Independent microblogging is a hot topic right now.
Manton Reece, a developer and podcaster in Austin, launched a Kickstarter to publish a book on microblogging and to spur interest in his new Micro.blog software. It’s a timeline and publishing platform for the open web.
Within one day, Reece’s Indie Microblogging Kickstarter was fully funded. And now, on its third day, it has received more than $22,000 from more than 800 backers. That’s more than twice his original goal of $10,000.
“It’s an idea I’ve been thinking about and working on for a few years,” Reece said. “I’ve been blogging off and on about controlling your own content. I was a pretty active Twitter user in the earlier days and I became kind of disillusioned with things.”
Reece thought it would be better for everyone if people controlled their content and took back ownership of it from large platforms like Twitter.
A few months ago, the top level domain “.blog” rolled out and Reece snagged the Micro.blog domain name. It seemed like a natural fit, he said.
“A lot of what I’m doing is building a service,” Reece said. “Micro.blog gives a Twitter-like user experience but is more open. It’s a better user experience.”
Reece also created a native iPhone app for the platform. But he thought he needed something more.
“I needed to tell people more about why it mattered,” he said.
That’s where he came up with the idea of writing a short book and launching the project on Kickstarter. He has never done a Kickstarter project before, but he has backed 18 projects.
It seems like he had the right idea at the right time. Previously, two Kickstarter projects launching microblogging platform failed in 2014.
“There have been people trying Twitter or Facebook clones,” Reece said. “People are frustrated by a lot of things happening on Twitter right now. People are open to the idea of trying something new and having more control over their writing. Taking a little more control away from these companies that have so much power.”
Reece also does a podcast aimed at Mac and iPhone app developers called Core Intuition. He also started a mailing list a year ago and when he launched his project he sent out an email to all of his subscribers. But he didn’t hire any PR or marketing firms to spread the message. His backers just grew organically.
The independent site, Kicktraq, shows Reece’s project trending toward $227,953 or 2,279 percent above his original goal. Reece says he doesn’t even want to contemplate that. He’s happy with the performance so far. In the meantime, he’s going to think up some stretch goals.
“Right now I’m feeling incredibly lucky to have the chance to launch this project — to see it spread and to hear everyone’s feedback and ideas.” Reece wrote in a blog post on his site, Manton.org. “I have a bunch of work to do. And I have new features that I wanted to build for Micro.blog which I haven’t announced yet, which now it looks like I’ll be able to prioritize.”