I am not Frank Chimero. And this site is not Frank Chimero’s.
Chimero raised $112,159 from 2,109 backers to help pay for production costs, an editor and the time to write. It helps that he made a video for his appeal. Campaigns with videos raise more money, according to IndieGoGo (the platform AdPulp is using, instead of Kickstarter).
But there is obviously much more to the story. Chimero is a hot young designer. I’m a middle aged copywriter best known for this industry website, not the volumes of copy I’ve supplied to scores of blue chip brands. Chimero’s funders also get a copy of the book, and we’re not providing “a social object,” just the promise of more and better content.
Matt, an art director in Portland — and one of the two generous souls who have stepped up to contribute to our fund — said just before he donated, “Right now, there is no worry in my mind that your content will disappear, whether I donate or not.” In other words, there’s no urgency in our campaign either.
My response to Matt: Therein lies the core problem with voluntary contributions. After all this time and all this free content, readers’ expectations are deeply ingrained. And it’s going to take something dramatic to get real attention focused on this fundraising campaign–something like putting the site on hiatus until we reach a decent number of supporters (and dollar amount). While I’m not inclined to take those steps, I’m also not motivated to continue with the way things are. To find that motivation again, we will need to enact a paid model that works.