Buy me a boob job
I swear that's how this all started. Years ago, I remember some woman looking to raise enough money to get breast implants. Completely unnecessary but lo and behold, she managed to raise the money. And countless others have done the same since. The idea, of course, spread to many people asking for whatever they could (and I'm sure many of the lame-ass requests barely got past $5).
I've twice considered going the micropatronage or fundraising route.
The first was back when trying to build GainCMS. Similar to what TextDrive had done, I figured all I needed was 100 people to pay $250 and I'd be set for a few months to focus on developing the product. I'd offer free hosting or free licenses for anybody who'd contribute. Alas, I don't think I was anywhere near serious enough to actually go ahead with it. It was just something I thought about. It seemed like the easy way out.
The second time was with the adoption. As many who have gone through the adoption process before will know, it can be an expensive journey. Paperwork, lawyers, and travel costs all add up and quickly. Our first adoption cost around $25,000. With the next adoption underway, I pondered whether the financial cost could be lessened by reaching out and asking the community for financial help. This time I came closer; I even asked some people whether they thought it was a good idea or not. They all said it was but I passed on the idea anyways.
So it is with interest and envy to see others jump into the micropatronage ring.
The latest is the outspoken Joe Clark who has set up a micropatronage site to help his efforts. What I find interesting is that you're not funding his research but rather funding his fundraising efforts. In other words, he's hoping to raise $7,777 with which he'll live off of for four months to try and raise $7 million needed to fund his Open and Closed Project project for the long term. The goal of the project "is to write a set of standards for the four fields of accessible media – captioning, audio description, subtitling, and dubbing. We’ll develop those standards through research and evidence-gathering."
It's projects like these that I feel are worthy of contribution as the ideas are well thought out and have a larger impact than just on oneself.