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Re: [libreplanet-discuss] crowdfunding free software

From: Aaron Wolf
Subject: Re: [libreplanet-discuss] crowdfunding free software
Date: Sun, 20 Dec 2015 11:12:40 -0800
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:38.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/38.4.0

On 12/20/2015 11:04 AM, Daniel Pocock wrote:
> On 20/12/15 19:50, Aaron Wolf wrote:
>> This whole issue is complex, and it relates to what we're trying to do
>> with — we are making a system more specifically designed
>> for the challenges faced by free/libre/open projects.
>> Here's our run-down of why these reward-focused campaigns are ill-fit:
>> But anyway, we aren't operating yet (although we're working hard to get
>> there). We ran our own one-off drive and continue accepting regular
>> donations during our pre-launch phase. We did thanks, stickers,
>> sponsored-commits, shirts, that sort of thing. It's a lot of work and
>> hassle and we have to think of the whole thing as publicity value as
>> much as money because the costs and hassle of this type of fundraising
>> are substantial…
> Thanks for this feedback - it is worth noting that in any industry
> (whether it is in research, in a big corporation, non-profit, etc) there
> are overheads for getting funds for projects.
> The bigger questions are:
> - how does crowdfunding relate to the alternatives?

> - if people go for serious targets (six-figure dollar amounts), can they
> realistically budget for the month they spend making videos, preparing
> the rewards, risk factor, etc?

Yes, the fundraising can cover its own costs, but it's still risky and

> - do certain types or project fare better than others?

Of course certain projects fare better. Ones with big excited audience,
with trust and credibility, with reliable history, with the best
marketing, with realistic goals; and, unfortunately, as the article I
already linked emphasized, *proprietary* projects with pay-for-access
restrictions have a better time because they have more ways to offer
exclusivity to donors.

> Maybe these questions are better discussed on a thread on the more
> general issue of crowdfunding though, so I changed the subject line.
> for more history for full
run-down of crowdfunding platforms at all relevant to free software

We've done a lot more research too and writings on this. Of course, I'm
biased here and can't be objective totally, but we're working on because we believe other fundraising methods for free
software and free culture are fundamentally inadequate, see the
snowdrift dilemma.

While I'm willing to discuss more about here, it's (A)
not usable immediately so doesn't answer questions of those doing
immediate fundraising and (B) anyone who really wants to engage with us
should join the discuss list or #snowdrift
on or otherwise engage with the writings and stuff we've
put together. At the least, I know lots of people have appreciated the
research we've done and find it valuable even though our vision isn't
realized yet.


Aaron Wolf
music teacher,

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