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The Rise of Crowdfunding

The Rise of Crowdfunding

When a word gets shortlisted for the OED you can be reasonably confident that it is seeing a bit of use. This year the word crowdfunding was shortlisted for the US version of that august publication. Frankly we at twintangibles are not surprised as it is a subject we get asked about more and more.

The proposed definition is Crowdfunding: The practice of funding a project or venture by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet. At its most basic, that definition gets to the core of it, but what that definition doesn’t get into is a more detailed analysis dealing with the role of social media or concepts like the The Long Tail, and how these are key components in successful crowdfunding. But it does at least capture the aspect that is causing the word to become increasingly popular, and that is that it is about raising money.

At a time when the traditional mechanisms of raising funding to – say – launch a business, start a project, or even make a film, are increasingly tough, then people start looking for alternatives, and crowdfunding is one of them.

Seemingly everyday we hear of new projects (even the Krankies are involved in one!) and new platforms to raise finance via crowdfunding. In the US, it is apparent that the Obama administration have come to recognise that it has merit to potentially drive entrepreneurship and job creation and so plans are progressing to adjust SEC rules to make limited equity-based crowdfunding permissible. Closer to home, Brewdog have announced that their recent second crowdfunding campaign has been almost 100% taken up.

So, with all this in mind we are pleased to be able to announce that we have been asked to curate a series of articles and debates on the subject of crowdfunding for the Social Media Week global blog. Over the next few months we will be covering many aspects of this emerging trend and look forward to some interesting interviews, debates and comments. We will keep you posted as to when the series starts.

In the meantime, if you want to learn more about crowdfunding and how to put together a crowdfunding campaign, then you might want to attend our workshop in Glasgow on the 14th of December.

[Images used with this blog are supplied by]

Thanks to the unleashed crowd

What a great night at The Lighthouse! Social Media Unleashed – The Sequel – aired on the 5th floor of the stylish venue, and we had a great time. Despite it being the first sunny evening in Glasgow for weeks, we had a fine audience of about 150 to hear James Gibb of Dell tell us about crowdsourcing through IdeaStorm, John Ayerscough and Kirsty Burnham tell us about their innovative platform SoLoCo and its approach to making crowdfunding a reality for community focused organizations, and the skillful legal brains of Euan Duncan and Stewart Whyte of McClure Naismith help us through the choppy legal aspects of the evening subjects.

Opening the show we even managed a Video Conference  to  a very tropical New York with Toby Daniels of Crowdcentric telling us about Social Media Week and how thrilled he is to see it coming to Glasgow.

Some great question and answers and a few drinks in the doocot cafe bar made for a fine social network and Joe Blairs fine photography captured a good deal of it for posterity. Thanks to everyone involved for making it a great success.

A bit of advice about choice of hash tag seemed to work as well. Choosing a tag that didn’t pool our tweets with American universities and a Dungeon mistress seems to make for perhaps a less diverse stream of tweets, but enough and of such quality that we ended up trending!

Slides will be made available as will more photos, although it may take time for Euan’s detailed and complex slides to be released… 😉

Thanks to all and be sure to book your place on SMU3 which will take place during Social Media Week – gonna be a big one so watch this space!

Photos credits: Joe Blair –

SMU2 – Meet DELL and learn about crowdsourcing.

SMU2 – Meet DELL and learn about crowdsourcing.

Crowdsourcing – know what it is? We heard a little about it at Social Media Unleashed when Richard Moir of CISCO touched on the I-Prize competition. What about crowdsourcing’s  little brother crowdfunding?  Spoken to any people practicing it recently?

If you answered no to any of the above then why not register for Social Media Unleashed 2 to find out a bit more in the company of speakers from leading organisations in the field like Dell and learn from their experience.

Jeff Howe – the man credited with coining the term crowdsourcing in 2006 describes it as

“When a company takes a job that was once performed by employees and outsource it in the form of an open call  to a large undefined group of  people generally using the internet”

There are nuances to this but it remains a sound description. What it sometimes doesn’t convey is the wealth of opportunity this represents.

Since that time it has become increasingly widely accepted as not just a valid approach to addressing perennial business challenges, but a mechanism that can present entirely new and disruptive business models. It is seen in many many areas, including R&D, content generation, innovation and fundraising to name but a few. But under it all the important factor is that it is tapping into what we refer to as the social media mindset.

In keeping with our aim to broaden out the appreciation and understanding of how the social media mindset is impacting society, economy and culture, SMU2 is an opportunity to learn a little more about crowdsourcing.

You can join us to hear how Dell used crowdsourcing for its Idea Storm and generated thousands of innovative ideas for their products. Experts will explain some of the key legal considerations when thinking of engaging in crowdsourcing and crowdfunding, and you get the chance to network with a fascinating group of  people in the sophisticated surroundings of  The Lighthouse.

Register here to ensure you place – remember SMU was over subscribed and some were disappointed they could get a place – so don’t miss out this time!

Don’t forget SMU2 is free!

Register me for SMU2

The SMU series is a jointly produced by twintangibles and New Media Corp , the people bringing Social Media Week to Glasgow


Image cortesy of PacHD

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