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Kickstarter is an online platform for funding projects ranging from movies, albums, or journalism-related endeavors.
Kickstarter was founded in 2009 by Perry Chen, Yancey Strickler, and Charles Adler. The company is based in Manhattan.
Kickstarter is a form of “crowdfunding” that allows the public to donate small or large amounts to projects set up by a third-party. Projects on Kickstarter must offer a reward to users to encourage donations, with rewards ranging from a special product to exclusive access to a project. The approach to fundraising requires projects to reach full-funding by a deadline, if a funding target is not met the money is returned to supporters. Kickstarter takes a 5 percent fee from funded projects to cover their costs. Donations are handled by Amazon Payments, which also takes a small percentage of the raised funds for credit card processing.
According to the company, Kickstarter raised $27.6 million and funded more than 3,900 projects in 2010.
Kickstarter and journalism
One of Kickstarter’s project areas is publishing, including journalism, which has lead to discussion on whether the service can be a viable alternative method to fund reporting similar to Spot.us. In 2010 writer and cartoonist Ted Rall successfully raised over $21,000 to return to Afghanistan to report on US military activity and life for Afghanis.
Windy Citizen was a Chicago-based local news site that used crowd curation to determine its lead stories. It was founded in 2008 and shut down in 2012. Windy Citizen relied on user submissions for its content. It used a Digg-like mechanism for determining stories’ popularity, asking users — whose identity on the site was tied to…