And what sites are good for personal rather than artistic or business reasons? I've heard of GoFundMe. Are there others? Anything that doesn't take a cut (or only a minimal one) for people in dire financial straits?
honor roll -- a list of names (sometimes with links and/or icons) recognizing a project's patrons and/or other supporters.
hub site -- a website that hosts activities relating to many different projects. There are fundraiser hub sites for crowdfunding projects, such as Kickstarter or IndieGoGo. There are also hub sites that host specific types of content, such as webcomics or fiction. Also called a platform or host site.
landing page -- the post or website page where links to a project should point, usually containing a summary of the project and a guide to its parts. This provides a gateway for new visitors to learn about the project, and a navigation tool for established fans to find their way through it. Read about "How to Make a Landing Page."
linkback -- promotion of a project by posting the URL to its landing page, current session, an individual item, or other tidbit in the viewer's own venue. This helps attract more people to the project. Also known as linklove or linkluv.
microfunding -- sometimes a synonym for "crowdfunding" in wider use, it more often refers to a version of cyberfunded creativity where patrons make small donations to fund an item piece-by-piece that is too big for any one of them to sponsor all at once. For example, an epic poem might be priced per line and posted one verse at a time. Serial fiction is often funded and posted by installment.
patron -- someone who contributes money to a crowdfunded project. It may apply to a specific item for publication, or to the project as a whole. Also known as donor or sponsor.
perk -- a benefit for doing something in a crowdfunded project, such as making a donation or linking back to a post. A fiction project might have a perk of extending a story; an art project might go from black-and-white to color. Perks may be individual (if you pay X amount, you get to see an extra poem privately) or collective (if total donations reach Y amount, an extra poem is published for everyone to enjoy). There are many types of perks and ways to earn them. Also known as rewards or incentives.
progress meter -- an interactive graphic that provides a visual representation of moving toward a goal. These may show donations, pages written, sketches uploaded, or whatever else the creator wishes to track. Something often happens upon reaching the goal, such as the audience getting a perk. Note that projects often have multiple goals, while most meters can only track one (the highest). Also known as a ticker. A popular source is TickerFactory.
project -- a general term for crowdfunded material with defined parameters. A project may be a one-time activity or object (such as a book), or it may be ongoing (such as a free art day held monthly). See "Types of Crowdfunded Project."
prompter -- someone who provides inspiration and suggestions to a creator, usually during a call for prompts. Regular prompters in an ongoing project can build up considerable influence, especially if they request topics that rarely get portrayed in the creative arts. A prompter may or may not also support the project in other ways.
pseudonym -- something other than the creator's legal name used to identify who created a work. This can be a nickname, pen name, username on a particular online service, etc. Some creators post a list of their different pseudonyms so people can find them in different venues.
[To be continued...]
donation button -- a small graphic on the screen which may be clicked to take the shopper to a money handling site where they may send funds to the creator. Most often, this is the PayPal "Donate" button, because that's the version which allows the shopper to designate the amount (useful if the project has many items of different prices). The usual locations for a donation button include the project's landing page, the creator's profile or bio page, a session post for an ongoing project, and the page or post where an individual item within a project is available.
fan -- someone who is devoted to a crowdfunded project, but isn't necessarily contributing money to it. Fans keep the project alive by paying attention to it, most often through comments and/or inspiration. Some creators and projects are fueled mainly by fan enthusiasm. A fan may or may not also be a barker, aiding the project through promotion in other venues.
feedback -- anything from the audience that gives the creator useful targeting information about a crowdfunded project. This may include comments, votes in a poll, prompts, linkbacks, using a "favorite" or "like" function, reviews, ratings, etc.
fishbowl -- a traditional exercise in which someone does an activity in front of an audience, while the audience makes suggestions or analytical comments. In a writing or art class, this is typically done by seating one or a few people at the front of the room to work while the rest of the class observes; ideas or observations may be recorded on the blackboard. In cyberfunded creativity, this has been adapted to a live writing or art activity online, usually hosted on a blog, where audience members post ideas and the creator makes something using those ideas. The fishbowl technique can also be used for brainstorming business projects or other ideas.
ficlet -- a short piece of fiction, usually under 1000 words. Some crowdfunded fiction is written in brief segments, which may be extended by donations or other audience actions. Also known as microfic.
first-reader -- a volunteer editor. This is a friend, family member, or fan who looks over a rough draft and suggests improvements so that you can make revisions before the final version gets published. Some crowdfunding projects provide perks for supporters who do this.
flash fiction -- a short piece of fiction, usually intended to stand alone, although it may belong to a series. There is no concensus as to what the length of flash fiction "should" be, but ranges average 300-1000 words. Some people use the term to mean any short-short story.
general fund -- a pool of donations not earmarked for sponsoring a specific item, but paid toward supporting the project as a whole. Some projects simply put this toward covering overhead costs. Others use it to fund items not sponsored by individual patrons; the audience may get to vote in a poll to select what gets released based on the amount in the general fund and what items are available.
ad swap -- an exchange in which two or more projects promote each other using banners or other images/text. It's usually a free exchange of ad space, rather than just paying for the advertising. This makes it more accessible to people who have a venue but may not have a lot of cash. Plus it's pretty much self-targeting because audiences into crowdfunding often enjoy multiple projects.
alternative publishing -- methods of releasing a product, such as literature or music, outside the conventional publication industry. This includes crowdfunding and self-publishing.
audience interaction -- the process of exchanging ideas between creators and consumers. Audience interaction is a major aspect of the crowdfunding business model, which distinguishes it from conventional models that tend to separate creators from consumers. The audience consists of all the people interested in a project, whether they just lurk or support it with inspiration, prompts, money, etc. But it's the lively, active part of the audience that really counts in crowdfunding, the people who respond to polls, leave feedback, influence the plot of a story, pick which sketches get posted, etc. Creators who like to talk with their supporters, and folks who like to hang out with creative people, are drawn to crowdfunding because it facilitates this connection.
barker -- someone who promotes a project frequently across various online venues. They may write about it on their blog, post links via Twitter or Facebook, and otherwise attract more traffic. Some projects have perks for linkbacks or other promotional activities. A barker may or may not also be a patron; promotion is an excellent way to support a project for people who don't have much money.
buy it now -- a feature originally offered by some online auctions, this has adapted in crowdfunding as a purchase option. It may indicate the full price for something that could otherwise be microfunded, or temporary access to something that will be removed from sale if not sold within a limited time.
call for prompts -- asking the audience to provide ideas for writing, sketching, or other creative activities. There may or may not be a theme. Some portion of the material produced is often posted for free, and prompters may get a private look at the results from their own prompt. This activity may be done live, as in a fishbowl; but it can be used to store ideas for long-term use instead. Also known as a prompt call.
creator -- a person who runs a crowdfunded project; can be an artist, poet, author, diviner, musician, etc.
crowdfunding -- a business model in which ordinary people pool small amounts of their own money to accomplish something similar to what a big business or bank can do. It allows a creator or entrepreneur to appeal directly to an audience, thus avoiding the bottleneck of conventional finance or publication methods.
cyberfunded creativity -- a business model in which creators connect directly with an audience online. It features a higher level of interaction than the conventional publication process and removes the bottleneck of publishers, music companies, art galleries, etc. Creators can produce and sell anything they can find a market for; and audiences can inspire and sponsor works to their own taste. Cyberfunded creativity is a subtype of crowdfunding focused on creative material in online venues.
[To be continued ...]
The posts can be found here:
Part One, How Libraries Buy Books
Part Two, Donating Your Book to a Library
Part Three, Ebooks in Libraries
Part Four, Author Events at Libraries
Part Five, Not Actually About Libraries
"How to Crowdfund Your Product Release"
"Sustainable Funding Models"
"The Three Micahs" (a series on how to run a creative business)
"A 20-Step Process for Finding Your 1,000 True Fans"
"The Case Against 1,000 True Fans"
"How to Attract Your 1,000 True Fans"
"In Defense of 1,000 True Fans"
"The Problem with 1,000 True Fans"
Closely related to this is "the long tail" theory of marketing, promotion, and economics. It deals with the impact created by a very large amount of very small contributions or actions, especially over an extended time period.
The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More book by Chris Anderson (Amazon page)
"The Long Tail" (Wikipedia article)
"Applying the Long Tail to Online Fiction"
"Finding the Long Tail in Music"
"Libraries and the Long Tail"
What other resources have you found useful in cyberfunded creativity?
Some time ago, I wrote a four-part series about cyberfunded creativity for EMG-zine:
"What Is Cyberfunded Creativity?"
"Cyberfunded Creativity in Context"
"Exploring Cyberfunded Projects"
"How to Practice Cyberfunded Creativity"
You might also be interested in these resources about mainstream crowdfunding:
The Crowdfunding Wiki
"Crowdfunding" (TIME article)
"Crowdfunding: A Question of Precedent"
"Crowd financing" (Wikipedia article)
"Crowdfunding: Open Business Models"
"An Exclusive Excerpt from Friends, Fans, and Followers"