Anatomy of a crowdfund, week 2: branding and networks
I’m happy to report that as of last Friday (Oct 19th), which marked the 1/3 point in our 45-day crowdfunding campaign Crowdsourcing Discovery (CSD), we raised 1/3 of our $25,000 fundraising goal.
As of this writing, the headline numbers are: $8,565 raised from a total of 125 contributors. The average contribution = $68; the median contribution = $25.
The big news from Week Two was that our project was mentioned in an article about science crowdfunding that appeared in the print and online editions of The Economist! This has to be the most awesomely alliterative title in the history of science journalism: “Many a mickle makes a muckle:”
(the tag line under Aahnold reads: Redistribute this, punk)
How did this come to pass? Lou Woodley (follow her @LouWoodley) of Nature, whom I met at the Spot On NYC (formerly SONYC) monthly salons, graciously put me in touch with Akshat Rathi, a UK-based science writer. Akshat interviewed me the day after our campaign launched, and we had a great discussion about what motivated the CSD project and science crowdfunding in general.
Switching gears, let’s look at some data and charts and networks. Let me begin with what should by now be the familiar donor distribution:
After two weeks, there’s a rougly 2:1 ratio of $25 to $100 donors. So how are the average and median contributions holding up? Here’s an updated table of daily stats:
To be expected, the average number of contributors fell by around half from 9 in Week One to 5 in Week Two. Similarly, the average contribution dropped three-fold from $766 in Week One to $255 in Week Two. And weekends are always a drag. Another notable milestone from Week Two: we crossed the 100th contributor mark!
The question that I get all the time is how many contributors are already in my social network? Let’s start by crunching some numbers. Plotted here is a breakdown of all $25 and all $100 contributors according to whether they are connected (or not connected) to me in a social network:
More strangers gave me $25 vs. $100. Well duh. How often do you give $100 to a stranger?
What I find interesting to think about is the connectivity between contributors who are also my friends. I used a freely available program called Gephi to create the first of many social-network representations of contributors and their connections to me and to each other. In other words, people are nodes (the filled circles), and friendships are lines.
Consider this real-life 10-person social network comprised of me (the green node) and 9 contributors, 8 of whom are my friends. To protect the innocent, let’s refer to everyone as A thru J. Notice the triads connecting me to different pairs of mutual friends, e.g., A-D-E. Also notice the two different kinds of singletons, F and I:
There’s a lot more I can say, but I’m interested in hearing your feedback first. The comment pool is open. Jump in!