Kickstarter is a means for individuals to fund their own projects and ideas. People post their ideas on the site, referencing a deadline and minimum funding goal. If they fail to reach those goals, “backers” or investors will receive their money back. Launched in 2009, Kickstarter has helped 63,000 projects become reality due to $1 billion dollars worth of funding from 6.4 million people. Recently, Kickstarter added two new fields: Journalism and Crafts.
What It Means For Journalism
At its most basic, journalism is about telling a story. That story could come in many forms and requires many resources.
One of the journalism projects currently being backed on Kickstarter. Image via kickstarter.com
The inspiration for Kickstarter to become involved in journalism comes from the hope of creating innovative ways for professionals to fund and share their work, or by giving a voice to the everyday person looking to share a story. The new category is providing a home for aspiring storytellers.
There are many potential resources to be used, such as podcasts, websites, magazines, or photojournalism tools. The Guardian, a British national daily newspaper, has agreed to team with Kickstarter and to highlight some of the projects on its website.
What does this mean? Everyday people now have a stage and a voice. The hardest part about telling a story is getting an audience to listen. Sure, one can usually get friends and family to listen, but how does someone break through to strangers? Kickstarter is a way to create a network and get access to eyes and ears normally not accessible. It’s going to be fascinating to see what stories and messages will now be shared.
What It Means For Crafts
Most of the craft projects being showcased on Kickstarter are handmade projects, and aren’t intended for as wide-scale of an audience as are the site’s journalism. But these craft projects still deserve recognition for the hard work and attention to detail that the makers put into them. That, along with the imagination and traditions behind each project, is what led to creation of a home page for crafts.
Hand-crafted pens are one of the projects recently successfully funded in Kickstarter’s crafts category.
What does this mean? There are a lot of extremely talented people out there, many who often go unnoticed or are under-appreciated. Much like the journalism page, a crafts page gives a stage to those very talented people who are looking for a way to share their gift. Many of the crafts are created as a passion project or hobby. This page provides a means for continuing the work in ways that were unimaginable on their own.
Some craft categories are knitting, candle-making, glasswork, pottery, and woodwork. It’s incredible to see the different crafts that are on display, and it makes it obvious why Kickstarter added a crafts page.
Kickstarter was founded to help everyday people reach their dreams by acquiring funds and backing that would’ve been impossible otherwise. The addition of journalism and crafts pages keeps this goal a reality, as more people will now be able to make their dreams a reality.
Have you looked at the new journalism or crafts pages on Kickstarter? What did you think? Please leave your comments here!