Thursday, August 22, 2013

Suckers Continue To Be Kickstarted Every Day

H. Drew Blackburn asks, what ever happened to the "Best Music Writing" book that was supposed to have been published last year after a successful Kickstarter campaign?

The required funding level was reached, so that Daphne Carr could resurrect a series that DaCapo Press had allowed to die. She started up her indie publishing company, complete with Facebook page and Twitter account and even a website. To date, there is yet to be a book produced as promised, with the original publication date set to last year.

So sad, to see the blinders of innocence fall from young eyes. You want to make the hipsters a nice cup of tea and hold their hands, pat their heads and say "There, there" to soothe them. They've been had, and it's a harsh lesson. It's the old saw about a sucker being born every minute coming real. That it's one of their own who swindled them, a music critic and writer and supporter of the Occupy movement, makes it all the more painful.

Daphne Carr was in charge of the $17,000 fund that was generated by those who believed in her vision. The music writing series was popular with those into the music scene, and when they saw a chance to keep it alive, for a donation of a few dollars, they sent their money and then waited for the book to appear.

Now they are asking what happened to that money, which clearly was not used as advertised. A Twitter account is free, like a Facebook page, and a website can be had for a reasonable price that doesn't approach $17,000.

Attempts to reach Ms. Carr, to ask after the money, resulted in a lack of substantive response. That's how it usually ends up. Ask anyone who's fallen victim to a scam. They usually can't contact the scammer either when they want to know where their money went.

What recourse do donors have?

They can take to the internet and malign Ms. Carr. They can speak ill of her and launch a campaign to trash her reputation. They could also take her to court, which doesn't seem likely. The costs would far outweigh the potential benefits. If you've lost $20, you aren't going to spend $200 to get it back.

It's like giving money to a panhandler. You don't know if the apparently homeless individual is genuinely homeless, or is making a comfortable living by begging. Maybe you're only helping a drug addict obtain their next fix. But maybe you're helping someone in dire need to cover the cost of a meal or buy a pair of warm socks.

You pay your money and you take your chances. That's Kickstarter. Don't be surprised if the cause you supported turns out to be a professional beggar making twice your salary by pretending to be what they are not.

Remember, there's a sucker born every minute. And it might be you.

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