Depending on the ultimate goal, just maintaining a company’s current position can be success enough — a bit like treading water to keep from drowning. But the trouble comes when the company loses momentum. The latest update for tech blog ReadWrite has taken a “darker turn,” writes TechCrunch, en route to the official July 2015 launch of the blog’s crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo.
“To be completely frank, we’re struggling — and not just financially,” states a new page for ReadWrite. The campaign notes that the blog is “down to the most bare-bones staff imaginable,” after having survived “two acquisitions and a complete staff turnover.”
Granted, the history of crowdfunding journalism and publishing has been mixed at best. Last year, for example, Sasa Vucinic, CEO and co-founder of IndieVoices, an independent media crowdfunding platform, stated that their biggest achievement 100 days after launching was the fact they were still in business. Currently, IndieVoices website states that it is at a “pivot” point, and that “We are not accepting new projects at the moment, but you can still visit our successful projects that we are so proud of, or sign up for our newsletter to be the first to know when we launch our next phase.” The platform has helped various independent media projects in 26 countries of the developing world to raise over $250,000 USD, according to IndieVoices.
ReadWrite first publicly announced its intent to crowdfund at Wearable World Congress in San Francisco last month; the blog was recently acquired by Wearable World, an incubator and accelerator for emerging hardware startups. At the same event, Indiegogo and also announced a new partnership. As part of the agreement, Indiegogo and Wearable World will organize a series of events and workshops throughout 2015, and Wearable World declared Indiegogo as its “go-to” crowdfunding platform for startups in wearables and IoT.
In fact, noted ReadWrite’s editor in chief, Owen Thomas, the idea for crowdfunding the blog was from Wearable World CEO Redg Snodgrass. As TechCrunch states, “After all, the hardware startups in Wearable World’s incubator look at Kickstarter and Indiegogo as possible funding sources, so why not ReadWrite?”
ReadWrite’s new page includes a timeline of upcoming events: The “ReadWrite Family Reunion,” a VIP fundraiser in San Francisco, will kickstart the crowdfunding campaign on June 26. Next, the Indiegogo campaign will initiate its global launch on July 7. with perks ranging from $50 to $10,000. The stated goal: “to hire enough staff to bring Read/Write back to greatness.” The crowdfunding campaign will close Aug. 7, but the relaunch party will take place Sept. 12 in San Francisco.
But there’s still miles to go before the last celebrant heads home from the celebratory relaunch party. Regarding ReadWrite’s initial feedback about the crowdfunding campaign, Thomas said,
There wasn’t much response, so we kind of sat back and asked ourselves why….The temptation is to is to put a shiny surface on things and to not expose the struggle. But the struggle is real.
Although Thomas notes that funds raised will help ReadWrite increase its staff–currently, Thomas said, there are about a dozen writers and editors, but only three full-time employees, including himself–he doesn’t elaborate much on further details, other than that readers can expect more from the coverage. Seeking to further draw in the community, Thomas said he wants the readers who support the site to shape its new direction. He notes,
ReadWrite’s new page states,
Now more than ever, the tech world needs strong, objective analysis free from corporate oversight and interference. We used to be that voice, and we know we can do it again with your support. As the tech world changes, we want to change with it. We want to be a place where you can learn how to build new products with even the newest technologies, a place where deep insight and analysis live on.
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