Join the crowd | PostIndependent.com

Join the crowd

April E. Clark
April in Glenwood
April Clark
Staff Photo |

I like potato salad. There’s the tangy dressing and chunks of vegetables that combine for a perfect accompaniment to summer barbecues.

Vinegar is a must.

I’m obviously not alone in my potato salad appreciation. People have been boiling potatoes and subsequently dressing them with mayonnaise, mustard, sour cream, vinegar and more for generations. I’m admittedly partial to my mother’s potato salad recipe.

Her secret is the sugar in the dressing.

This week, a savvy Internet user from Ohio created a crowdfunding campaign for, you guessed it, potato salad. This particular initiative, on Kickstarter, has been trending as the site’s top project. Crowdfunding online is the Internet’s collective way of helping ideas become reality, responsible for funding countless startup companies, art and film projects and charities. By comedy standards, the irony that potato salad alone could exclusively raise almost $50,000 toward its tiny $10 goal is laughable.

I wonder how much potato salad $60,000 could make.

Outside of the therapeutic benefits of potato salad — because I consider food as a legitimate form of therapy — I’m not sure this crowdfunding campaign will change anyone’s life. Like, say, a documentary or nonprofit might. Unless maybe this campaign will feed the hungry with boatloads of potato salad.

It could happen.

There’s an African proverb that states, “It takes a village to raise a child.” The same could be said about ideas. It takes the Internet to raise a project, and apparently people online are really behind potato salad. Crowdfunding allows the public to come together, network and raise money for an idea that could otherwise fall by the wayside.

Think of all the potato salads that could have been.

The potato salad campaign has clearly surpassed its new stretched goal of $1,000. This provides backers with livestream video of the potato salad-making, which I’m clearly going to be tuning in to now that this story has caught my attention. The process might be a little shaky since this is the first time the campaign’s creator, Zack Danger Brown, has made potato salad.

Maybe my mom should make a cameo.

Kickstarter and other crowdfunding sites such as Indiegogo and Crowdfunder are not just helping the potato salads of the world make it big. Crowdfunding helps writers, filmmakers, artists and musicians launch careers. Video game developers are finding an audience for backers to support their original ideas and play their games as they get their projects off the ground. One online game, called “Shadowrun Returns,” has more than 36,000 people backing it.

Not exactly the way Atari launched.

While there are thousands of projects on the Internet to be funded, potato salad-themed or not, there is something for everyone to get behind and support. I’m hoping an exotic line of potato salads will result from this newest Internet sensation. But there are also projects such as Carpool Deville, the world’s fastest hot tub, out of L.A., that will help bring the world’s first drivable, fully operational hot tub to the road. The project is a little over a halfway to go toward its $10,000 goal. Every project is only funded if it reaches its goal by a date deadline.

No need to fret, potato salad.

One of the staff picks on Kickstarter is a project headed up by Brooklyn filmmaker Heather Quinlan on the 1986 Mets winning the World Series, called “’86 Mets: The Movie.” Backers receive digital versions of interviews with favorite players including Mookie Wilson, Doc Gooden and Darryl Strawberry.

Something tells me Red Sox fans might not be on board.

Cannabis expert Steven Hager is another Internet-savvy entrepreneur seeking crowdfunding assistance via the Internet. He’s launching Abakus magazine, to be distributed free in Aspen, and as digital subscriptions. According to Hager’s Kickstarter page, the debut issue of Abakus is dedicated to Dr. Hunter S. Thompson. He’s a little over halfway there. Backers who pledge $100 or more receive a free pass to the Munchie Cup taking place in Aspen Aug. 18-19. Only in Colorado. And now, Washington.

Maybe potato salad will make a celebrity appearance.

— April E. Clark is thinking of starting her own crowdfunding campaign for a deviled egg food truck start-up called Devil Chicken. She can be reached at aprilelizabethclark@gmail.com.


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