Hello, Kicktraqers. MrsKicktraq here – Or, as I’m more commonly known, the Kicktraq Gnome. I spend a lot of my time on Kicktraq reviewing the tag and article submissions you guys send in. Both of these activities lead me to a lot of interesting projects that I probably never would have thought to look at otherwise.
Adam is big into board games (raise your hand if you’re surprised to hear this, especially after the Super Duper Birthday Giveaway), and while I love playing them, personally backing most board games on Kickstarter seems a little redundant since we share the same game closet. So, it took a while before I found that first project worth creating my own Kickstarter account and pulling out my wallet for.
The first project I ever backed on Kickstarter was Cheese Cave & Cheesemaking Classes at the Little Brown Farm. Adam had just started featuring projects that were So Close to funding that it would be a shame if they didn’t, and project owner Vicky Brown from the Little Brown Farm was one of his first So Close interviews. Now, why would a woman in Columbus, Ohio back a project for a goat farm and cheese cave in Seattle, Washington that she’s likely to never see? Believe me, my choice was quite a surprise to me too, especially considering that I’m a musician and a closet geek. You’d think some music, art or technology project would have been the one to reel me in, but nope. I fell for the goat farm on the other side of the country. This quote from the interview is pretty much what hooked me.
Kicktraq: So what about you? What inspired you to begin creating an actual micro-creamery operation?
I am a former CFO. I have worked in the technology sector and for a public relations firm. I led a very stress-centric life… and then I met goats.
I too have led a very stress-centric life of at least moderate success, and let me tell you… I WANT TO MEET GOATS! Who doesn’t want that kind of life-changing epiphany that completely redefines how you view yourself, your success, and the world around you? Vicky’s story felt like my own story, and as a result I was desperate to be part of the Little Brown Farm’s success and Vicky’s transition from rat race to happy goat herder. Somehow, from 2,400 miles away and having never once been to Seattle, I claimed a part of that community and its success (or failure) as my own.
Since then, I’ve backed a few other projects, and in so doing I’ve started to notice a pattern: Over 50% of the projects that I’ve backed so far are what I would consider to be community projects, and none of them are for the community where I live. I think this is because Kickstarter and crowdfunding in general are changing my perception of community, from something defined by my location or occupation to something far more global, defined only by our collective willingness to connect and work toward the common good – whether it’s in support of an All-Girls Chess and Science Festival in Arizona, a community kitchen in Massachusetts that’s hoping to fill the hearts and bellies of the local masses with art and music and fresh-cooked meals made from wholesome ingredients gleaned from dumpsters, or a fun conceptual art project that sends Meme’d coffee mugs around the world for people to share.
What about you? What projects, if any, have you backed that surprised you or brought you to some new understanding of yourself and what’s important in your world? Is there some way Kicktraq can help you find and track those types of projects better? Let us know. Adam will be the first to tell you that he really built Kicktraq for himself, and that he’s “just happy so many of you like using it too.” So, tell us how we can improve your user experience and enable you to better find your own sense of community through crowdfunding.