotion of The Basics Wallet’s Kickstarter campaign. Therefore, one can only infer that its gained support must be the result of either traditional (offline) promotional tactics or the magic of a well-formulated campaign for an in-demand idea on Kickstarter; a digital platform that might really make it easy to “Bring creative projects to life.”