Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Kickstarter is SO cool!

When it comes to technology, I'm not usually an early adopter, but I do know of at least some of the developments happening out there on the frontiers.  It often takes me awhile to get over my fear of being the last adopter, the one who makes the investment just before it all changes.

Lately, it occurs to me that one can never be early enough--it's all constantly changing.

I've heard about Kickstarter, but I never really explored it much, until last week, when one of my favorite folk music duos, Alathea, launched their Kickstarter campaign to fund their next CD.  I have loved the duo's do-it-yourself ethos, the travelling across the country by themselves, the stories of the mountain cabin where the magic of music composition takes place.  Their concerts are wonderful, and they're the kind of group who hangs out afterward the show to talk to people, the kind of group that's thrilled to meet their fans.

In short, they're the kind of artists that I really want to see succeed.  I'm living vicariously through them--or perhaps more accurately, Alternate Life Kristin is out there on the road with her mandolin punk band, and thus, I'm drawn to them.

I've bought their CDs way in advance before, as a way of helping them fund their projects, so of course I had to check out Kickstarter.  I thought I'd just be pledging money, but it's so much cooler than that.

There are prizes!  Or perhaps, more accurately, a system of increasing incentives.  You get the CD, of course.  But you can also get homemade jam.  Or a whole breakfast basket.  Or they'll record a song of your choice.  For a much larger investment, you can join them in the studio when they record.  Or have them do a house concert for you.

I must confess that I'm dreaming of the mountain getaway:  "THE ALL-INCLUSIVE MOUNTAIN GETAWAY: you and your family OR up to 3 friends: Stay in a 2 bedroom cottage 1/2 mile from the cabin, hike trails, wade creeks, see waterfalls, eat hippie food with us and local favorites from the diner (twice-fried donuts), campfire with s’mores and music, chicken chasing, and a personalized photo book created by Mandee to remember your trip (travel not included)."

I've loved the Kickstarter idea since I first heard of it.  I love the idea of being able to support projects this way.  I love the idea of being able to offer support at different levels.

From the artist's side, it feels harder to think this way.  I'm used to thinking of do-it-yourself projects strictly from a how-much-do-I-need-to-save angle.  But if I offered people a way to support the project from the beginning, not just a product at the end, what kinds of graduating incentives would I want to offer?

Like I said, so far my brain is not thinking this way.  I think of projects that are perhaps too big:  help me create a retreat center that focuses on the intersection of spirituality and art!  Or projects that might be too small, although there are plenty of small projects on Kickstarter.

I'm glad this seed has been planted; I'll give my subconscious some time to ponder.  I think that people like to be involved in this way.  I think it's good to give people this kind of outlet.

Again, if you want to support a cool, young folkie duo, go here.  Don't wait too long--you've only got until 11:22 a.m. on August 16.

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