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Crowdfunding the Future

Media Industries, Ethics, and Digital Society

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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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7. Is It Fair to Monetise Microcelebrity? Mapping Reactions to a Crowdfunded Reporting Project Launched by an Italian Twitter-star

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7.   Is It Fair to Monetise Microcelebrity? Mapping Reactions to a Crowdfunded Reporting Project Launched by an Italian Twitter-star

GIOVANNI BOCCIA ARTIERI AND AUGUSTO VALERIANI1

Introduction: How Claudia aka @tigella Became a “Twitter Celebrity”

In 2010 Claudia Vago (@tigella on Twitter, where she opened her account in August 2008) was an almost unknown young woman in her early thirties living in a small mountain village of Northern Italy. At the time Claudia was working as web editor for the tourist board of the Emilia Romagna region and had neither experiences nor ambitions in journalism. She was in fact a member of some of the communities of Italian early adopters of web 2.0 platforms but she could not be considered a leading figure.

In early 2011 what substantially changed the online status of Claudia was a specific activity on Twitter: she started curating for her followers a stream of messages regarding the Tunisian uprising, continuing with the whole “Arab Spring.” Later the same year, she drifted her attention toward Europe and the U.S. to follow the Indignados and Occupy movements, thus specialising her Twitter feed on social movements. In curating these stories Claudia adopted an approach highly sympathetic with protesters, frequently writing very emotional Tweets and giving the impression of considering herself in some way involved in the mobilisations.

This hyper-activity substantially increased her popularity within the Italian twitter-sphere, also because it was focused on an issue – social movements...

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