Computing Columnist: Just kick me
I admit it. Sometimes I'm just plain wrong.
When I first heard about kickstarter.com, I thought it was a silly idea. What idea, you ask? It's a site dedicated to raising funds for silly ideas. Well, to be honest, some of them are great ideas and some of them are good ideas and yeah, some of them are silly ideas. But they're all brought together on a website and served up to the donating public who can choose to give as much, as little, or nothing at all to any notion they deem worthy.
Each idea master creates an information set - along the lines of a grant proposal, but generally more colorful and interactive, which might include visual, video, descriptions, biographical data, budgets, calendars and so on.
Ideas are grouped according to general topic, so funders can search according to interest: Books, movies, design, music, food and so on. Searches can also be narrowed geographically. Staff picks and other featured selections can be investigated and a banner of random selections can be rolled over and clicked on to learn more serendipitously.
Each project has a target dollar amount it seeks, anywhere from hundreds to literally millions and a target timeframe. If the target amount is not pledged within the timeframe allotted, all bets are off and no money changes hands. If the target is met (or exceeded), donors are expected to pony up and meet their pledges with a check.
Much to my surprise, not only have projects been funded, but millions have been raised this way to fund all sorts of projects, from very arty endeavors, to start-ups looking for the funding to go from idea to VC pitches.
So, whether you've got a good idea, or a good heart (and a good pocketbook), check out kickstarter.com. You may just find the means to a very good end waiting.