There are few blogs (and link blogs) that I’ve been reading longer than Andy Baio’s. He’s superb at finding the web’s weird and wonderful stuff before anybody else does, and is a passionate documenter of the web history. He also, as it happens, created Upcoming.org.
Kickstarter aims to let creative people of all kinds — journalists, artists, musicians, game developers, entrepreneurs, bloggers — raise money for their projects by connecting directly with fans, who receive exclusive access and rewards in exchange for their patronage. Like Josh Freese and Jill Sobule, the site allows creators to have multiple tiers of rewards (e.g. $20 for the book, $50 for signed copy) with optional limits for each.
It’s a terrific example of spotting something that people are doing in an ad hoc basis, and creating a site to formally organize and enable that behaviour. It takes a ton of deep observation and insight, I think, to identify these opportunities. Here’s a list of early projects.
I’m not sure how I might use it in the future, but I’ve squatted my namespace, just to be on the safe side.
UPDATE: I misunderstood Andy’s role in the project. He’s an adviser to Kickstarter and sits on its board, but he didn’t create it.