In what will amount to essentially a formality, the Jason Scott Sabbatical is set to be officially Kickstarted in just a few hours.
Scott, the digital historian, archivist, and documentarian (not to mention unusually entertaining writer and speaker) responsible for such intense goodness as Textfiles.com, archiving Geocities, the highly recommended BBS Documentary, and the soon-to-be-almost-certainly-highly-recommended text adventure documentary GET LAMP, is going on paid sabbatical. Scott recently lost his day job, and since he was doing all of this wonderous stuff on the side in his spare time, not having a steady income seriously jeopardized future progress on these projects. So he took matters into his own hands and, thanks to Kickstarter, a whole mess of supporters stepped up to the plate for him. A few hundred, actually.
Kickstarter is a pretty slick idea, because it lets entrepreneurs test the waters to see what kind of support is out there, while allowing supporters the opportunity to express their interest using a comfortable buffer, making sure their contributions will at least fulfill a predetermined total needed to perform the work. Scott is so passionate about his projects that he wanted to be able to work on them full time. It’s nice to know that there are a lot of others out there besides myself who think he is so good at what he does, and his work is so valued, that we’re willing to see what kind of magic he can conjure up if given ample time and opportunity. I imagine that’s a very rewarding feeling for him, too.
The cool thing about it is that he took the chance and put it out there. Asking people for money to support you while you do things you’ve normally just been doing on the side is not that easy to do. I imagine people have very different opinions on this type of thing, from “great, if you can get away with it” to “criminy, are you serious?”
But let’s face it, Scott takes on projects that are pretty unique, and he does them with skill and passion and flair. He goes all in with each one, no holding back, no half-ass efforts. There are a lot of people that think there is great value not only in the projects themselves, but in the mind and hand behind them, and this public acknowledgement of that is pretty cool.
So have at it, Mr. Scott. The next few months promise to be an entertaining trip for all of us.
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