The Kickstarter Blog

This Week in Kickstarter

  1. Projects in the News

    Every week, we round up some of the stories about projects that made it into the press. We're happy to see them out there in the real world, and excited to share their progress with you! Read on.

    Mike Snider of USA Today produced a story chronicling the journey Donald Miller's best-selling memoir, Blue Like Jazz, took from book to Kickstarter project to theatrical release: "Blue Like Jazz didn't sell well initially but gained momentum through word of mouth. At a reading in Nashville about two years after the book's release, Miller was approached by filmmaker Steve Taylor (The Second Chance), who wanted to make a movie out of it...Miller hopes that Blue Like Jazz is just the first of many crowd-funded films. 'It is changing our culture,' he says. 'We will have these minor projects that get made because 10,000 want it to be made.'"

    Examples of the colorful Pakistani cargo truck art Asheer Akram hopes to bring to the U.S.
    Examples of the colorful Pakistani cargo truck art Asheer Akram hopes to bring to the U.S.

    Nadia Rasul of The Atlantic featured the Pakistani Cargo Truck Initiative: "Cargo trucks painted in bright colors, with an extremely intricate level of detail, are a common sight on the the highways of Pakistan. The paintings — often coupled with lines of poetry, religious calligraphy or common phrases — represent the truck driver's identity and regional background. The images on the trucks embody a wide range of themes, including landscapes, celebrities, beautiful women, mythical creatures, religious imagery and national heroes. While these fully functional trucks are used only for transporting goods in South Asia, Asheer Akram, a young American artist from Kansas City, Missouri has embarked on the project of building a Pakistani cargo truck with a Midwestern twist in the hope of mixing venerable South Asian traditions with modern American culture."

    Jevon Phillips of The Los Angeles Times interviewed Fran Kranz about his role in Cabin in the Woods, but asked him about his previous work on the Lust for Love project: "I knew what Kickstarter was, but it kind of all blows me away with all the capabilities of the Internet. I just feel like the playing field has been leveled with the Internet. It democratized and created a kind of meritocracy for people to really choose what they want to watch, and it doesn’t have to be the mass-produced stuff. There’s no limit to what you can pull off with things like Kickstarter."

    Rachel Metz of MIT's Technology Review wrote about the recently successful Ninja Blocks project: "Whoever has been stealing Mark Wotton's newspaper should look out: He's formulating a revenge plan, and it involves ninjas. Well, technically, it involves Ninja Blocks — little computerized, sensor-equipped boxes that Wotton helped create. The blocks connect to the Internet to carry out preset actions in response to stimuli. For example, via an online service called Ninja Cloud, Wotton could set a Ninja Block equipped with a motion detector to automatically take photos of the paper thief and upload them to Facebook. A Ninja Block might also be programmed to turn on a hall light when a child cries in her crib, or sound an alarm when the cat jumps onto the sofa."

    Cartoonist Keith Knight’s illustrates his experience funding a project on Kickstarter.
    Cartoonist Keith Knight’s illustrates his experience funding a project on Kickstarter.

    Michael Cavna of Washington Post spotlighted tips from Keith Knight who recently ran the I Was a Teenage Michael Jackson Impersonator project: "It's only now, more than a month later, that Keith Knight fully realizes he didn’t quite know what he was doing. 'I went into it rather naive on what to do,' Knight tells Comic Riffs of his successful $40,000 Kickstarter funding campaign for his comic 'I Was a Teenage Michael Jackson Impersonator.' Fortunately, 'It was with the help of several readers who wrote and said: ‘I know you don’t wanna be rude bugging people about this, but [here’s] something you gotta do if you wanna make it happen.' As for Knight, his 'Teenage Michael Jackson Impersonator' campaign slightly exceeded its goal, as more than 700 backers pledged nearly $43,000. 'The comics community stepped up in a huge way,' Knight tells Comic Riffs. 'Peers were tweeting and Facebooking it, and folks at the Cartoon Art Museum [in San Francisco] were hyping it up, and [San Diego] Comic-Con staff people were donating. 'It was very humbling to see who tossed support my way. It was amazing.' In the wake of his project’s pledge-drive close last week, Knight has decided to share a 'list of things I did right and wrong during my Kickstarter.'"

  2. A Few Favorites: Love Letters to the End of the World

    "If the world were to end this year, what would you want to say to it?" A simple question, sure, but one with an endless (and endlessly fascinating) variety of possible answers. Answers that the interactive web series/community-letter writing initiative, Love Letters to the End, have set out to collect and share with the world. Phew! Intrigued by the premise, we asked creator Peter Spears Dean to share a few of the favorite letters he's received so far. Check them out below, and leave us a comment telling us what your own letter would say! (Better yet, tell Peter. And be sure to take a look at the first episode in his web series here.)

    Illustrations from Erik:

    I met Erik at an art and music show in Chinatown a few months ago. I was there handing out stamped, addressed envelopes for Love Letters to the End. He approached my table, picked up an envelope and read the instructions. He said writing wasn't his forte, so I asked him to draw something, anything he wanted, and that could be his love letter to the world. When I saw the designs on the envelope, I knew this one would be special. 

    Haikus to the world:

    When we pulled this one out of the PO box, it felt thicker than any other we had received. Julia and I were amazed as we opened it to find three pages of Haikus from a group called Haiku Wednesdays. The introduction tells us someone in the group discovered us online, and on a Wednesday in March, they chose Love Letters to the End as a theme. Some are sad, some are celebratory, and others, well, are about Godzilla. 

    Letter from Slovakia:

    This was our first international letter! It's from Slovakia. It's poetic, melancholy, and has a lighthearted touch at the end. We received this letter the night before a Salon, an art event we hold in my intentional community in LA in which people have 5 minutes to share anything to a warm and welcoming crowd. I read it aloud to friends and strangers both, and after that moment, everyone understood why we care for this project.

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