the 17%

Well good grief, doesn’t time fly?!

It feels like a year ago that I started asking people to help me buy a bus. Today I’m halfway through my crowdfunding campaign, and sitting quietly at 17% of my target – that’s $4130 raised from 75 wonderful people with 44 days to go. All the people you ask about crowdfunding (who aren’t Amanda Palmer, Tom Dickins, Double Fine or Pebble…) will tell you that all campaigns start with a bang, look dead in the water in the middle and then come to an orgasmic crescendo of success right at the end.

No prizes for guessing how I’m feeling right now then… ;P

Actually, that’s not fair. I admit I’m daunted; this was always quite an ask. Why the heck would a creative research project around something as “niche and emerging” as creative digital culture run by a total nobody gain any traction in a system more designed for pre-sales and celebrity? But I also know I’m only part-way through my campaign strategy; many old friends and past collaborators, especially overseas, haven’t heard from me yet. Since I’m working my way round people personally, and I have sixteen years of contacts to go through, this all takes time.

Well, I’ve had two major revelations since starting the campaign that I wanted to share at this mid-point. The first is the amount of ‘non-pledge’ energy that has already been generated through the noise. I’m in discussion about a whole bunch of fabulous things that I can’t announce yet but will happen in the next year – dare I say quite possibly with or without an actual bus *shoots self in foot*. That is amazing, and unexpected. Through this campaign my ‘audience’ is growing day by day. If part of my mission is to raise the profile of media arts, I’m definitely succeeding.

The second, and really the biggest, is around the people who have actually pledged. As you can see below, there are currently 75 of them… and they’re not all just mates. The support I had from friends and colleagues before I started the campaign was enormous, for sure. There’s no way I would have even tried to run this without their encouragement and I love them all dearly for constantly bolstering me in my (many) moments of doubt. Some pledge because they are friends and want to help me personally. Others have pledged from meagre incomes because they see that this project could help the sector and therefore their own work. One dear friend keeps buying me lunch, saying “you’re doing it for us”. I accept each meal and kind contribution gratefully.

But when a total stranger shares your call or makes a pledge – of any amount – it really knocks your socks off.

One person interviewed me for an article and then went straight to pledge after hearing about the campaign. Last week I was at a crowded bar in Melbourne and shared my table with some people, one of whom, after just a few minutes of chatting, went on to pledge and share the project with his networks. A couple of days ago, after struggling with creative self-doubt, I tweeted “Q to creative folk: ever lost your faith in what you do? how do you handle that? genuinely curious” which resulted in a flood of genuine words of comfort and encouragement … and more pledges from strangers.

People are amazing.

So here I am again asking for you to share my campaign with your networks and pledge some money towards my bus. But mainly I want to say THANK YOU for being just bloody lovely x