June 1st, 2010
Will microfunding work in Portland? It could take The Miracle to find out
You may remember hearing of Kickstarter, the site designed to help startups and projects find funding by “making it up on volume.” Why is that ringing a bell? Well, Portlander Andy Baio joined the Kickstarter crew as CTO, almost a year ago.
How does it work? Well, according to Shawn Levy at The Oregonian:
In essence, Kickstarter allows people with creative projects to build pages on the site to describe the work they hope to do and the costs they face, and, crucially, to offer various rewards and benefits to potential backers in exchange for pledges of support. They share samples of their previous works, describe their new projects with audio or video clips, and provide links to more robust websites related to the project at hand. Naturally, many use their blogs and Facebook and Twitter accounts to help drive traffic to their campaigns. The hope is that their fundraising effort will go viral, providing them with capital and their backers with some nifty goodies and a sense of a communal job well done.
Kickstarter’s chief technology officer has a name for it: “crowd-funding.” “It leverages social media across the creative community,” says Andy Baio of Portland, who also created the calendar site Upcoming.org. He says the New York-based Kickstarter isn’t precisely microfinancing, which, as Baio explains, “implies investment. But we don’t allow people to offer equity to their backers or promise a return.”
What is The Miracle in July? It’s a bit hard to describe. And although many of you have had a chance to hear about Michelle’s project—a collection of words, music, images, and other interactive content all tied together to form an incredibly intriguing work of art, online—it’s worth giving her a chance to describe it in her own words:
For those who have yet to discover this digital romance about “following your bliss,” The Miracle in July is an old-fashioned love story told in the most modern way possible: via a vibrant set of photos, music, videos, and maps all published using an elegant WordPress installation. MIJ is an interactive, genre-bending, work-in-progress manuscript now ready for the next phases of development: a CD soundtrack, an interactive DVD, a mobile augmented reality game, a web series, and eventually a hardback book and feature film!
And now, to keep that groundbreaking project going and to acquire the media that will allow her to publish, Michelle is looking to travel to Denmark. You can help. But you have to hurry. There are only about 12 hours left.
But the project is currently at 70%, so there’s still a fair amount of progress to be made in the next few hours. (If the goal isn’t reached, no one pays. So no money is raised.) Can you help?
To participate, visit The Miracle in July Kickstarter page and consider donating. You can jump in for as little as $10.
Not only will you be helping an interesting project continue, you’ll be getting a taste of what could very well be another viable avenue for startup funding here in the Portland area.