“There are about 340 crowdfunding platforms in the world, 85% founded in North America and Europe, with United States, UK, Netherlands and France having the largest number. 46% of all UK platforms were launched this year.” Social Media Week, January 2012
The staggering growth of crowdfunding platforms poses a very traditional challenge. How do you manage an information flow about the field of potential platforms and their projects? Publications or virtual user groups like Social Media Week offer one vector through classification with the caveat “this is totally arbitrary and that a lot of variations and submodels exist.” And that’s the least of our problems.
ProFounder’s closure in February 2012 reminds us that platforms, like individual projects, have a shelf life. Keeping track of who is entering and exiting the field invites data overload. Relying on Top Ten lists like Dowser‘s helps reduce that complexity. Like polls, they are useful temperature checks about sustainability and reach; beyond that, end user are still looking for tools that meaningfully aggregate, categorize, mediate, and distribute choice. What seems particularly lacking here is the connective tissue between platforms and the different motivations of user as funders.
Starting Points for
Open Source Crowdfunding: Quora
Crowdfunding for Entrepreneurs: Collaborative Matrix for Comparison
Green Platforms: Good World Creations
Mixed Capital: Launcht enables universities, foundations, businesses, and conferences to create their own custom white labeled crowdfunding and voting platforms.
Wiki: Also take a look at this developing page for data on crowd funding platforms and links to lists.
News: Senate opens up crowd funding to corporations. Forbes