I’m happy (and, frankly, a little surprised) to announce that my campaign to fund a round of Anthologize development, which ended last night, successfully met its funding goal of $2,500. Donations came from friends and strangers; individuals and organizations; and from the WordPress, ed tech, digital humanities, and other miscellaneous communities of awesomeness. Close to $1,000 (or more, depending on how you count – more on this in a moment) came in within the last 24 hours.
First off: Whoo! And thanks!
Second, here’s an exact breakdown of the funds:
- The final tally from the Indiegogo campaign was $2,665.
- I got an email late yesterday from the team in charge of the OpenLab project at CUNY City Tech. They pledged an extremely generous $1,000 for the Anthologize campaign. For bureaucratic reasons, their donation couldn’t come through Indiegogo, so we’ll be working out a different way to deliver the funds.
- The Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media agreed (amazingly) to match, dollar for dollar, all donations to the campaign. Their contribution comes to $3,665.
This gives us a grand total of $7,330, which translates to about 98 hours of development time. It’s worth saying again: Whoo! And thanks!
Next steps: In the upcoming week or so, I’ll be reaching out to donors to collect any information necessary for their awards: mailing addresses, links to their websites, etc. Over the course of the next few weeks, I’ll be talking to other members of the Anthologize dev team about a roadmap for using these dev resources. And I’ll be starting to work down those 98 hours around the middle of November, when my work schedule eases up a bit. That’s also when I’ll start blogging in earnest about progress on the plugin, as well as some more general thoughts about crowdfunding for this sort of project, about the viability of free software projects not owned by any specific institution, about the role of Anthologize in publishing, and other such philosophical delights. These posts will “sponsored by” the contributors who pitched in $75 or more, which means that I need to write at least 15 of them 🙂
I’m looking forward to the next stage of Anthologize. I hope you are too – you made it happen.
My Anthologize development fundraiser is going great so far – as of this writing, $870 has been pledged. Put that together with the generous match from CHNM, and you’ve got $1,740. This translates to over 23 hours of dev time. A huge thanks to those who have already made pledges – you’ll be hearing from me individually once the campaign is over on October 10.
Aside from some miscellaneous cleanup and compatibility issues, my first goal during the development period will be to get the plugin running better in more server environments. Our most reported bug is that Anthologize Exports time out due to memory limits. This is an especially vexing problem on inexpensive, shared hosting, which is what much of the Anthologize target audience uses for hosting their WordPress sites. I’ve started to sketch out a plan in this Github ticket for making Anthologize exports less memory-hungry.
It’s always hard to estimate these things, but I’m guessing that 23 hours will be enough to do the initial plugin cleanup, and to get most of the way toward the rewrite of the export process described above. That’s progress!
Remember, more pledges mean more development. If you want to see more fixes and enhancements to Anthologize, you’ve got until October 10 to donate.
In 2010, I was on the team that built Anthologize, a WordPress plugin for turning your WP content into ebooks. (For more on the project, check out my previous posts on Anthologize.) People continue to be interested in using Anthologize. Just the other day, for example, the nice folks at Profhacker published a post on using Anthologize to build a printable syllabus. When I saw that blog post come through my Twitter stream, my first thought was “Oh boy, here comes another round of bug reports that the team doesn’t have time to address”. Somewhat in jest, I tweeted the following:
I got quite a bit more interest than I expected. In addition to a couple direct inquiries from individuals and organizations, CHNM – where Anthologize was originally prototyped – offered to match, dollar for dollar, any donations to the cause (up to a maximum of $5,000).
So now I’ve got to put my money (or your money!) where my mouth is. I’ve started an Indiegogo campaign where you can pledge any amount to support a round (or more) of development time for Anthologize. Check it out for full details: http://www.indiegogo.com/anthologize. The campaign runs through October 10, and development will start in November.
Please spread the word!