PastPages is a project from Los Angeles Times database producer Ben Welsh. The site archives the homepages of dozens of media sites every hour, ranging in scope from USA Today to Reddit to The Allentown (PA) Morning Call. The hope, Welsh writes, is that “Past Pages could grow to serve as a resource for scholars seeking to study coverage of news events.” The Newseum archives newspaper front-pages; website homepages seem the next logical step. The Kickstarter raised more than half of its $5,000 goal in less than 48 hours and has since passed that mark. The project has 41 days left to continue fundraising and has gotten media attention from Poynter and the Wall Street Journal. (Deadline: July 6, 8:35 a.m.)
The lowly status of alternative medicine in the American healthcare system, particular chiropractic treatments, is the subject of a documentary called Medical, Inc. Seventy-five percent of the filming is already done, and interviewees include “athletes, mothers, discouraged MD’s, marginalized Chiropractors, profoundly successful healers, and even patients that have been sent home to die.” Filmmakers Jeff Hays and Bobby Sheehan describe their process in the Kickstarter pitch: “As we filmed, we talked about the metaphor of ‘a small door into a large room.’ It’s a big story, but it’s only meaningful on a person by person, story by story basis.” After an initial goal amount of $75,000, the Kickstarter has raised almost $140,000, and it still has a week to continue raising money. With 800 backers and counting, it obviously struck a nerve. (Deadline: June 1, 1:59 a.m.)
Hotfrog has an intense trailer. Ominous music plays as images fill the screen: a stranded polar bear, a starving child, angry protesters, and other photographic zeitgeists. The trailer asks: “Ever feel like that frog in the frying pan from the Famous ‘Boiling Frog’ Story?” The reference is to the tale that a frog placed in boiling water will jump out, but a frog placed in cold water that’s slowly heated will remain and burn to death. Hotfrog, a platform for professional and citizen journalism, posits that humanity is “stuck in a pan of heating water. As the water grows hotter, however, the call for deep, systemic change has grown louder and clearer.” Its stories are all about this “Great Disruption,” and it seems like a fine idea. But, the $100,000 price tag proved too high. The project’s raised about $6,000 so far, and only has 11 days to make up the difference. (Deadline: June 6, 12 p.m.)
My Magazine grew out of a school art project and is aimed at young people between the ages of 10 and 18. The magazine deals with tough topics for teens, like bullying, obesity, and teen dating violence. It’s a valiant effort, given that the teen section of the magazine stand is mainly Justin Bieber covers. But the Kickstarter is going to need a lot of momentum to reach its $15,000 goal before it expires in about two weeks. So far, it has $20. (Deadline: June 11, 12:45 a.m.)
Out of time
In the book Open Source Church, Landon Whitsitt uses the principles of crowdsourcing to explain a new way to restructure churches. Now, he’s using the power of the group to fund a new print magazine, PLGRM, on Kickstarter. The project is set to end Sunday, and it squeaked past the $5,000 goal just days before that deadline. The pitch says the magazine will “shine a spotlight on the lives and interests of those no longer satisfied with Modern Christianity,” a cohort that’s surely full of both friends and enemies for PLGRM magazine.
A crowd-funded movie about crowdfunding? Capital C: How the crowd liberates itself seeks to explain how this new way of raising capital is changing the world and shaping the future. “Every day the number of innovators opting to leverage the power of the crowd (instead of relying on conventional forms of financing) is growing rapidly,” says the Kickstarter. The pitch quotes MIT Professor Eric von Hippel, who called crowdfunding “the biggest paradigm shift in innovation since the Industrial Revolution.“ The film has raised almost $76,000 in the two months it’s been on Kickstarter, and has just one week left to close in on its goal of $80,000.
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