As some of you might know, I recently raised enough money IRL to kick off an art project I’ve been dreaming of for a while. Despite my insistence of not wanting to believe it would be a success, it was. I raised just enough to move to a proper studio space, buy the necessary supplies, and start production.
And some of that money came from Second Life users who believed in me.
This past Friday, I took the results of that fundraiser, and applied for a larger grant–to tour nationally, possibly, and pimp out the project so it could be a properly lucrative business. The judges were impressed by the original fundraiser, and invited me to come back and pitch the project again in July for final funding determination.
Originally, I raised about $700 to start this project out. Now, I’m looking at possibly getting $5,000.
People laugh at me sometimes when I say it’s possible to garner enough support from Second Life to do what you want. But it happens, and it can happen in an extraordinary enough way if you set your mind to it. But you know what’s even more of a possibility?
Networking and forging a better future for yourself through the grid. What I mean, is this:
Let’s say you have two people who are artists (easy enough analogy here), and they both want to get their work across the nation to new galleries. If you got enough of these people together, they could exchange information about the galleries in their respective cities and where to send work to. They could determine a group show, rvsp spots in their respective cities, and move the work around between one another to make it look like one big, consistent tour. It makes everyone look good, and their art resumes could get a big boost from it.
To the public, they don’t know how this is happening–they just see a tour and they’re impressed. The artists look more successful than what they are, and no one is the wiser of how it all came together on the back end.
Let’s use another example.
Two people, each in different states, want to start a project. They each bring unique knowledge to the table in terms of making it come together. Let’s say this one is technical. They both want to create an app. They pool their resources together, found a business with the two halves a respective LLC in that particular town they’re from. They use online meetings in SL to get the work done, treating the virtual space as their office.
It can happen, and has before. We’ve seen offices sponsored by news networks on the grid, although they didn’t last as long as they could have. Maybe part of the problem was that start-ups weren’t looked at as seriously as they are now.
So what if someone started holding networking parties, where people who are genuinely serious about making something happen for themselves actually participated?
What would happen if someone created a virtual business incubator?
What would happen if several people, who already have business management knowledge from running a store in SL, made the transition to RL with the same design team they’ve been working with?
It wouldn’t be entirely easy to make it work, but it can happen. You just have to believe in yourself.