In my research I have discovered that there are different models of crowdfunding. The platform wasn’t always called “crowdfunding.” In the early days (2005), it was called “crowdsourcing,” dully named by journalist Jeff Howe in an article he wrote for Wired Magazine (Wikipedia, 2015). The initial definition of crowdsourcing was “the process of obtaining needed services” (Wikipedia.com, 2015, p.1). From there it has grown to several models of crowdfunding. The gift-based models are the most popular with fans. Here again, much like the old days of broadcasted telethons, there seems to be a reward system in place.
Kickstarter is one of the first and most successful platforms, but new, and even improved, kinds of funding platforms are gaining notoriety. GoFundMe, for example, is for the average person. Kiva is a platform that actually lends money for donations but expects a return. These new sites for crowdfunding, along with fandom, fan labor, and exploitation will also be reviewed as part of my research and case studies.
Other questions I hope to answer are – what drove the fans to fund such crowdfunding campaigns? Does participatory culture, and the hierarchies within fandoms perpetuate fans to offer their services? Don’t get me wrong, I think as a whole, crowdfunding serves a good purpose, but with fan-based funding, there seems to be a cost both financially and emotionally for the fans.
I have read books and articles on either crowdfunding or fandom and have only found a small amount of them on how they both affect one another. I hope to explain the “fan affect”that is created by fandom and crowdfunding in more depth in a future post. In a nutshell it is an affect that is an emotion, one that a person cannot put a name to when they have that “OMG” moment when meeting their favorite media object. Because there is little written about this study, I decided there should be a place online where people/fans can go to become more informed and aware of just what crowdfunding and fandom is, and how they support or fail each other.
I believe it is important for consumers to understand and make an informed decision about how they donate their money and time to a certain crowdfunding campaign. This is partly the reason why I have created my website; of course it’s for my capstone for school, but it’s also a place where fans and just about anyone can come to gather information about fandom’s culture, and crowdfunding platforms.
Lewis, J. (Producer), & Lewis, J. (Director). (1973, September 2). The Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon (Television Broadcast) Las Vegas, NV. American Broadcasting Company.
McMillan, G., (2013). Veronica Mars KickStarter Breaks Records, Raises Over $2M in 12 Hours. WIRED. (13, March 12). Retrieved November 26, 2014, from http://www.wired.com/2013/03/veronica-mars-kickstarter-record/
Thomas, R. (Producer). (2004). Veronica Mars (Television Series). Hollywood, CA: United Paramount Network/Central Broadcasting Service and Warner Brothers
Veronica Mars (TV Series 2004-2007) – Trivia. IMDb. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0412253/
Wikipedia.com (2015). “Crowdsourcing.” Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crowdsourcing