I’ve locked myself in homework-isolation to work on my last projects for the last two communication classes I will ever take as an undergraduate. (Mostly isolation, anyway, and with debatable success, as you can see.) I’m freaking out a little both with happiness and what-if’s-of-doom and working fairly frantically, trying desperately not to get ahead of myself, too eager for the relief of after. Gah! And these projects are HUGE! So not to be taken lightly. But in the meantime, the world is still going on beyond my stacks of printed articles and make-shift research bunker.
Miss Amanda Fucking Palmer is off making history along with over 100,000 backers on Kickstarter, (100,000+ I’m proud to say I am one of, despite being low on funds). We’ve come together to offer what we can in less than a week, offering beyond what her goal was on the first day. Now her Kickstarter is covered almost 6 times over. The whole shindig is pretty intense. I say that not only as a fan of hers, but as someone who spent the last more or less four years (out of five academic years total) studying the ways in which words and concepts spread amongst people. How people absorb messages, how they respond to them, and how the world, cultures shift because of them, because of what people do with them. It’s incredible and mind blowing. And, on a personal level, heartening to see how music, art easily makes people so happy; how it touches so many that they would give as much as they could to see a plan, little more than a plan, come to fruition. Admittedly, it’s a plan that’s been several years in the making and a making that’s already showing signs of life, has been showing signs of life with updates from Miss AFP herself serving as sonogram pictures for this current art baby. She’s agonized over and loved and nurtured and fought for this project more than a lot of people will probably realize, though she’s been more than open through the whole process and promises to continue to be. She’s willingly made everyone party to her escapades and everyone has willingly gone along for the ride.
A lot of articles want to paint her as an overnight success, or some kind of anomaly because, while she has a strong and obviously dedicated following, she doesn’t often blip on the big media radar. The truth of it is, so many of us fans have been following her since the early days when the Dresden Dolls were active, before Twitter. She’s been sharing herself with us and we’ve come to not only enjoy her art, but respect her and relate to her as a person. We’ve seen we can trust her when she makes promises and that trusting her is always worth it. As a result, it’s not surprising that we share her with everyone else, too. We are comfortable asking our friends, our family, complete strangers to also put their trust in her and join us in supporting her. Social media only made that easier. Once more, we are the media. This is not some incomprehensible, out-of-the-blue event. It isn’t unexplainable magic or voodoo. It’s years of Amanda Palmer cultivating her fan-base, making art and giving love and encouraging a community to grow and make with her. So we did and have and now the explosion that boosted her current Kickstarter is word-of-mouth at its core. It is word-of-mouth surging stronger than people remembered was possible. The same method people have been using since communication began as a thing. It’s life, it’s love, it’s happening. And to quote Miss AFP, “I can’t fucking wait.”
Oh, and speaking of making and sharing, I’ll make sure to post my newest stuff as soon as possible, but there’s no telling whether that will be before or after graduation on the 11th. Wish me luck! So much adventuring!
Amanda Palmer, Kickstarter, and Everything
Report: How Amanda Palmer Is Kickstarting The Post-Music Industry
How Amanda Palmer Built An Army Of Supporters: Connecting Each And Every Day, Person By Person
Violitionist Sessions: Amanda Palmer & Neil Gaiman. 3 Questions. 3 Songs. This is what happened in Denton, Texas.