I‘ve launched a Kickstarter project called A Thousand Shots Photo Project (Creative Commons). So far I have 9 backers with $27 pledged of the $649 goal of the project. The project has 23 more days to go.
The idea is to put a thousand pictures into the creative commons by making $649, so that I can buy the Sigma DP2 and carry that camera around with me so that I actually have a good camera on hand to take pictures. I only need $1 donated each by 622 more backers to achieve this goal. Then I will take a photograph for each person who backed the project.
Each backer will receive a high-quality digital copy of an original picture for each $1 donated. Each backer will also be given a URL address where he/she can download the full complete package of 1000 pictures. I will upload all the project pictures to Flickr under a Creative Commons license, and for each $1 donated, I will dedicate that photograph on Flickr to the person who made the donation with a description linking to the donor’s blog, twitter account, or some other online place to which the donor wants to draw attention (within reason. no porn, hate sites, etc) and ask that anyone using the picture include this information.
If I manage to raise more money than is needed to equip myself with the DP2, I may spend some of it on an extra battery, a memory card, and perhaps a lens hood for the camera, but beyond that, all extra money pledged, I will donate to Creative Commons.
Currently, I’m not overly confident that the project will become fully funded, although I am greatly humbled by the nine people who have pledged toward its completion. It’s the third project I’ve launched on Kickstarter, the one that has received the most activity, it’s not featured anywhere for people to easily find it on Kickstarter any longer, and, even if it were, I’m skeptical of Kickstarter having enough users and participants at this point to effectively fund projects. There are only 7 projects that I can spot on their site that have been fully funded to this point, all of those projects are still active, and all of those fully funded projects are still being featured on the homepage of the site, which seems a bit odd. Kickstarter should consider separating fully funded projects into their own box in the sidebar or in a tab, and giving more space to projects that aren’t fully funded as of yet.
If I were running Kickstarter, I would do the following to help grow the site:
- Have every member of the team sign up for Twitter, Facebook, and FriendFeed.
- Budget X amount of money per month. Divide it amongst all the current employees and ask them to seed money from their portion of the budget to any non-100% funded projects currently active in the system and then post that they just backed the project with a link to the project on Twitter, Facebook, and FriendFeed. On Twitter use #kickstarter hashtag to monitor this.
- Roll any money from this budget that isn’t spent (because a project didn’t reach 100% funding), back into the monthly pool to be redistributed to employees for the funding of projects.
- Separate fully funded projects from non-fully funded projects to give non-fully funded projects a better chance of success.
- Offer successfully funded projects the option to re-distribute any overages in their funding to other projects in the system or offer them the ability to automatically donate any overages to something like Creative Commons.
- Make an embeddable widget that looks something like the blocks that are on your homepage or the picture above that allow people to promote their projects on their sites.
I like the idea behind Kickstarter, as I mentioned before, and I’m enjoying using the service, but to grow this userbase, the site needs to have a lot more activity than it currently does, and the only way to grow that activity effectively is to have more successfully backed projects that they can brag about on their sites and in their social networks, drawing more attention to the service.