Tech Crunch Shares Staff Email Addresses

Tip of the Week

The column is back where it started, right here on The Crowdfundamentals blog. We had a great run on Crowdsourcing.org. I tend to like to shake things up, however, so on the occasion of its one-year anniversary, I pitched a new column to my editor Anton Root, and he liked the idea.

It’s called Rose Recommends and it’s a Q&A forum in which I answer your most pressing—simple to complex—crowdfunding questions. Here is the first installment. The second one will be up shortly—usually Monday afternoons. If you subscribe to their newsletter you’ll receive it on Wednesday. In the meantime, if you want to see my Tip of the Week archives, you can check them out on my blog under Tip of the Week category. Or you can go here.

TechCrunch Staff Email Addresses

After discovering the dubious practice by some sites of selling the email addresses of their staff, TechCrunch decided to steal their thunder (and some revenue) and recently published a staff email list for free.

The article, which you can read in full here, was published by Romain Dillet, Hats off to him. But remember, you’re still going to have to do your research to find out what specific area they write about —no spamming these nice people allowed.

 

Here’s the list:

Alex Wilhelm: alexkaiserwilhelm@gmail.com (he’s too cool to use a TC email address)
Alexia Tsotsis: alexia@techcrunch.com
Anthony Ha: anthonyha@techcrunch.com
Billy Gallagher: billy@techcrunch.com
Cat Zakrzewski: cat@techcrunch.com
Catherine Shu: shu@techcrunch.com
Colleen Taylor: colleen@techcrunch.com
Danny Crichton: danny@techcrunch.com
Darrell Etherington: darrell@techcrunch.com
Frederic Lardinois: frederic@techcrunch.com
Greg Kumparak: greg@techcrunch.com
Ingrid Lunden: ingrid@techcrunch.com
John Biggs: john@techcrunch.com
Jonathan Shieber: shieber@techcrunch.com
Jordan Crook: jordan@techcrunch.com
Julian Chokkattu: julian@techcrunch.com
Kim-Mai Cutler: kim@techcrunch.com
Kyle Russell: kyle@techcrunch.com
Matt Burns: matt@techcrunch.com
Matthew Panzarino: matthew@techcrunch.com
@MikeButcher: mikebutcher [AT] techcrunch [dot] com
Natasha Lomas: natasha@techcrunch.com
Romain Dillet: romain@techcrunch.com
Ron Miller: ron@techcrunch.com
Ryan Lawler: ryan@techcrunch.com
Sarah Buhr: sarah.buhr@techcrunch.com
Sarah Perez: sarahp@techcrunch.com

Crowdfunding4All, The Turbo-Charged Search Engine with Benefits

Crowdfunding relies on support from the crowd, and social media is the tool to get the job done. This is currently one the biggest obstacles to crowdfunding success, which is why creative minds have been hard at work developing workarounds to level the playing field.

One of them is CF4All. I’ve been circling them since The Crowdfundamentals wrote about the search engine when they debuted last fall, curious about the status of their “find it, fund it, smarter & faster” tag, and anxious to point users their way.

They’ve been in no hurry for press, however; instead they’ve been busy building a database they call a “crowd-powered search and analytics network,” a melding of cross-platform project search with crowd wisdom. (Whether by design or not, currently searching for failed campaigns can be a futile task on major crowdfunding platforms, which makes it difficult for backers to make informed decisions and project creators hard-pressed to do detailed research before launching. Finding niche platforms that might be a perfect match for you is equally challenging.)

These vital missing pieces of marketing intelligence — funding and user data, and real-time insights — is what CF4All believe will be the game changer in the increasingly competitive environment crowdfunding has become.

To continue reading, please go to the latest installment of my Tip of the Week column on Crowdsourcing.org

Kickstarter Gives Journalists a Category of Their Own

Tip of the Week

 

There’s been plenty of talk circulating about Kickstarter’s new rules.

But a change that has generated less of a splash is that as of June 11, Kickstarter added Journalism to its growing list of categories and subcategories. (The other new category announced is Crafts.)

Considering journalism has been knocked about and turned inside out (thanks, Internet), this is good news because — to borrow from the best — it gives journalism a metaphorical “room of its own” (thanks, Virginia Woolf).

The category includes books, magazines, web publications, podcast, investigative or photojournalism, photo essays, and even live tweeting events.

If you launch a journalism project on Kickstarter, in solidarity Mediabistro’s 10,000 Words wants to give it a boost. Just tweet them your project @10,000Words or put it in the comment section here.

To continue reading this installment from my Tip of the Week column on Crowdsourcing.org, please go here.

Crowdfunding Lessons From David Ogilvy and Other Pop Culture Icons

Any Mad Men fans out there? If you are you know that at the end of last season — season 6 — Don Draper managed to get himself put on an involuntary leave of absence by his fellow ad agency partners for losing it in a pitch meeting with Hershey’s execs.

“Crying like a baby,” was how Jim Cutler, a particularly antagonistic senior partner characterized Draper’s outburst.

One of the things I love about the show (besides the mod mid-century design) is that it’s full of dialogue that places us in the world of Madison Avenue advertising in the 50s and 60s. Like Cutler’s chauvinism and those morning nips of Scotch, some of it is pretty dated.

Consider how copy chief Peggy Olsen describes the creative style of the guy who’s temporarily replaced Draper: “Lou likes to write the tags first and sneak up on a strategy.”

I don’t even know what that means — except that it sounds like a bad idea.

To continue reading, please go to my Tip of the Week column on Crowdsourcing.org.

Or go here to read all my Tips—just in case you missed some.

 

BNN Funding Offers Marketing Solutions, Organically

I first met Patrick Kitano, CEO of the crowdfunding services company BNN Funding, at a crowdfunding conference last year. My first impression was that he seemed a bit of an outsider.

Kitano has a lot of ideas that stray from the narrative of your average crowdfunding industry professional. For example, he doesn’t believe the current system of uploading campaigns onto crowdfunding portals is sustainable.

That’s because today’s model relies almost completely on DIY marketing. It’s a tough barrier for many individuals and organizations with a slim-to-nonexistent digital footprint, especially in the nonprofit and social enterprise sectors, the areas of BNN Funding’s focus.

For those who do pay for marketing support, whether it’s for expediency or as a desperate attempt to change the tide when a campaign stalls, the question everyone should be asking is whether these agencies actually can provide the type of dedicated and consistent promotion they promise, and a campaign needs, and how.

To continue reading, go to this installment my Tip of the Week column at Crowdsourcing.org.

 

 

 

 

A Spring Crowdfunding Review

Tip of the Week

Spring is a time for fresh starts and new beginnings. To clear your mind and plant seeds for positive growth, I’ve assembled a quick pre-launch crowdfunding checklist review. Because sometimes, you just have to go back to the basics.

Ask yourself: “Who would benefit from my campaign?”
If your answer is “everyone,” you’ve got work ahead of you. Crowdfunding works when you laser focus on your target audiences. Using social media, zero in on your target groups and then use the communication channels they frequent to reach them. If your traffic comes from sharing on Facebook through mobile devices, for example, use mobile apps. I found a helpful infographic for the best outreach times.

Research and learn
It shouldn’t be the case that I know more about crowdfunding projects similar to yours than you do. Find, research, and analyze what worked and what didn’t and learn from their experience. If you’re using Kickstarter, here’s some helpful guidance.

Form a team
Crowdfunding is a team sport that works best when your team members are performing tasks they are good at and enjoy. Here’s a fun way to match team member with skill sets to perform tasks effectively.

Partner up
The more you can amplify your message the more your crowdfunding campaign will thrive. Look for other live projects for possible cross-promotion opportunities. Again for Kickstarter users, here’s a good place to start.

Get to know the media
There are endless tools to identify the media. Here’s a current darling for Twitter users. Make sure you find them in advance. Don’t wait until you find yourself murmuring ‘uh-oh’ because your campaign has no traction.

Communicate effectively
If you do a poor job at targeting you will be greeted by silence. Here’s why.

To continue reading please go this crowdsourcing.org and this week’s installment from my Tip of the Week Column.

 

Here’s How to Make One Dollar Donations Add Up!

Tip of the Week

Historically, crowdfunding had been a project-based method for raising capital. To qualify, your idea needed to have a beginning, middle, and an end.

When Patreon came along last year, it shook up the status quo by offering a much-needed alternative for artists and content creators that have ongoing financial needs. Patreon users set the terms of the perks at various payment levels, with the typical 5 percent going to the platform.

Right around that time, YouTube also launched its own paid prescription plan. Content creators have to have at least 10,000 subscribers and users that subscribed could view the content on various platforms and devices.

Between these options and hundreds of crowfunding platforms, competition is stiff for market share. But that didn’t deter the founders of TapRaise, the self-described “everyday crowdfunding,” Brooklyn-based startup for anyone seeking ongoing support for his or her work.

Their confidence stems from the simplicity and streamlined use of its flagship product, the “Give a Dollar” button.

To continue reading this week’s Tip of the Week installment go to Crowdsourcing.org.

 

 

All Kidding Aside, Lesko Free Radio Nets You Media Exposure

f you’re 30-ish or so and partial to late-night TV you probably recognize Matthew Lesko. You know, the guy in the infomercials wearing a neon “question mark” suit and David Byrne silver spikes while gesticulating wildly about how to get free money from the government.

Yes, that guy to the right.Lesko

 

 

 

 

 

Lesko has faced his share of controversy for his style. But the advent of the Internet coupled with the popularity for crowdfunding has done their part to help launch Lesko’s second act.

To continue reading, please go to this week’s installment of my Tip of the Week at Crowdsourcing.org.

 

KarmaKrowd, Because DIY IP is Risky

Tip of the Week

In honor of the final day of  Women’s History Month I thought it would be fun to write about a new platform that not only has an interesting niche and suite of services but also happens to be co-founded by a woman. (And it’s based in my hometown of Chicago. Yay!)

KarmaKrowd is a crowdfunding platform that guides startups and entrepreneurs through the process of protecting their intellectual property (including patents, trademarks, and copyrights) before launching a crowdfunding campaign. When you think about the fact that IP-intensive industries directly accounted for 27.1 million American jobs, or 18.8 percent of all employment in the economy in 2010, the value of a buttoned up IP becomes clear.

KarmaKrowd, which is looking for inventors and entrepreneurs who are seriously trying to get a product out there, is currently accepting 25 beta testers. In return they get free PR services and no upfront costs.

To contintue reading, please go to my most recent Tip of the Week installment at crowdsourcing.org.

PressFriendly: A Virtual PR Firm for Tech Startups

You are a bootstrapped tech startup. You need PR. Would you retain a PR agency? Joel Andren, co-founder of PressFriendly, the newest kid on the block to tackle this much-debated topic, interviewed over 200 founders and asked about their experiences using traditional PR firms.

The responses were not promising: “The takeaway was that PR is necessary to getting their story out in ‘earned media,’ but their return on investment was not good.”

Since ignoring the media is not an option, and media blasts just don’t work, PressFriendly set about creating a software-drive virtual PR agency that is more in line with ROI.

Launched just under two months ago, PressFriendly was designed to help users plan and build their story, and then send it out to targeted media through a “machine learning” system — software that was trained to mine data and find matches between the pitcher and the pitched. Think of it as the CRM system for public relations.

To continue reading, please go to this installment from my Tip of the Week column on crowdsourcing.org.