Friday, July 12, 2013

throwing out a boomerang, waiting for it to come back to me

Dare Designs Kickstarter campaign:
Okay, let me say this first. I'm not saying it's not a worthwhile effort. It is. What I am saying, at the start of this, is that a search through Kickstarter reveals nothing under "Dare Designs" or "Dare Munro". (Not that I expected Dare Munro to show up--Kickstarter is, pretty much, a real-name place, and he could easily be listed under his real name.

I think, instead, what he's going for is the idea of Kickstarter--a time-limited crowdfunding option. (Though, to be fair, if he wanted to go an official crowdfunding option, I'd point him towards IndieGoGo over Kickstarter--Kickstarter's good, but IndieGoGo still pays whatever's generated at the end of the set time, whether it came up to the stated goal or not. Kickstarter doesn't.)
To all my loyal customers, friends, fans, and fellow Slitizens – DD needs your help.
Technically, they've needed help for a while now, and if you haven't participated in the earlier sale-slash-computer-fundraiser, shame on you. Because a lot of great outfits are still available for L$99 each.
My mission statement at Dare Designs is and always has been to create a sustainable community with an atmosphere of fun, friendliness, and happiness; where good products, good friends, and good times go hand in hand at every level.

In short, what I want more than anything is that every person who visits DD goes away happier than when they arrived.

On a larger scale I want DD (and DE – the sim) to be a place where people know they can come and set down their bag of cares and troubles for a while and connect with others, and themselves, in interesting and pleasant ways for a little time, or a lot. A place where people want to be, and want to bring their friends, not just to BUY, but to BE. A place to call 'home'.

To do this I need your input, and your help.
I won't lie, I've had problems with Dare in the (by now) distant past; we had a disagreement, I blogged some things, I calmed down eventually. It was never, never, because he was a bad designer. He is not a bad designer. He is fiercely creative--both he and Axi Kurmin are--as well as having a defined artistic ethos that his creativity shines through. You can see it in everything from the outfits he makes, to the trees outside the store (which he also built), to the prefabs on the far side of the sim (which he also built). I've been a quiet member of one of his groups for years; I don't put group slots on hold for many people. (Seriously, sometimes I think I have the shopping equivalent of ADD--there's maybe a handful of groups that I always stay in--Dare Designs among them--but everything else is the whim of the moment, and can change nigh-daily.)
On the help side – as I have said before, my computer is ancient and basically dead on it's feet. I can run low-level programs for a few hours at a time, higher level programs (like Secondlife) for minutes at most. It simply needs to be replaced, and the efforts I have made to generate the money to do so have failed.
Understand that SL is my source of income, I don't have any outside job or source of income – so while SL has barely managed to continue to pay my RL expenses, the extra income needed to replace this computer so I can continue creating has not come about.
I know this pain. I am intimately familiar with this pain. I've had three computers die on me--four if you count the ancient Mac I had before I joined SL--and, if it weren't for incredibly generous friends, I wouldn't have a functional computer now. And while I do use my computer to generate income, it's nothing near something that supports me in RL, as much as I wish it would. I do have friends who do this dance, though, and at times, when the economy is especially daunting, I worry over their ability to make rent, to continue to eat, to keep the power on.

Add that to the inability to create new things, and that's a whole new level of hell for a designer.
This campaign is designed to generate that additional income to replace this computer so I can resume creating, and resume turning DD and DE into my vision as described above.

Goal: 300,000 L$ in 30 days
Now, in the original notecard, of course, that wasn't bolded, but I want you to seriously consider what he's asking for here. He's not asking for half a million US. He's not even asking for a quarter of a million US.

He's asking for a little over $1200, which is pretty much the bare minimum to get a reasonably decent computer. Yes, if you have the right friends, and find the right deals, you can still jerry-rig a Frankencomp out of component parts for around $500. It's not even hard. But doing it that way requires a familiarity with building computers from scratch--which Dare may not have--plus, consider the level of tech we're talking here. He wants something robust enough to handle the demands of SL--which remain steep, and are getting steeper every year--and at the same time, run PhotoShop (or whatever his graphics program of choice is). And/or mesh programs, which is a whole other complication. To do that well, to have the power you need, the graphics strength you need, the bare minimum is about a grand, and it goes up from there.

Plus, take a step back and think through what he's asking for. If everyone in any of his groups for the various stores that make up Dare Designs, or any of Axi Kurmin's groups that make up Dare Designs, kicks in some, he'll reach his goal in those thirty days. Just for the groups I can remember off the top of my head, I count about 2300 avatars. L$300,000 divided by 2300 equals about L$130 per person, which is less than the cost of one of his outfits, seriously. (And I know I'm forgetting some groups, so yeah, that number-per-avatar could be lower to get him to his goal!)

I'll have to buy some Lindens to do it, but I plan today or tomorrow to toss in at least that L$130. You really should too, or at least, whatever you can afford.
I am setting up a drop box and a 'tip' jar in DD in the main area right beside the model stands.
That would be here, by the way.
How you can help:

Fill out this short questionnaire:
Say as little or as much as you want as answer to each question, then drop this notecard in the dropbox.
The dropbox is right next to the tipjar, you can use the same SLUrl given above.
1: What is your favorite aspect of DD – what do you like the most?

2: What do you dislike the most about DD (or any store)?

3: If DD were to make one change that would make you happiest – what would it be?

4: What other changes would you suggest?

5: What is your name (avatar name so I can find you)?

6: How much did you contribute to the computer fund (if anything, not required)?

7: What do you feel that contribution is worth to you? (free outfits, special mention, hugs and kisses from a raving mod of fans, anything – I'm your genie, rub my belly and make a wish...)
While I didn't ask, I can't imagine he has a problem with signal-boosting, and besides, how often do you get a chance to give honest feedback to a designer who really, truly, wants to know what you want? Take this opportunity to tell him! I promise you, Dare and Axi have the creativity, the intelligence, and the drive to take your suggestions and channel them into future creations.
By filling this out and contributing to the fund, you will be helping me to get back in the game and turn DD and DE into the vision I have in mind – a place that we all can be passionate about and call our own.

Help me make our Second Home out of just Second Life.

With hope and passion,
Here's to all our dreams. But most importantly, the computer fund. I know there's a ton of things to occupy you--stores closing, big sales, SLRFL's main fashion takeover is right around the corner, Hair Fair's opening tomorrow--but think how hard it would be to want to create something, and be denied that ability. Then give what you can. It truly won't take much, and if you'd rather go the something-for-something route, there's an entire store full of goodies to peruse, and that will help too. Do what you can, and if the universe is kind, he'll get there, and get his new computer.

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