Crowdfunding is nothing new. Most people don’t know is that the Statue of Liberty was crowdfunded. In the late 1800’s, the Statue of Liberty almost didn’t make it across the ocean, because The American Committee couldn’t raise enough money to finance the pedestal on which the Statue should stand. Joseph Pulitzer and his newspaper ‘the World’ involved the American people in his campaign to complete the monumental project, by using a earlier form of crowdfunding. Due to this campaign he was able to fund the lacking 100,000$ of total 300,000$ to build the pedestal, while the over 120,000 donations were in most cases less than a dollar.
Before Project Community I had no idea what the definition of crowdsourcing or crowdfunding is. But after watching couple of videos, scanning crowdfunding websites and reading through a lot of campaigns I got a notion of it. I used to know platforms that use the power of the crowd by gathering enough votes for petitions. I think it’s a good way to reach all the people in the world, who wants to be involved and who wants to help. By making a project public and asking for help, both sides can benefit from each other. Just like in the story above, in which the people who helped with a donor, got a miniature statuette. This souvenir made them feel like a part of the building. And that is the nice thing about crowdfunding. It is about reaching people, who likes your ideas and want to help you, realizing them. For me, it’s surprising to see, how much the people trust in these projects and in their founders, by donating and actually not asking for anything in return.
By writing this blog following questions are coming up like…
Who are these people, donating for this projects ?
What was the main reason, for supporting this projects ?
How safe are all the crowdfunding websites or campaigns ?
How much is in it for the crowdfunding websides themselves ?
How many of these projects actually reach their goals ?
So while designers use crowdfunding only for raising enough money to finance their own projects, crowdsourcing is used to share, exchange and generate ideas and work together. Although I think a designer also should have his freedom creating new ideas.
“In order to be open to creativity, one must have the capacity for constructive use of solitude. One must overcome the fear of being alone.”
Indeed, with solitude you keep focused and it’s quite, but maybe it’s too quiet ?
Because Human beings (including designers) are still “social” animals, who are designed to mingle. With this conclusion another question comes up
Which tasks are given in crowdsourcing ?
How can you make the best use of crowdsourcing ?
Well here are just a few cases of crowdsourcing. A webdesigner for example, could get feedback on his webside before making it public. Or the webside ‘Couchsurfing’. A social platform where people all over the world offer their couches, beds and even rooms to traveling people. Another good example is Crowdjourney a website which offers help for the people that want to crowdfund, to create a video to spread the word.
Obviously working in a crowd, collaborate and trusting each other is a good way that leads us to success !