Recently, a popular lesbian blogger whose work I have read lo these many years decided to start a Kickstarter campaign because her elderly computer was dying. She was trying to raise, let's say, $2,000.
I try to support my fellow lesbians - and while her blog is not my favourite, I certainly appreciate the time and effort she has put in to her almost daily posts and she doesn't make money from ads or anything on her blog.
So, in the lesbian sister spirit, I went over to her campaign to make a contribution and saw that she had already raised over $4,000!
"That is AWESOME," I thought, "she must be really feeling the love! And with that kind of jack, she'll be able to buy a fantastic computer! Huzzah!"
And then I left without contributing, because obviously, things there were well in hand.
Things continued on and she didn't post about her campaign again until last week, when she thanked everyone profusely for their overwhelming and awesome donations. And THEN she went on to say that in light of the overwhelmingly awesome response, she was going to send everyone free puppies!
Just kidding. She actually decided to increase her goal to $13,000 so that she could get a new computer AND pay off some personal debt. Soooo...you know...that's great.
When I saw this post, I checked out her campaign again and saw that before she posted about increasing her goal, she'd already raised a whopping $10,000 - five times her original goal. Clearly, many people joyously continued donating long after her goal was exceeded, because they love her and love her work and this seemed like a very sweet way to show that love. And that is super amazing.
Which is why I found it really weird and off-putting that instead of just accepting this windfall and feeling lucky that her community had been so generous (and maybe waiting to see how high her generous fans were willing to go on their own), she decided to...ask for more. Which seems...tacky.
I don't know that I'm alone in my disgruntlement - it seems that since she asked for more money, donations have slowed down a little bit - but she might still make her new goal. HISTORY WILL DECIDE.
This incident got me thinking about the whole Indiegogo/Kickstarter phenomenon and how in some ways, I TOTALLY LOVE IT and in other ways, it is driving me crazy.
I like to fling Katr's cash around, so I'd describe my donations to the various Kickstarter and Indiegogo campaigns I come across as "frequent". I like helping out musicians who are self-producing, or indie filmmakers making short films (partly because that usually means I get an awesome CD or super-secret link to cool short films out of it).
And I am thrilled to pop a little in the tip jar for some of the bloggers I love, particularly when they need help, because even though we've never met, I have been following their stories for a loooong time and feel like I am part of their community and that's awesome.
But I do feel like I'm seeing more and more random fundraising campaigns lately (perhaps because these new fundraising platforms are so easy to use) and a lot of these campaigns are poorly planned and/or seem real grabby and it's chapping my ass.
I have NOTHING against trying to simultaneously spread the word and get funding for a project that you're passionate about (particularly when your "over $25" contributers get something out of it besides "good karma"). However, I feel like some of these campaigns are trying to fund things that, in a pre-Kickstarter world, the fundees would have gone ahead and paid for themselves. But hey! Then they heard about Indiegogo! And decided to try and "crowdfund" their juicer!
Some of it is kind of asstastic, is all I'm saying. Obviously, if I don't feel a project is worth funding, I can loudly voice my opinion by withholding Katr's money from these campaigns. And I can also rant about them on my blog.
And then I can really have a good think about trying to crowdfund a juicer. Because that would be pretty sweet.