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Hatching of a Project: Players Magazine

  • Serial Ululer
  • Pioneer
  • Writer

Players is a successful Ulule project aimed at discussing entertainment with an independent and mature attitude, engaging a sharp and vaguely geeky audience. Written and assembled by an international team, Players offers the best of cinema, music, videogames, art, literature and technology. 

Thanks to all their hard work, Players finished part 1 of their project at 120% funding, and also successfully funded part 2.

So how did they do it? The main project owner, Tommaso (featured below), was kind enough to share his experience with us, and offer some advice and tips:

Do you think your rewards were key factors in attracting support for your project, or did you mostly rely on the generosity of friends and family? 

The basic one (preview access to the magazine), yes. The others not as much. Most of the people supported the project itself. Some didn't even claim the reward. Keep in mind that we gave the rewards out BEFORE the end of the fundraising, using it, as a matter of fact, as a sort of subscription tool. For this reasons some of the mechanisms of Ulule were problematic for us. Nothing you cannot fix though, it just needs to be more flexible and more transparent for the project owner. 
What advice would you give other project owners with regard to potential rewards? 
We had a problem with one reward on the first fundraising. We were promising people the possibility to be guests on the magazine (or audio podcast) in exchange of their support. One guy decided to exploit this possibility to wreck havoc and sabotage our content from inside. So my suggestion is to keep total control of your content all the time. 
How did the time limit on your project work for you? Was it too long or too short?
Cultural differences come into play here. We struggled a bit to get people supporting (and they are reading it, issue 01 had 11.000+ readers). Italians are used to not pay for content from the net. It takes time to explain that there can be no quality without a little help. Maybe french people are more fair, I'm not sure how it works over there. 

Do you have any tips on how to promote a crowdfunding project? 
Set up a Facebook page and Twitter account and post at least one update per day. Get interviews. Create a network of people that can "spam" it for you. We got basically 80% of italian gaming podcasts talking about Players, because we have collaborators from each one of them. It worked perfectly. 
Would you use crowdfunding again?
Yes, but we will try something different for a month or two. Ulule worked surprisingly well for a "specific goal", but maybe it wouldn't work as well for a long term support of the magazine. We need no deadline, and no pressure of "oh my god in two days it's gonna expire and we are still at 75%". Also, the fact that some people pledged money and then weren't able to deliver it (PayPal troubles) it's problematic. And not all of them tried to fix the problem even though they already got the rewards and we contacted them personally.
Thanks Tommaso, and good luck!

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