I attended an insightful panel discussion this week. Brought to us by the Winston-Salem Chamber's The Technology Council and several local sponsors, the event delved into the world of crowd funding and crowd sourcing. You can read more here about the series panelists and the days events.

Here are my notes/raw thoughts on the CROWD!

Crowd Sourcing and Crowd Funding

1.    Builds on the human desire to connect and contribute to things they believe have value. A new venue for charitable activity with the added ‘bonus’ of letting the participants access a wide variety of options and levels of contribution.
2.    Has been made viable by the advent of technologies that connect people easily and allow them to share and promote to their network. Social sharing has become common place, even mandatory perhaps, for users of social and forum platforms. Sharing things of value and individual support/advocacy of those has become accepted.
3.    It is, like all social media, a crowd activity. It leverages the familiar and popular experience of the ‘ground swell’ momentum of more recent digital platforms (with all apologies to Josh Bernoff and Charlene Li).
4.    Capitalizes on the ambient intimacy (thank you Leisa Reichet @Leisa) of social media to connect people with a momentary, albeit transient, intimate connection.
5.    Success depends, in part on: A. clearly defining your project or cause in a manner that is personal and emotive. B. selection of a platform that reaches your target audience. C. offering options, levels of contribution. D. clearly defining what success looks like.

As several local businesses have successfully used the process, it warrants some investigation if your business ideas or projects are likely to be seen as beneficial to the well-being of the local community.

For more about Crowd Funding, check out this table of platform options!