College journalism projects are regularly pitched on Kickstarter, and with a network that includes interested students, professors, and parents, they seem to do quite well. The Beat, a music magazine for and about the students of SUNY Purchase, is no exception—the Kickstarter surpassed its $5,000 goal by almost a grand. The pitch video is from assistant journalism professor Andrew Salomon, who says that, contrary to conventional wisdom, his students “actually like print” and enjoy the intimacy it offers. The problem: they need to have a completed issue before the university will support them. Thanks to their successful campaign, they can do their demo issue. (Deadline: May 29, 5:22 a.m.)

Longshots is a “next generation product evaluation platform” for people interested in “geek culture standards” and reviewing the hard- and software of video games, home theater systems, and other new technology products. The Kickstarter is to raise the funds for the “acquisition of content materials, equipment, space, and advertising.” The pitch-video points out that “takes things further than your usual tech site. We do macros photography and even employ professional models for certain articles.”

Indeed, a quick Google search reveals’s profile on Model Mayhem, a portfolio site for models and photographers, and one of’s homepage articles features a lovely lady lounging on the couch in her skivvies, giggling while looking at her tablet. I’m sure the models can help drive clicks, but I doubt the $150,000 pledge goal is obtainable. (Deadline: Jun 22, 2:46 p.m.)

The Bent Skeg Project is a place where people can use a fake name and email to tell a true story. A skeg is part of a boat that improves steering, and the Kickstarter project is based on the idea that “We have all bent our skeg, lost our rudder, or just plain screwed-up at some point in our lives.” Those who donate receive a “$3 sticker and the satisfaction that you are a true human being who encourages other to express themselves.” Even though the project is only attempting to raise $3,000, it has zero dollars so far, and I just can’t see people getting fired up about a vague pitch for an anonymous online platform. (Deadline: May 12, 10:01 p.m.)

Out of Time

The documentary film project Portrait aims to answer this question: “In the age of Instagram, what sets a professional photographer apart?” The movie will follow three photographers to explain their creative processes and methods. The Kickstarter creator, Andy Newman, says some pros think that “better equipment will make them better at what they do,” and this movie is “going to show that creative vision and direction are even more important than gear.” The project has until 10 p.m. on Friday night to meet its $12,000 goal. So far, it has raised almost $6,000.

Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and United States Poet Laureate W.S. Merwin is the subject of the documentary film Even Though The Whole World is Burning. The 85-year-old poet has spent the last three decades regenerating native plants and palms on the 19-acre Merwin Conservancy in Maui, Hawaii. He’s never been the subject of a documentary before, and the producers describe him as a “vibrant, humorous and challenging subject.” The movie surpassed its $15,000 goal a couple of days before its deadline this Saturday night.

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Alysia Santo is a former assistant editor at CJR.