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Kickstarter: An Active Yet Risky Forum For Venture Capitalism Success

1941 words - 8 pages

Crowdfunding websites offer feasibility, convenience, and popularity on a global reach, thus catering to the needs and functionality of members on a large scale. Kickstarter is a crowdfunding platform that allows filmmakers, musicians, artists, designers, and anyone attempting to generate funding for a creative project to gain access to a supportive community willing to pledge money. As an artist, using a service like Kickstarter is crucial if the opportune moment presents itself with attention from fans and journalists, especially if the media attention is available to the public. To utilize a crowdfunding website such as Kickstarter when attention exists on a particular artist creates a sense of investment and community between fans and the producer of the project, thus aiding in the consumption and circulation of an artist’s project throughout the net. Therefore, this paper will argue the wide range of support and backing of fans for an artist’s work makes the benefits of involving users outweigh the disadvantages of involving users in the platform process. Users engaged in Kickstarter offer a sense of community created through fans, a donator sense of investment in the project, and if successful, a sense of reward. Whereas the disadvantages of using a Kickerstarter platform runs a risk of failure if the project does not succeed, possible disappointment and anger with fans, and potential legal issues.
Kickstarter serves as an active forum, where fans not only can connect and observe what their favorite artist is currently involved in, but also fans can provide valuable feedback and express their necessity or hatred for a particular project. After the failures of the dot-com bust, a new economic and social platform emerged within Web 2.0. Internet users are thus granted the ability to contribute to a participatory culture, and now more than ever user contributions aid in viewing what makes a website run efficiently. When discussing Web 2.0, Tim O’Reily (2005) credits “ network effects from user contributions” as “the key to market dominance in the Web 2.0 era” (p. 39). Kickstarter relies on O’Reiley’s idea of network effects from user contributions creating market dominance. Without the much-needed support of community members, a rising artist gaining media attention must turn to Kickstarter because without the pledging of funds from fans there would be no end result.
Gaining an audience arguably supplies much more to an artist than the actual donations because community between an artist and their fans allows for better personal connections. Kickstarter as an online website “provides far more than just funding” (Sudmeir, 2012, p. 23). Without a legitimate group of people dedicated to serving an artist, nothing produced whether via Kickstarter or any other platform would receive support. Online communities cater to artists through examining their needs, and thus “when people provide and receive social support in online groups, they are...

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