I spend much too much time watching videos and scrolling through projects on crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo. I find it can be inspirational. Here are entrepreneurs, activists, and philanthropic people, really sticking out their necks for the things they are passionate about. I couldn’t possibly afford to back them all, though I wish I could.
Whatever your opinion about crowdfunding sites and some of the pressures of successful projects, you can’t debate their rapid growth. Kickstarter has been a fundraising platform for over 40,000 funded projects which have in total attracted over $215 million from donors. Here are two that are hoping to add to those stats and one book project that already has a lot of buzz.
1. Library For All is a digital library aimed at delivering libraries to developing countries. The library materials reside on web servers and are accessed with affordable tablets and mobile phones. Many of their library books are open source, building on an already ingenious way to bring free e-books to the masses. Their idea makes the portable library global.
2. The United Palace Theatre is an architectural gem in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan. The last film to have a run at the theater was 2001: A Space Odyssey, in 1969. This Indiegogo project is getting a lot of attention and hopes to raise funds to buy a digital projection system. Full disclosure: I live in Washington Heights and I think the success of this project could take the uptown arts scene to another level.
3. Boss Fight Books already had their Kickstarter success, but their idea is too good not to share. They will be publishing books about classic video games. Smartly designed editions will take an in depth look at the cultural impact, innovative design, or subcultures born as a result of its creation. My favorite game growing up was NBA Jam and I would love to read about the cultural impact (if any) that had on burgeoning youth.
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Three more worthy projects that are looking to bring libraries to communities: This Free Library in Tennessee is the size of a bird house, but the community’s excitement can hardly be contained. There are also incredible community library projects in Thailand and Tanzania too.