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    The Bull Pen is Active at Spot Us

    by David Cohn
    July 14, 2008

    We raised $250 in 10 days to support a journalist.

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    On July 3rd I announced that Spot.Us created a wiki
    that could accomplish our basic goals: The wiki would allow groups of
    people to come together around topics, let journalists create pitches
    and using a 3rd party e-commerce solution, we could crowdfund.

    Two weeks later, we have successfully raised enough money
    for our first example of “community funded reporting.”

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    Best part: You can
    duplicate this. I’ve used no secret technology and I tried to detail the steps I took at the Spot Us blog.

    A note about this first example: I don’t want to sell this as
    an outright “success.” In the blog post I also note three weak spots that I have to work through.

    Besides – that’s not what Spot Us is about at this stage
    (pulling something off and shouting “success”). Remember, this is an experiment. We are at stage .01.

    The analogy I like to
    use: This is like a pitcher getting ready in the bull pen. In fact, quit literally we are throwing “pitches.”

    We are
    warming up and this was our first practice throw.

    To extend that analogy
    our first practice “pitch” made it safely into the hands of a catcher.
    We are one-for-one in our warm up pitches. Because truth be told – the pitch could have been wild and off the mark. As things went, I’m feeling looser and more confident already.

    Considering this is very new
    territory, I am thrilled about successfully going through the motions. Creating the community wiki was an easy and fantastic decision. It took some time to feel comfortable with it, but now I think it demonstrates how Spot Us could work.

    Next steps: continue with the motions of this first pitch. Technically we are only halfway done. Now the reporter has to produce the 1,500 piece of enterprise reporting he promised. This is akin to the catcher returning the ball back to the pitcher.

    And finally: Spot Us intends to keep “warming up.” There is nothing to stop us from winding up and throwing another practice pitch while the site is under development. In fact, I know another reporter who is constructing a second pitch as I type.

    Tagged: crowdfunding journalism
    • Congrats! A great example of thinking creatively and moving ahead using the tools at hand. Way to go.

    • I believe a w00t is an order.

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