This Monday was about speeding up. For both Personal Branding and Project Community we were asked to start working directly on the end results. At first, thinking about how it should look like, made me feel surprised, almost nervous. After having a second thought I realized the right way is to think of how it is probably going to look like with what you have done so far. Then I felt prepared. I was probably feeling nervous for a second because I’m a little overwhelmed with the idea of designing my personal brand and also having a real client. But the speeding up feel enables you to let go of “so many ideas” or “so much work to do” and just start to deal with the facts. Today when Maarthen talked about “killing your darlings” this is exactly what I did. I gave up on almost every “little plans/ideas” and started facing that this is it. This could only happen, of course, because I’ve been “doing the homework” and am partially prepared. Speeding up can cause a negative impact on your mind, but only when it’s not prepared. When you have what you need “in hand” or almost all of it, it can become surprisingly good and motivating.
Otherwise the only fact to deal with is that you need to rush from the beggining, which puts you in a disavantage position.
So today’s rushing gave me a good energy. Good for me. It means I’m opened to it and giving my best. Still, in the beggining of Project Community’s class I was worried about how would the team’s energy be.
As a large group we have to exchange energy in order to sync our tasks. Turns out today we were faster because we knew we had to split in our subteams and it should work. We were all a little nervous individually, but sharing the “overwhelm” and “rush” feeling, made the load not so heavy after all. We agree that we just need to stop, focus and move on without what we got up to this moment. Which I personally see as a research of good quality. Not a finished one, but we’ll manage to do so. From today to the weekend it is our homework to justify it better and come to specific conclusions. I’m expecting and believing we’ll have a good result.
Crowdsourcing, Design and our NGO’s case
Designers can find in crowdfunding a very familiar and favorable process. The creativity we need will hardly come up if we’re thinking ”alone”. But is necessary to learn how to balance individual and collective contribution.
Today I stumbled upon this article relating that film & Video projects raised almost $60 million in pledged support over the last year. It also said that documentaries were the highest pledged film subcategory, raising over $42 million in 2012. Some films even became featured at festivals across the world and got shortlisted for Academy Awards. Here is the link to the article: http://tinyurl.com/npt9ycl
Emma Dessau, who wrote this article, spoke to teams from three documentaries that exceeded their fundraising goals on Kickstarter in 2012. They are “Money for Nothing”, “The Waiting Room” and “I’m a Big Bird”. She wanted to learn moreabout their experiences running campaigns. Here I will explain what I’ve learned about Crowdsourcing so far by using their quotes and some of my own thoughts on it. In the end, I’ll link all of it to our NGO, Gogorobí, and its relation to networks.
Jim Bruce, Money For Nothing: Inside the Federal Reserve: Prepare extensively for your campaign before launching it – especially by identifying and developing relationships with 3rd parties who already have a connection to your core audience. The main reason our campaign was successful was that we had some really fantastic allies – people like John Mauldin and Doug Kass, for example, who write about investing for large online audiences who are very interested in the story of the Federal Reserve. So when John and Doug spread the word about our film we were able to connect with a huge number of potential donors and introduce our project to the future audience for our film.
Kickstarter can be an incredibly effective way to forge a relationship with your core audience and create a lot of awareness about your film, but it can also be a very stressful and time-consuming process. So the most important thing is to do as much work as possible in advance of launching your campaign so that you aren’t overwhelmed by the process of the campaign itself.
What can be inferred from that as a lesson is that not seeking the input of other designers or end users isolates your creation, which can be awesome, but will often aquire no value.
The human brain will often ignore aspects that other minds, which don’t have the same worries or distractions, can see.
Dave LaMattino, I Am Big Bird: We were amazed by the feedback we got… It was like having mini test screenings every time we released a clip. We learned what people connected with, which actually has informed and shaped the rest of the filmmaking process. A lot of times when you’re working on a film like this, you’re trapped in a dark room without the ability to get important critical feedback. Having people comment on these clips throughout the campaign was one of many unexpected benefits of Kickstarter.
When a project is crowdsourced, the first important aspect for who is launching the project is to stablish a PURPOSE and properly set the roles. If people are going to join your idea, you don’t want them to bring bad influences. They’re very likely to negatively influence a situation in which they don’t know what / how they’re supposed to contribute with.
The second is to find ways to explain it in a transparent way. Cultivation for a project is exactly like the “candle effect”: one person gets excited and tell the other, who also gets excited and tell others, so on and so on. If there is no noise in the communication of an idea, it will light the right people. It means the idea will be supported and also spread.
Pete Nicks, The Waiting Room: Kickstarter is much more than a funding platform. It is a way to gather true believers – fans & backers – around the project. Because in the world of social media it is not how many fans you have. It is the quality of them. And at the beginning of the project it is incredibly valuable to have a critical mass of supporters around you who can help not just by giving you $50, but by being evangelists, connecters and emotional supporters.
The best way to approach Kickstarter campaign is to think beyond money. Think of it more like the creation of a super-board-of-directors for your project. Be prepared to dive into that group and solicit ideas, follow their wisdom, draw from their inspiration. The money should always be secondary.
The idea has been spread, recognized and well interpreted. Here’s when all the crowd magic starts to take place. This is when people’s contribution will consist of insights and other forms of constructive feedback. For this moment again it is very important that the person/company is prepared to all the information to come and direct it in the right way. The results should performed in the best way and the process communicated as well.
Clay Frost, I Am Big Bird: Be flexible with your rewards and be willing to shape them during the campaign to meet the demand of your backers. Find a way to give them what they want, which might not always be what you thought they’d want when you started your campaign. If you can do this, you can capitalize on the interest.
Seeing the crowdsourcing alternative from Gogorobí’s point of view is interesting. They have a consistent purpose, awesome ideas and projects, but a narrow field of action. Widening it doesn’t mean you need to lose focus or identity, but that you need to communicate not just the way you usually do but specifically seeking for people simpathy/empathy.
I believe Gogorobí’s only on the first step of communication. It knows its goal and expresses in a unique, authentic way. However it does not imply that their communication stands out or is effective.
As its about storytelling and traditions, I see an opportunity for Gogorobí with crowdsourcing if they find ways to tell this stories in a variety of platforms. The african tradition attracts the simpathy of people all around the world and it is just a matter of telling a story the right way. It means the stories should be on the right timing, in the right place.
Finding out these answers is not that hard once you have a close, transparent communication. Gogorobí’s website is still only available in the dutch language and their social networks aren’t always up to date. Once they realize how easy and natural it is, starting to play with the crowdsourcing magic will also come naturally. I hope that is the fire we’re setting in their ideas. Can’t wait to see it happen :)