By Brigette Flood

I was going to recap all the awesomeness that happened at SXSW interactive, but I wasn’t able to go this year and recapping something I can’t provide first hand knowledge of feels lame. I heard it was awesome and a new version of Foursquare debuted. While you can still check in and grab that coveted Mayorship from your boss, Foursquare’s also working to make places more inspirational by connecting the real world more with their app.

My recent fascination is Kickstarter, an online hub buzzing with entrepreneurship and creativity. Launched in 2008, it’s a new way to get word out about an idea to fund your creative project. It’s one of those kick-ass ideas that you can’t believe didn’t exist before. And then you realize Kickstarter could only exist in today’s digital universe, as it relies on social/viral/word of mouth to create excitement and eventual crowdfunding success for enterprising kickstarters.

How it works is simple. Creative projects are showcased by visionary people or teams who want to do something “they love, something fun or at least something of note” by asking for money from the masses to make it happen. The kick is: projects get all-or-nothing funding. Let’s say you want $10,000 to make a movie about Earth Day and set a deadline of April 22. Backers are only charged if the full funding amount has been met. So even if you you’ve gotten $5,000 of funding from 200 people, your project won’t gather a dime from the effort.

Quick stats: The average pledge is $71 and the most common pledge is $25. A little less than half of projects are successfully funded.

Consider those number and then consider this recent success story: Videogame developer Double Fine Productions launched a Kickstarter project in February 2012, with a goal of $400,000 to produce an old school adventure game – $300K to produce it and $100K to film it. They raised $1 million in less than 24 hours, from tens of thousands of fans, and ended up raising $3.3 million total. Amazing.

New fundraising platforms like Kickstarter have emerged as a viable option to corporate backing. Which means more creative projects will eventually make it to market. Yay! There are plenty of worthwhile projects in need of funding, including some local ones. Check out Kickstarter.com and take a minute to search “Atlanta, GA” to find (and fund!) them.

You can find me at @brigflood on Twitter and at makingsenseofsocial.com.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.