Crowdfunding is an obvious need for undiscovered artists and creative type people. It’s hard to put musicians, photographers and software developers in the same box, but when it comes to E-commerce, there are some obvious common threads.
There are projects that us small time creators just can’t do without a garuntee of cost offset. If we know we have a certain amount of support from our community, we can do bigger and better things!
Crowdfunding is growing in popularity, and since I am a long-time supporter of the democratization of virtually everything, I have always been interested in trends related to crowdfunding and other non-gatekeeper models.
I recently experimented with selling an album (mp3 320) via a common WordPress ecommerce plugin, and was trying to make the transaction pay-what-you-want, but I had a hard time editing the checkout process. It was just really hard for me to find where in the plugin I was using to patch/hack the checkout form to do what I wanted:
- Pay What You Want (even nothing)
- Collect emails
- Gracefully redirect back to my site (from PayPal or other payment gateway) after opting to pay (One of the biggest problems I had is dealing with payments of $0, because the forms for ecommerce usually assume a value, and redirection happens after purchase… but then, what about the email collection and redirection to a thanks page?!)
The real value to me here is the email address, not the payment, which I can only expect to be a few bucks here and there at this point, since I’m not super famous (yet). But building a fan-base, if I can do that, is very valuable.
What I’d like to be able to do is easily set up, both things for sale, like mp3’s, and also, take pre-orders for things I’m working on. It’d be great if people like myself had an easy way to paywall content or allow paid subscriptions to certain pages or downloads on my site. And it’d be very cool if I had crowdfunding abilities. As far as I know, this is not an open-source or turnkey possibility. But stay optimistic! Things are moving fast in these spaces.
I hope all this stuff gets easier for Creatives soon. Let’s overthrow that gatekeeper legacy we hate so much!
I will do my best to update this if I get new info! Comments welcome as usual.
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