Unto the valley of death…of crowd funding science

I have been very happy for the response my hips 4 hipsters campaign has attracted so far…considering I haven’t started to push it as yet (due to my absence from Australia at launch time, which limits my availability to talk to local media and podcasters). And thank you to you, dear reader, if you are one of my 40+ supporters so far.

But I also know that after the initial flurry of pledges, there comes the inevitable lull in proceedings which I like to call ‘the valley of death’. It caused me and my colleague untold misery last time during the Mighty Maggots campaign, mostly as we were in the first cohort of researchers to try this ‘new’ funding source and no one had any idea if it would fly or how it would play out. Scary times indeed.

The scariest thing last time was the response from the Pozible brains trust, who had only ever experienced failure from these kinds of ‘slow burn’ projects before and were quietly freaking out at this point of the beta testing. A traditional creative based crowd funded project with substantive rewards (such as a book, CD, tickets to a show) would usually be at 50% funded by the end of the first 2 weeks of a 45 day campaign.

Thankfully, the benefit of hindsight means that I have experienced this before and hence are able to enter this time (which could be as long as 3 weeks!) braced for the imminent neuroses that will descend. But even though expecting this to happen can take the edge off my doubts, they are still there….whispering with maleficence from the back of my mind, every day that passes with no messages of pledges sent to my work email.

I hope the ‘first timers’ concurrently running campaigns from the Research my World cohort are still having fun communicating their research to the wider world and are too busy to listen to their inner demons.

Picture Credit..from an interesting article about science and policy

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