I’ve come to think of pitch videos and project descriptions as first dates. The most idealized versions of ourselves. A little stiff, maybe laughs a little too hard at jokes. It’s often endearing, occasionally awkward, but we all understand how it works.
Project updates are relationships. You get a feel for who someone actually is, how they think, what motivates them. It humanizes the project, and I’ve increasingly found that that human element is exactly what sparks me to pledge. I love reading about a project’s struggles — the more mundane the better.
When done right, project updates highlight the narrative of a project perfectly. It’s like a mini reality TV show where we love the whole cast and we know the drama is real. That’s what it’s like following Allison Weiss or watching Emily Richmond’s updates from sea. It’s a privilege to share in those stories and to bask in their warm glow. It’s one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever had the pleasure to do on the web.
All of this struck me today as I read through some of the recent updates to hit the site. Watching the Quiet’s genius cat video, which had the office laughing hard. Or even stumbling across a classical music project I hadn’t seen before and seeing this beautiful photo:
Or the latest short story from Andrew vs. The Collective, in which he turned his audiences text submissions into a story cheekily optimized for SEO. Or an intense photo gallery from Brandon Schulman’s Portrait of America Left Behind photography project that leaves us nearly breathless from its beauty. Or all of Coming + Crying, which feels like joining the nicest sex club the world has ever known.
Forget dating — let’s marry these projects, raise some kids, and grow old together. As backers, that’s what it sometimes feels like. It’s intimate and real. We’ll soon make it easier to uncover updates and their stories. Maybe you can fall in love too.