What is Crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding is an effort to raise money through a network of people, typically through a combination of social networks and fundraising platforms on the Internet. Many organizations, especially start-ups, turn to online tools such as Kickstarter to finance new projects and products. Crowdfunding has been known to support many different activities, from helping communities recover from disasters to bringing an innovative prototype through its the last phase of development. On these platforms, the pool of potential donors and investors is opened up, giving the public an opportunity to fund the process. Sometimes the citizen investors are promised something in return for the support, such as a free version of product, branded swag, or even personal letter of gratitude. One of the appeals of crowdfunding is that it is often completely transparent -- the organizations have a set amount of money they need and people can see in real-time how much left is needed, and watch the financial gap lessen as they invest.

INSTRUCTIONS: Enter your responses to the questions below. This is most easily done by moving your cursor to the end of the last item and pressing RETURN to create a new bullet point. Please include URLs whenever you can (full URLs will automatically be turned into hyperlinks; please type them out rather than using the linking tools in the toolbar).

(1) How might this technology be relevant to academic and research libraries?

  • crowdfunding has huge potential for disrupting the contemporary publishing business models as a source of content and a means of self publishing - mylee.joseph mylee.joseph May 2, 2014 - andreas.kirstein andreas.kirstein May 5, 2014
  • crowdfunding could be applied to the development of software tools for use in research and academic libraries, augmenting the intellectual capital contributed to open source software development with sponsored development by institutions that desire functions and new tools - mylee.joseph mylee.joseph May 2, 2014

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • the use of donate what you can afford crowd funding drives to keep services like Wikipedia freely available and indepedent - mylee.joseph mylee.joseph May 2, 2014
  • add your response here

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on academic and research libraries?

  • add your response here
  • add your response here

(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

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