Crowdfunding /ˈkraʊdfʌndɪŋ/ - the practice of funding a project or venture by raising money from a large number of people who each contribute a relatively small amount, typically via the Internet.
You can find all kinds of crowdfunding campaigns and websites these days but it was pretty rare back in 2009 when i first attended my first twestival in Kuala Lumpur. The next two years, I had the opportunity to host Twestival Singapore 2010 and 2011. It was a global social movement where social media users from all walks of life, come together for a social good. Yes this was social media being used for social activism.
During that time, with the rise of Twitter, a Tweetup is not uncommon. Social media and especially twitter has given rise to many opportunities to create tribes and social groups. I have attended and organised Tweetups when the whole social media craze started and so I was not new to the concept or organizing online based social groups. I was approached by a fellow online friend Niki Cheong aka Bangsar Boy to organised the Twestival 2010 in Singapore. Our task was to use our online social media influence to organise a Social Media Meet Up and get people to give to charity. The amazing thing is that the people who participated, are all volunteers. Companies got involved and sponsored their venues, products and vouchers. Musicians, entertainers, MCs all volunteered to help run and provide the entertainment for the event.
In the end, in just one right, a lot of companies had their social media jumpstarted, a lot of people came, partied, socialised, had fun and gave S$8000 in total to Charity Water. The collection is provided free of charge by paypal with no transaction fee. This is one of the most successful fund raising campaign in the world. Overall Twestival raised over USD$500,000 and all without any cost to the organization.
Twestival : A global social movement created by Amanda Rose and her friends using social media that was associated with Twitter at that time. Their motto was Tweet. Meet. Give.
Around the same time Kickstarter an online crowdfunding site started, Kickstarter was the more popular crownfunding campaign management site. Although their competitor Indiegogo started 2 years earlier. Kickstarter had the right producers and gave them a lot of publicity.
In 2011, I funded the campaign for cineskates because I was producing videos then. That is what started me off this kickstarter craze. They produce one of it's kind products and through crowdfunding brought it to life through the help of the internet.
As of this writing, I have backed over 40 projects on kickstarter, indiegogo and some after it passed the campaign period. I was even awarded the superbacker status by kickstarter. Yes I tell myself I backed too many projects. However I do have an eye for a good campaign. Overall I would say that I am satisfied with the projects I have backed and all the projects came through albeit a little delayed. There were one or two that missed the mark and because mainly because of timing of the product being launched and some just hit some snags but delivered in the end with a few features missing from their promised product.
Since I do have some experience in this, I am going to write about the products, it's reviews and some of the experience that I am going through this crowdfunding journey. Watch out for more on this section :)