This is How a Good Crowdfunding Campaign Starts

Tip of the Week

Oh, it’s been a while! Not that I haven’t been posting elsewhere; been busy working on the board of the Crowdfunding Professional Association (make sure to bookmark the page to keep up with news on our upcoming Summit at the end of the year, among other value props for your crowdfunding toolbox); and, of course, strategizing with clients on some really cool campaigns currently in the works.

But still. Yesterday, I got a great idea for a Tip for you all.

First, though I say it often, I don’t just write about campaigns unless there is a teachable moment for readers. One arrived in my in-box that I wanted to share because the writer basically did everything right when contacting me about his upcoming project. This is what he said:

Hi Rosa,

I just dived head-first into crowdfunding… and wow, what an intense adventure.

Reading your blog posts is helpful (back when studying Copywriting at the SVA, Ogilvy was basically a demigod). To prepare for Kickstarter, I even started a daily comic strip about it: KickstarterNews (so many fails and discoveries, it was too funny not to publish).

In any case, I have a question.

Quick backstory about how I got into crowdfunding: my startup, Your Comic Story, creates custom comic books for individuals and businesses.

Recently, we’ve taken on a mission of teaching kids entrepreneurship (we feel it’s important to learn about the startup mentality and possibility of creating your own business at a young age).

To achieve our mission, we’re publishing the My First Startup comic book in 2-3 weeks. We’ll launch it as a Kickstarter project in August, and then proceed to regular publishing and online/TV extensions.

The question: Is it ok to update you about the project when we launch, so you can share it with your readers?

Thanks!

David

David Kieve
Your Comic Story
www.yourcomicstory.com

This email has all the elements that a good email pitch should include:

  • It’s personal. This is evidenced by the specific comments he makes about my work
  • It’s light-hearted. A little casual joking goes a long way to maintain reader interest
  • It’s brief. Please be brief
  • Yet it’s informative. Nothing like writing that is coherent
  • It’s respectful. By closing with a request to keep in touch he gets big kudos
  • The campaign itself has a great giving back component. Always a plus
  • It utilizes content marketing for brand building.

I went to his Kickstarter News page and discovered he’s made a great start to building his online authority and brand. Click to enlarge

Can I talk to you about Kickstarter?

This is one crowdfunding campaign I look forward to following.

Calculate Your Chances For Crowdfunding Success

Tip of the Week

As crowdfunding becomes more woven into the fabric of fundraising efforts of all kinds, competition is an issue so preparation can make or break you. As so many have learned, it’s best to approach it methodically, checklist in hand.

Problem is, what if you don’t know what questions to ask to begin with? Before I set up a consultation, I send out a brief questionnaire to my clients, which I believe strike all the notes they will need to hit before launch. When I get back monosyllabic responses or questions that are left completely unanswered, this to me is a sign—of a lack of readiness.

HitThe folks who run GoGetFunding.com understood this problem and have come up with their own questionnaire, to assess not only success but also to predict how much you will raise based on statistics from Kickstarter and Indiegogo, as well as their own platform.

The site is called crowdfunding.io and the tool, which they describe as a “success predictor” poses many of the same questions that I and other consultants know to ask in order to catch red flags that will thwart your chances of success. Depending on the type of crowdfunding campaign you want to run, there are between 10-15 questions. An algorithm does the rest. And it’s free! This of course is a plus for the bootstrapped, though the downside it must be said, is the lack of human support. Eyeball

I spoke by email to founder Sandip Skehon who told me, “Using the responses and data collected over the years, our algorithm will predict the likelihood of meeting the campaign target —and provide a specific dollar estimate.”

While he admits they are still refining the algorithm, “in initial tests with cause-based GoGetFunding campaigns did indeed raise what crowdfunding.io had predicted.” Sekhon says, that 28 of 32 surveyed campaigns fell within their estimates.

Time will tell if accuracy will increase but Sekhon welcomes feedback in order to continue the refinement process.

Remember, this is not anything like Kicktraq, which, through its own unique algorithm magic, assesses success on campaigns that are up and running already. (Though it’s still sadly limited only to Kickstarter campaigns, womp womp womp.) Indeed I had a couple of clients with active campaigns input their information and the results were not accurate at all.

Anything that helps crowdfunders think strategically before they launch is worth a try. Test it and report back on your findings!

Cats

 

 

What Would David Ogilvy Do?

Tip of the Week

I’m a big fan of David Ogilvy, the real-life Don Draper who changed the course of advertising in the 20th century with his enduring insight that the ad man’s first job was to get into the minds of his audience before he wrote a word of copy. This, of course, was way before we started referring to the client as a “brand” or understood the value of creating “consumer personas.”

Yes, Ogilvy had it going on.

Unlike Don Draper, however, Ogilvy was much more disciplined—no pulls of scotch, neat, from his portable bar before breakfast; no walking out of a meeting because a plane easing its way across the sky captures his imagination. (For those of you who haven’t watched the season finale a) what are you waiting for? and b) don’t click the link of Don Draper’s name.)

No, Ogilvy was in the ad business for the long haul, and we all owe him a debt of gratitude for easing us into the age of social media whether he likes (or realizes) it or not. And as crowdfunders you should be aware of your audience because you ARE your own advertising company.

And speaking of gratitude, in the midst of a busy period myself I am eternally grateful for the good people at Copyblogger who went through the trouble of creating this shareable poster of how to avoid Ogilvy’s ire so I didn’t have to. Don’t do these things and the content you write will keep both him and your audience smiling.
10 Ways to Piss Off David Ogilvy (Free Poster)

Like this copywriting crimes list? Get copywriting advice that works from Copyblogger Media.

 

A Twitter Change That Boosts Engagement and Gets Us Out of the Dark Ages

Tip of the Week

I’ve owned up before to how little I use or like Facebook. As seems to be the case for many people, this is not for personality reasons, however. Mark Zuckerberg bothers me no more or less than any other teen entrepreneur-turned-gazillionaire.

No, it has more to do with my rule that my social media investments need to be short, sweet, and easy. My biggest problem is the constant changes in Facebook’s functionality, which absolutely does not fit into my criteria. (In fact, I felt very vindicated after reading this confessional post by a social media guru.)

So I was a bit irked when I learned that Twitter, my favorite go-to social media platform, had made changes. It took me a little time before I decided to stop being in denial and get the new lay of the land—and I’m glad I did! The changes are neither onerous or numerous. You can learn more about them here. But here’s the biggest one that in my mind will produce more engagement for crowdfunders rather than the interrupted, jagged conversations that simple RT or Favorites brought.

What was:

Arguably the most trigger-happy button on Twitter is the Retweet button. So easy! All you have to do is click on that blue baby and you are good to go. People know you’re there for them, right?

Yet the biggest complaint in the crowdfunding universe is how to get any social media interactions to go from a knee-jerk click to actual engagement that has the best opportunity to convert to a contribution.

What is:

When you click on the Retweet button if you’re a lazy susan or stuck in the Dark Ages you can still broadcast back a tweet and call it a day. But don’t do it! With the advent of the Add a Comment function, why would you?

What happens now when you click on Retweet is that you are presented with an Add a Comment box. In this box you can basically add personal commentary to what ever the original tweet says. And you’re give a generous 116 characters to do so.

Why this is so important:

This is revolutionary for crowdfunding because it builds on engagement possibilities by telling your followers why you’ve elected to retweet. If everyone adds their own personalized comment what this change has potential to do is actually get a conversation going. Here’s a small example of how I used the comment section when I spotted a tweet about a group trying to raise money to start a crowdfunding platform in the Philippines. The island country caught my imagination seven years ago when I was lucky enough to have the opportunity of going on assignment there. (It was for a spa magazine and oh it was a blast. Please don’t hate me for that!)

This was the original tweet:

Here’s what I wrote back and their response.

Now this is a real conversation! Others, I believe, will pick up the thread and engagement is sure to follow. And even if no one else chimes in with their own reason for loving the Philippines anybody who’s already reading my tweets and retweeting them (thank you, all you loyal followers who are helping me help other crowdfunders) will actually be able to follow the flow of the conversation—and that can’t be bad. In fact, I really think this is a big step forward toward interactions of quality that will produce more quantity—both the sharing and giving kind.

So be sure to stop that trigger-happy finger from simply retweeting and add your own two cents to the conversation. You will be helping us all out of the social media Dark Ages.

When Should You Hire Crowdfunding Help?

Tip of the Week

Because the crowdfunding landscape is evolving, each and everyday it’s important that we change with it. Take me, an enormous proponent of empowering the crowdfunder to be in charge of his or her own campaign and not outsource it to 3rd party entities that will not only cost you money you may not have, but  also threatens to put a wall up between you and your fans. ReachingHand

Who better than you knows your campaign, right?

Well, I’ve had a qualified change of heart. I say qualified because there are still large and creative members of the crowdfunding community that have an excellent handle on their campaign. They know almost intuitively what it needs and have no problem deploying those mechanisms.

If you are one of those people you can stop reading here. (If you’re not sure where you fit on the spectrum, keep going, because you are in a category all your own, and it is by far the most dangerous one.) To the rest of you read on.

The Categories

You have the money to shell out

This category could be an existing business with a support staff in social, marketing and PR; a startup with a small invested pool of family, say; or you could be someone with a good job who’s got a great idea and a nest egg you’ve put aside for when you’re ready to bring it out into the world. You can easily part with this money and not risk ruin.

You know what you don’t know

You are in the best position because it means a couple of things. It says that you’ve been researching crowdfunding extensively and know what’s required of you. You know you can handle certain aspects but fear that others may overwhelm you. It could be building and working an engaged social media following. You’ve got accounts on many social media sites but have anemic followings and do scant posting, because you don’t put out the effort (or more likely, you just don’t particularly like social media.) It could be that you feel awkward doing media outreach, feel not up to the task. It could be you are simply strapped for time. These are good reasons to assess where you need it most and hire out—thoughtfully. You have to do your research and find companies with good track records and the testimonials and data to back up their promises and costs.

You don’t know what you don’t know

You, my friends are the most dangerous category. Though the attitude likely springs from a shortage of funds—understandable if you’re crowdfunding—you blithely march into a crowdfunding campaign, without doing any research and without laying much groundwork. You are the category that people like me receive frantic emails from, begging for help when the clock is ticking and the future is pretty much fated. There’s little excuse for that attitude in this day in age, folks, when so much high-value information is out there for the taking.

Conclusion? I repent! Sometimes you gotta spend money to make money.

Photo credit: Penywise

Is Your Dream Worth Realizing? A Checklist

Tip of the Week

Like most of us whose minds tend to dream up ideas for products and services, or have alternate points of view that we believe will make the world in some way a better place, we also have to beware not to run too far with our brilliant idea before we make sure it’s as original as it appears to have been when we thought it up in the shower or in the middle of the night as we groped for our bedside pad of paper and pencil in the dark. (Phew, that was a long sentence!)

I  came across a campaign today called Quell. It’s a pain-relief wearable device.

I thought it was worth highlighting it because to dissect it is to understand why it’s doing so well. It reads like a due diligence checklist. In other words, these people did their homework but more than that they have a great idea. So I invite you to check out the campaign and look at the video, which I’ve embedded below.

Based on their campaign, I’ve assembled a checklist. Here are some questions to ask yourself before your brilliant mind carries you away into the crowdfunding space. These guys will help you understand where and what makes your concept work and how.

FYI, I have no investment of any kind in them except my kindred hatred of pain.

Is your idea itself in considerable demand?

Who wouldn’t honestly do just about anything to avoid physical pain? Pain sucks. Pain debilitates. Pain is eating up an enormous percentage of the population 24/7, at least in part due to our stressed-out lifestyles, our unhealthy relationships to work, and the physical, mental, and emotional fallout from all our shiny technology. Oh, and our terrible eating habits.

Excuse the expression but this campaign touches on a vital pain points that pretty much all of us made of flesh and blood have some negative relationship with. That’s not to say that everyone will jump on the idea of this device but enough will because of personal experiences with pain.

(Okay, I just broke ankle so I know from pain. I will speak more on THAT topic once I’ve wrapped my head around the fact that the break is real; it’s not going to go away for a few months no matter how much I wish for it to, or search for some sort of supranatural rewind button.)

Does your idea or product cause no harm and does it really put the benefits to the audience front and center?

That may seem like a no-brainer yet many campaigns lack that crucial selling point. It’s not enough that you think your idea is so amazing; show us why we will think your idea is so amazing. And I mean really show–and tell. Don’t kid yourself with I’m-center-of-the-universe attitude—an unfortunate side effect of just how easy it is to get your name out there via social media. I see too many campaigns that think this is an effective tactic. Go figure.

One of the great selling points Quell provides is that the delivery system is 100% drug free. This is important because people care about staying healthy—and they care about getting healthy without the use of nasties like Oxycontin. Don’t get me wrong, right now Oxycontin is my friend but the drawbacks are severe, and if you’ve got a chronic pain problem it should not be an option…And yet there are not many better options, so this makes Quell sound extremely attractive.

Do you just want to take the money and run?

Lots of campaigns do. But Quell is not only ready to provide its first-generation device; they are also looking to you to help them improve the product. Yes, this is a smart move for them, and it’s hopefully not at your expense if the product proves ineffective, but I think it’s an attractive risk worth taking when you weigh it in the balance of all the work they’ve done so far.

Additionally, and just as importantly, Quell is using crowdfunding in beneficial ways that you should consider when you toss your idea around, thinking about throwing your own hat in the ring: by getting user feedback they will be able to produce a next-generation product that’s even better. Add that to the fact that their success will be enough proof of concept to attract other types of investment, and this diminishes what I just now thought of as “crowdfunding welfare.” It’s not meant to be that.

So make sure your campaign provides a larger service beyond grabbing the dough and leaving us to hope for the best. It will be different for every campaign but please make it a part of your thought process.

Can you support your idea with compelling statistics?

Those that really find success, in crowdfunding and on the internet in general, are those that can exert their expertise by providing quantifiable evidence of a need and then backing it up with an idea or product that effectively suggests it can address those needs. Quell weaves those into the video and narrative and punctuates it with all the media support they’ve already garnered, which is a kind of statistic in itself:  “Wired,” “Entrepreneur,” and “Bloomberg” and many more publications thought enough of it to write it up.

Does your idea have any type of standard against which it can be held up in order to support viability?

Considering all the concern over fraud, the fact that Quell is able to say the FDA cleared it for takeoff is great. As crowdfunding backers become more and more savvy, and perhaps experienced a burn or two, some sort of credentialing is going to be important. Again, this will be different is all cases.

Here’s an example, of how a filmmaker might gain credibility if they are a newbie and have no past films as evidence of their talent:

  • Former students can get their professors to vouch for them with a testimonial
  • You can ask a mentor who has a good reputation in the film industry
  • If you’ve worked for a highly successful filmmaker, as a gaffer or second AD, see if they wouldn’t give you the thumbs up to burnish your campaign.

Above doesn’t come close to itemizing all that you should be asking yourself before you launch what you think is your good idea. And if you do the exercise honestly and fail to live up to your newly developed high standards, so be it! That’s good information. There’s still hot water in the shower and keep that notepad on the night stand and you’ll get there in time.

Design Within Crowdfunding Reach Requires Marketing

Tip of the Week

Last fall I moderated a really exciting panel at the Digital Professional Institute that featured five successful Chicago-based project creators. It was a lively and delightful hour that went by way too quickly. (I learn so much from each crowdfunder, whether they fail or succeed, and these panelists all fell into the latter category.) Every campaign was unique, and I could write a post featuring and lauding each one. And perhaps soon I will, maybe in the form of a sit-down video. But that’s for another time and day.

For now I want to focus on a guy by the name of Craighton Bermanphoto

He’s a product designer and a Kickstarter star player with so many rousingly successful campaigns under his belt, one of which has little functional application but more than make up for it through its sheer love fest of form. (I will provide links below.)

I’ve been trying, in vain, to nab Berman for a sit-down with me, knowing full well this guy’s plate is fuller than a Las Vegas gambler taking a break from the slot machines to graze at the buffet table.

But he’s busier than ever and now I know what he’s up to. He’s just committed to teaching a yearlong professional development course at University of Illinois at Chicago.

This is so needed. The problem that many of us who consult come across with project creators is that these people, while brilliant at what they do, lack basic marketing skills. Which is a campaign killer.

Berman’s class Tumblr has the perfect title: Always Be Hustling. It features some really innovative student works. This is actually Berman’s second stint at UIC, with last year’s theme being on the “Making” of the product. This year’s focus: “Scaling.” (Unlike some artists who are less verbal than visual, Berman is equally skilled at both.) How many times does the marketing question come up by project creators? A lot. So this class should really rock. I can tell you from listening to Berman speak, that not only is his enthusiasm infectious but how can you argue with all his crowdfunding success? He clearly knows what works and you aspiring designers WILL want to crawl into the workings of his brain!

For those of you who live outside Chicago, first be happy you’re not dealing with 18” of snow! But also take comfort in the fact that Berman’s really on to something here. So might an online class will be next? We can only hope!

His campaigns:

Pinch (A gourmet salt cellar and pepper shaker set that brings the experience of adding ‘a pinch of salt’ to the dining table.)

The Campaign for Accurate measurement of Creativity (A Sharpener Jar To Quantify Your Creative Output)

The Manual Coffeemaker (A Pour-Over Coffee Maker Designed to Elevate the Ritual of Making Coffee by Hand) *This is the most recent and it raised $100K in 30 days.

 

His websites:

Craighton Berman Studio

Manual

Newsjacking, Good Taste, and GoDaddy’s Image

Tip of the Week

I guess I still haven’t washed GoDaddy’s idiotic video out of my hair quite yet, even though I’ve already vented on Twitter and on LinkedIn about their outrageous video that was slated for airing on the Super Bowl—and then pulled after (surprise!) a backlash. If you haven’t seen it, you can watch below. But this is the elevator version:

A puppy is thrown from a truck. He valiantly finds his way home to his “family” only to be welcomed by a wicked-voiced human expressing happiness at the little guy’s return—because she’d already sold the dog online.

In my original rants I talked about what cretins these GoDaddy people must be—and there’s no doubt about it: they are. But this is idiocy wrapped in sinister strategy, one they’re clinging to like people without a creative bone in their bodies must do.

Why is this newsjacking?

Because GoDaddy’s marketing hacks know that the movement to end puppy mills is a big issue right now. So they decided it would be “funny” to turn that news on its head by taking a tragic situation and turning it into a frat joke.

The last time GoDaddy made the news was when they were called to the carpet for their disrespectful images of women—another issue about which serious people like Malala Yousafzai, Sheryl Sandberg and Hilary Clinton, to name but a few, try to raise awareness.

Can good taste be taught?

Absolutely. Making the news at the cost of others is a bad strategy. One way to ensure you’re on the right side of good taste is to ask yourself: Does this news I’m attaching myself to have anything at all to do with my brand? If the answer is no, not without fabricating a connection like GoDaddy did, it may be a clue that you’re cheaping out, which in the end means you’re not showing respect for your own brand. In that case it’s best to go back to the storyboard and start over.

 

Google Tricks of the Trade You May Not Know About

Tip of the Week

No question Google is smart, but maybe not the brainiac we think it has become. To get us up to speed on tips and pointers to make searching more targeted, a site called WhoISHostingThis.com came up with a cheat sheet to help you find the relevant search results we all crave, pronto.

I was somewhat underwhelmed by some on the list. The first tip, for example, advises uses quoting around exact phrases. But keep reading! You’re in for a big surprise by all the nuggets of valuable pointers further down.

Here are some of the highlights from their findings, followed by the fantastic infographic they created for our convenience. Print it out! Commit it to memory. Just use the pointers and you’ll get where you’re going much faster.

Getting Results from certain domains

Let’s say you want to research the competition on Kickstarter for standing desks, because you’re considering running a crowdfunding campaign for yours.

Here’s how you would ask Google:

Standing desks site:kickstarter.com

This is page one of a total of 1,460 results”

standing desks site:kickstarter.com - Google Search 2015-01-23 11-50-06

Finding Content to URL You already know

Since we’re on the topic of infographics, let’s use the example provided. Visual.ly is a data and visualization and infographics platform. What to search for similar sites to, say, compare features?

Here’s how you ask Google:

Related:visual.ly

This is the page with it 48 related sites

related:visual.ly - Google Search 2015-01-23 12-23-06

Other Google Search Tricks

It doesn’t just stop at search terms, with Google Goggles you can find the name of an item just by taking a picture of the item you want to search for on your phone and then voilà! You’ve got your results. Here’s how to download Goggles and examples of how it works.

Check out the Full Infographics
How to be a Google Power User - Via Who Is Hosting This: The Blog

Source:

How Bringing “Sourcing” Back to the “Crowd” Can Translate into “Funding”

Crowdsourcing existed way before Jeff Howe famously neologized it. (How’s that for a fancy word for giving a name to something that didn’t exist before?) Now crowdsourcing has a permanent place in our popular lexicon—and that’s got to tickle Jeff Howe to no end! Wouldn’t you like to say you invented a word? Does it up his pay grade? Does he get invited to do Ted Talks? These and other questions take up too much of my time…..

As a little primer, let’s remind ourselves about how crowdsourcing works. Example: Just this morning I emailed a bunch of friends requesting names of acupuncturists they could recommend. They’re (hopefully) going to use their experience and contacts to help me find my dream acupuncturist at the perfect rate, location, bedside manner, etc. So now all I have to do is sit back and wait for the recommendations to come dribbling in.

The genius of using the Internet, or course, is that while my email went out to a few select friends true crowdsourcing uses the power of the Internet to disseminate requests and to deliver back a slew of germane leads.

Sites like eLance and oDesk and Mechanical Turk crowdsource workplace freelancers—also known as virtual assistants, since they could be located in the other hemisphere, which means not only will you never meet him or her (let alone be sure of their true gender) but you’ll probably not ever speak in real time.

Sittercity crowdsources child and pet sitters. I have used them to great success, finding a terrific, caring person to hang out with our dogs when we need to go out of town (thanks, Ingrid!) and so have my in-laws for their little Westie.

The design industry was an early adopter to crowdsourcing. Sites like Crowdspring and 99Designs have been matching clients with experienced web, logo, and graphic designers to varying success. I say “varying” because  most require that professionals work “on spec” and that can be a sticking point. But as a former writer who pitched editors regularly—and by “pitch” I mean I had to have a fully fleshed out story including sources before I got the thumbs up or down—I’m used to this. (I didn’t say I liked it.)

But the point is this is not new. Here, however, are some new industries enter the playing field and, flawed or not, I think it’s about time.

DTtTrd

Crowdsourcing Medical Diagnoses

Crowdmed.com is a long time coming. It’s a site that allows people with medical conditions that have perplexed the medical establishment to present their symptoms to the crowd for solving.

Crowdmed was started by Jared Heyman. His sister Carly had a condition that went undiagnosed for too long, much to the family’s frustration. As a means to help her—and also test out his medical crowdsourcing theory—he posted her symptoms on his site and….guess what? She got a diagnosis! You can read the story here.

There are two ways to participate. You can either submit a case, or you can suggest diagnoses—no medical degree required. To me, that’s not crazy; that’s simply utilizing the power of the crowd. (And the New York Times has had a successful column called Diagnosis that does exactly the same thing to great success.) Though crowdmed is very new, there are already many case studies you can read about.

Here’s where the “funding” part comes in. According to their site:

 Once you’ve proven your capabilities in making smart suggestions and point assignments, and have received good peer and patient ratings, you can fully participate in all cases on the site and earn even more rewards. . . Medical Detectives who contributed to these suggestions are awarded points, status, and even cash compensation from those patients offering it. But the greatest reward for most of our Medical Detectives is knowing they’ve helped people get their lives back.

Crowdsourcing Fashion and more

Crowdsourcing fashion ideas seems like a natural. I wrote a piece about Betabrand a while back. You can read it here. While their business model always included getting the thumbs up from the crowd before turning a mockup into a finished product, they recently added a crowdfunding component: submit your creations and if they are successfully funded you can earn up to 10% of the profit.

Reddit, the iconoclastic, glorified message board, recently launched redditmade which they say:

Allows users to create almost anything you want on, whether it’s a hat, sticker, glass, or something super specially customized and unique. We’ll help you make it happen! Want to make a T-shirt? You can create your design and make your campaign go live in just a few minutes. Creators get to decide how many they want to sell and for what price. They then have 30 days to reach their goal. If enough people pledge to buy production begins. Creators can receive all the profits, or they can donate them to any other person or cause you want.

According to its site, “Reddit is differentiating its service from existing ones by privacy features – managing all payment processing, item production, and shipping itself, user information never needs to be handed over to the project creator.”

That’s just for starters. Here’s an Entrepreneur article that delves into crowdfunding fashion further. Or just google “crowdfunding” and “fashion” and see what goodies come up.

Crowdsourcing Video Expertise

I talk to clients all the time who are perplexed about whom to hire to help them create a pitch video. Just a couple of days ago it was reported that two companies—one US-based, the other European—got smart and combined their expertise to “offer platforms that enable videos to be created for brands by a combined community of more than 120,000 film makers, writers, editors, and small production companies.”

The merger, called Vizy, asks individuals, brands or agencies to submit a proposal of needs. Participants must then present a creative summary or storyboard ideas for review. Vizy chooses the filmmakers to create completed videos and offers performance testing of submissions. Clients only pay for the videos they end up using.

No question, crowd dynamics is here to stay. So is this a good move for crowdsourcing in general and the crowdfunding industry specificually? I’d love to hear your comments.

Another question to readersQ5l0Jp

As a purveyor of information about crowdfunding, how am I doing? Am I delivering information that you care about? Are there gaping holes that you have been holding out hopes I’ll get around to filling? I don’t get a lot of “unsubscribes” but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything. I personally continue to accept blogs and newsletters in my in-box that I immediately send to the trash, just because I don’t want to offend by unsubscribing. I hope that’s not the case…but I’m here for you, so tell me what you need and I will try my best to accommodate you.

Case Studies? You are aware of my column on Crowdsourcing.org, right? It’s called Rose Recommends and each week I cover a single campaign created a brave soul who is willing to be critiqued in the hopes of getting it right—and helping others.

More Q & As? I really do try to interview people who’ve been wildly successful at crowdfunding. But timing is everything and they often so busy fulfilling their campaign promises a sit-down is hard to come by. But I keep trying.

Platform profiles? I hope this isn’t want you want, because there are so many other sources for these type of reviews and I try to keep my content to the kind of information that doesn’t look like it just came off wholesale rack, if you get my drift. I want to provide specialty-grade material. Think Stella McCartney vs. Target. 😉