23 November 2011

#SciFund challenge: the half-way point

Three weeks down; three weeks to go.

We’re at the halfway point in the #SciFund challenge, and my project is 51% funded. I’m on target to meet my funding goal, so I’m cautiously optimistic.

What has it all been like so far?

I’m a raging inferno of emotions here!

The moments when you see the Rockethub email coming in announcing, “Your project has been fueled!” are great big highs – the amount does not matter. It’s just knowing that someone cared enough to help, and that you’re moving towards the goal, that make each one of those emails sweet.

But when the days go by with no emails... it’s pretty damn depressing.

Even when I know that most of the action is going to happen in the first and last weeks, and I know that it’s going to be hard to maintain momentum in the middle of the campaign (that is to say, right now), that intellectual knowledge doesn’t stop me from moping a bit when a day goes without the needle on the gauge budging.

But then, I read the media coverage, and I feel like I’m back hitting the high notes. The media coverage has been supportive, and there’s been so much that I just haven’t been able to keep track of it all (but fortunately, there’s a compilation here). But it’s almost as encouraging to read something like this in Forbes as it is to see a donation:

My son and I watched the Indiana Jones-like video from scientist, Zen Faulkes, and thought, “we should ‘fuel’ this project.”

Why, yes. Yes, you should. ;)

I was also interviewed by Jennifer Welsh for her LiveScience article, which has been reprinted and reproduced on several other sites.

My project also gets an mention in the Daily Mail article on SciFund. I’m a bit... miffed, I suppose, that they are characterising all the #SciFund projects as “wacky,” when we are all bona fide scientists with serious projects.

Also, I wanted to point out a discussion that happened on Google Plus about trusting the #SciFund participants with your donations, and how you know those dollars make a difference.

The highs are higher, and the lows are lower, than I ever expected. I just cannot maintain the same detached, “We’ll see how it goes” attitude that I take with normal grant submissions. There, I submit the manuscript, but have more more contact with the thing for months. Here, there’s almost daily contact, even when it’s not necessarily donations.

P.S.—You should fuel my #SciFund project at Rockethub.com!

P.P.S.—I’m working on a few new things related to my project that I hope you will see before the end of the week!

Photo by ♥KatB Photography♥ on Flickr; used under a Creative Commons license.

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