Wednesday, July 18, 2012


You may have heard about Kickstarter recently.  Kickstarter is a "crowd funding" site.  I stumbled onto it when my sons started telling me about this great site that they had discovered through a fellow blogger.  They both follow the blog of Professor Beej and started exchanging comments on their blogs and connecting on Twitter.  Professor Beej has also written a novel and stories that are available at this site.  Then he began a Kickstarter project to help pay for the cover art for his new trilogy. My sons were very excited about this and encouraged me to look into it.  I did and was fascinated with what I found.

Kickstarter is a place for people to advertise their projects in order to gain financial support.  It is amazing to look at all of the creative efforts that are out there.  I like it because it is a way to support some things that I really believe in.  Anyone can become a "backer" of a project if they make a contribution.  It can be as little as $1.  The project posts how much they need to raise and an end date by which they need to reach that amount.  They also post amounts of pledges with rewards to the backers.  Sometimes it's a thank you, your name in the credits, a copy of a book; higher amounts may include a lunch with the project owner or a signed copy of something.  These are always very interesting to read.

Some of the projects that I have backed are:

Professor Beej's cover art for his book, Birthright.

Whoopi Goldberg's documentary on Mom's Mabley.

A documentary called Bridegroom about the struggles of a surviving gay partner who did not have the right to marriage.

A documentary about Carol Spinney who is Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch on Sesame Street.

Not all projects succeed.  If you want to read some of the statistics about failure rates, check out the article at VentureBeat.  When you pledge your money, it is not taken from your credit card unless the project reaches its goal and the end date.  This provided some reassurance to me as a backer so I knew that my money wasn't going into an empty hole.

I'm cautious about which projects I want to support.  I choose projects that have the right people with the needed talent to successfully complete the work outlined.  I have not given a lot of money, but I believe that the power is in numbers and that every little bit helps.  I also like being a part of something that I believe in.

Even if I'm not going to contribute, I like to browse the projects that are outlined in Kickstarter.  I am inspired by the creativity, the variety, and the passion of the individuals behind these projects.  I would encourage you to check it out.  You don't have to contribute.  I think that, at the very least, you will find this an interesting concept, and you may be surprised to find something that touches your heart or strikes a chord with your beliefs or just fills you with purpose of a story that needs to be told.  Let me know what you think.

I believe that we will be hearing a lot about Kickstarter as it grows in popularity.  If you are wondering why Kickstarter works, all you have to do is understand how empowering this is for the project hopefuls who entrust their labors of love to this site. It is a very intriguing endeavor, and it is clear that people are using this to showcase their stories, struggles and journeys.  Their joy when they meet their goals is overwhelming and fulfilling.

Have you found your joy today?

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