Crowdfunding

Rheingold discusses three terms in great detail in chapter 4, “Social-Digital Know How: The Arts and Sciences of Collective Intelligence”: coordination, cooperation, and collaboration. To understand the differences between these components, Rheingold provides a great analogy, “You need coordination to dance, cooperation to dance with a partner, and collaboration to dance with a flash mob” (p. 153).

However, Rheingold provides a lot of rules and best practices (almost too many to categorize and remember) to understand the social digital know-how, including:

  • Four understandings needed to effectively deliver Web collaboration skills (p.149).
  • Eight design principles that successful groups use to organize and govern behavior (p.152).
  • Four descriptions of the related components of collaboration (p. 153-154).
  • Seven rules on what cooperation theory teaches us (p.155).
  • Five different ways that we can learn from collaboration theory (p. 155).
  • Three things needed in a model of how collaboration superpowers work (p.157).
  • Four collective intelligence tips (p.162).
  • Four “netiquette” norms (p.163-165).
  • Ten ways be a good virtual community organizer (p.165).
  • Six critical success factors for crowdsourcing/crowdfunding projects (p. 172-173). These factors are: vision and strategy, human capital, infrastructure, linkages and trust, external environments, and motive alignment of the crowd. 
  • Three factors for social production to work (p. 175).
  • Eight general principles that capture the essence of the open source process (p.176).
  • Five things needed to understand Wikipedia (p. 185).
  • Four steps on how to contribute to Wikipedia (p. 185-186).
  • Thirteen words of advice about wiki collaboration in general (p.186-187).

I don’t know where to begin or what to write for this week’s blog – I am overwhelmed. I’m interested in gamification and what it can do, but my manager is more interested in augmented reality. While I enjoy using Wikipedia, I have never contributed or edited a topic. And I have never played World of Warcraft. In flipping through the pages in the chapter again, crowdfunding grabs my attention.

Rheingold provides 5 examples of crowdfunding; each is described below.

Spot.us “allows journalists to pitch stories they would like to pursue and enables individuals to pledge financial support; pledges are held in escrow until the journalist’s goal is reached” (p.172). However, they are no longer accepting new pitches or donations. They claim to be reassessing their business model and that the evaluation will be completed by June 1, 2014, but they provide no additional information on the results of their evaluation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kickstarter.com “permits anyone to define a project in need of funding, set the rewards […] for different funding levels, and establish a monetary and time goal” (p.172). From here, you can search for projects according these categories: art, comics, crafts, dance, design, fashion, film & video, food, games, journalism, music, photography, publishing, technology, and theater. I’m drawn to the journalism project, and am excited that it is a project in my great state of Texas. The Rio Grande Rift – Print Issue #1

Kiva.org “matches microbusinesses in the developing world with microlenders” for as little as $25 (p.172). There are four steps in this process: choose a borrower; make a loan; get repaid; repeat. I search for Austin, but there are no requests. There are 59 requests in the United States. The other country that jumped out at me is the Phillippines with 1,296 requests.

Inuka.org “enables lenders to microfinance projects by women in sub-Saharan Africa” (p. 172). This is a dead link. I was able to find it on crowdsourcing.org, but even the link the link listed under URL does not work.

DonorsChoose.org “allows classroom teachers to post requests” (p.172). From here you can search from the following things that teachers need for students: art, books, math, science, field trips, match offers, project of the day, and projects near me. I’m curious to see what the schools located in Austin need (if any are listed), and am surprised to see that my younger son’s elementary school has two requests listed–one from his former kindergarten teacher. I had no idea this site existed and plan on making a donation.

I’m happy that looked up the examples that Rheingold provided in the chapter as I was able to find some crowdfunding opportunities in my city. I challenge you to also visit these sites and see what opportunities are available in your geographic location.

 

About peahleah

Youngest of four, left home at 17, traveled the country, and wound up in Austin.

Posted on October 26, 2014, in Digital, Social Media, Society, Teaching, Technology, Trust and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. I see crowdsourcing as a great opportunity for people to feel involved even if they can’t physically be involved. Your example of Kiva is a great one. I’ve helped some friends in Ireland produce/launch their first album with FundIt, and it was great!

    What I’m most excited about is the company Gustin out of San Francisco, where they have a great business model. They have crowdsourced mens clothing. Basically, you get custom clothing once a goal is met (read more details here: https://www.weargustin.com/store). There’s a timeline, which creates urgency, coupled with the tailor-made clothing is a great draw. If only they had a company like that for women.

  2. Whoops I meant crowdfunding.

  3. I think crowdfunding is a fantastic idea. It is much more personal and effective than giving to a general charity. You can see exactly where your money is going and you also have the ability to choose what projects to contribute to. I see it as a wonderful way to raise lower amounts of money to accomplish things that are close to home. One in particular relates to teachers stating they could do more in the classroom if they had a bigger budget. Reading that some of their classroom budgets are less than $100 for the year, I tend to agree with them. Even though my little one has several years before he will be in school, I would be happy to donate to a class or two in my community.

    This makes me think that a teacher (I am thinking grade school), could actually set up a blog for the parents in the class. It would be an easy way for the teacher to communicate activities to all the parents and bring the group closer together. An informed group of parents communicating online, along with the teacher, would create a sense of community. This should make it much easier for the teacher to ask for and receive supplies or volunteer hours that would benefit the kids as a whole. Now, if I had a solution for the one parent that would undoubtedly dominate all the discussion online and sidetrack everyone.

    • Yep. It’s a pretty cool to be able to contribute to local projects. I was just discussing this with my co-worker today, and she told me that she actually contributed to the Veronica Mars project.

  4. Interesting post this week! I had never heard of some of the crowd funding sites you mentioned, and was intrigued by some of the options. While I know Kickstarter is fairly popular, I didn’t know that there were such niche options as well. I see a correlation with your post and Rheingold’s chapter on social collaboration. It would be interesting to see if there are sites which marry aspects of gamification with philanthropy. Mainly, I think it would tap into a competitive drive that would create a system of sustainability to crowd funding. What do you think?

  5. I also contributed to the Veronica Mars kickstarter last year, but had been aware of the site for years before that.
    “The art of asking” TED talk elaborates on this topic quite well:
    http://on.ted.com/Amanda

  6. natashajmceachin

    Another great crowd funding site is GoFundMe.com, and it seems a bit less structured than the few you mentioned. I believe it works in combination with the requester’s social networking sites targeting people they know. I’ve also seen very clever Youtube videos to promote projects.

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