TechTuesdays – Crowds in the Cloud


The recent cinematic release of Don Cheadle’s biopic of Jazz legend Miles Davis, Miles Ahead has brought to light the concept of Crowdfunding. Cheadle used web site Indiegogo to initially fund the project, raising over $300,000. Investors were offered perks ranging from mugs, tee-shirts, hoodies, albums or opportunities to attend the filming or editing of the movie as a guest of Mr. Cheadle. Some were even offered the chance to have their name listed in the credits as an Associate Producer. The “Crowd” was anyone interested in helping Mr. Cheadle realize his dream of bringing this movie to the masses. He was able to reach beyond his network of friends and family to Miles Davis and Jazz fans throughout the world who were interested in seeing this project come to fruition. Not only were they able to show their support, they were able to financially back it with amounts ranging from $5 to $25,000.
With sites such as Kickstarter, GoFundMe and Indiegogo, anyone can use crowds in the cloud to fund a project, a show, a new invention or even a real estate deal. For the crowd of potential investors, there is an opportunity to get in on the ground level of a successful product or they can simply provide financial support for worthy causes.

The global crowdfunding industry was predicted to grow to approximately $34.4 Billion (yes, with a “B”) by the end of 2015 according to an industry report. 2016 looks to continue that trend. However, the Crowd can be used for more than just funding. With cloud technology, people all over the world can participate in virtual think-tanks to develop cures for disease or ways to eliminate poverty. It’s not always about the money. The original term, Crowdsourcing (or crowd outsourcing) is defined by Websters as “the practice of obtaining needed services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people and especially from the online community rather than from traditional employees or suppliers”. Crowdfunding is just one form of Crowdsourcing. As this week’s TechTuesday video explains, the Crowd (and the cloud) can be used in so many ways to make our world a better place.

I hesitated when the Miles Ahead Indiegogo campaign started and I regret that but next time, I will make sure I participate. I’m sure you have received at least one invitation to join a funding campaign. After viewing this week’s video, I hope you will be more informed and can feel empowered to get involved.

Pardon me as I go check on my daughter’s GoFundMe campaign. Her dance group is raising funds for their benefit recital. They are close to reaching their goal and I was glad to be a part of it.