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Kickstarter, strangers and friends

June 18, 2012
by seth godin

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My first Kickstarter project launches today, and I’ve spent a lot of time looking at projects, working with people who have built successful (and unsuccessful) campaigns and thinking about how it works.

Like every successful internet platform before it (blogs, Pinterest, Tumblr, Twitter, etc.) first-time users believe that it will magically help them find new followers, new customers and new friends.

Stranger identification and conversion. (sic). It almost deserves its own acronym.

Alas, with the rare and celebrated individual exceptions, none of these platforms magically and regularly turn the unknown author into a sensation.

If my Kickstarter works it will be for a simple reason: people like you, people who already know my work, will either sign up or tell their friends or both. It seems like cheating, but it’s more like a long-term shortcut. The best way for an author to use the internet is to slowly build a following. Difficult, time-consuming and effective.

I’m not even sure there’s a useful plan B.

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