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Crowdfunding the Future

Media Industries, Ethics, and Digital Society


Edited By Lucy Bennett, Bertha Chin and Bethan Jones

The concept of crowdfunding, where grassroots creative projects are funded by the masses through websites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo, has been steadily gaining attention over the last few years. Crowdfunding the Future undertakes a dynamic interdisciplinary approach to the examination of the new, and growing, phenomenon of crowdfunding and its encompassment of digital society and media industries. The book offers a wide range of perspectives and empirical research, providing analyses of crowdfunded projects, the interaction between producers and audiences, and the role that websites such as Kickstarter play in discussions around fan agency and exploitation, as well as the ethics of crowdfunding. With a series of chapters covering a global range of disciplines and topics, this volume offers a comprehensive overview on crowdfunding, examining and unraveling the international debates around this increasingly popular practice. The book is suitable for courses covering media studies, fandom, digital media, sociology, film production, anthropology, audience, and cultural studies.
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2. Crowdfunding the Narrative, or the High Cost of “Fan-ancing”


2.   Crowdfunding the Narrative, or the High Cost of “Fan-ancing”1



The landscape of fan cultures has changed in significant ways in recent decades. Specifically, the invention of the Internet has provided fans greater access to each other. As a result, fan communities are emerging quickly, living long and prospering much. Digital spaces also afford fans and media creators, producers and distributors more and more immediate interaction with each other than ever before. This ability to communicate easily and instantly has allowed for the expanded use of crowdsourcing in general and crowdfunding in particular. The term crowdsourcing, coined in 2005 by Wired’s Jeff Howe and Mark Robinson, refers to the use of “crowds” as voluntary or unpaid sources of labour, whether that labour is physical (e.g., word-of-mouth marketing) or intellectual (i.e., ideas). According to Investopedia, crowdfunding, a type of crowdsourcing, is “the use of small amounts of capital from a large number of individuals to finance a new business venture” (n.d.). To spread the word about this venture, crowdfunding capitalises on the networks of family members, friends, and colleagues a person has already established through social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and others.

Crowdfunding has quickly become woven into the fabric of media fandom, the example of writer-director Rob Thomas’s Veronica Mars (2004–7; 2014) Kickstarter campaign one of the most remarkable. As a result, this practice has prompted exigent questions about morals and...

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