You might say that the “prizes” are beside the point when it comes to funding worthwhile murder coverage, but they’re about the only thing that makes a Kickstarter drive different from a PayPal tip jar. Kickstarter projects depend on great rewards.
In contrast, Homicide Watch’s are unappealing and pricey—-$500 to travel to Massachussetts to have lunch with site editor Laura Amico? $5,000 for a guest lecture? With those options, it’s no wonder the site has only received one donation of $500 or more.
Man-about-Twitter Dave Stroup thinks Kickstarter, with its focus on funding one-shot projects instead of paying a site’s day-to-day bills, was a bad fit for Homicide Watch (emphasis his):
Travelling to Boston to have lunch with Ms. Amico is also not a result of the project being funded. The reason these rewards seem awkward or forced is because they are. It is a result of trying to shoehorn something into Kickstarter that the funding platform was not designed to accommodate.
Amico didn’t respond to a request for comment about the Kickstarter project, but she and husband and site co-founder Chris Amico did recently sweeten the deal by offering the site’s data in a spreadsheet for $350. That should interest some, but it’s not exactly the stuff of viral magic.
Murder picture by Shutterstock