As the Occupy Wall Street movement continues to gain momentum, two crowdsourcing organizations have joined the initiative and are using their expertise to spread the message to ensure it cannot be ignored. Kickstarter, a crowdfunding site, has provided financial backing through pledges from the public to publish The Occupied Wall Street Journal. EpicStep, a company that creates billboards raising social awareness, bases its billboard decisions on voting by the public. They have promised to donate a billboard to Occupy Wall Street if enough people vote for it.
So far, Kickstarter has printed 50,000 copies for the first issue and enough money has been raised for a second issue, putting it in second place for the periodical that has raised the most funding. While the original goal was $12,000 the site has raised closer to $54,000, far more than they estimated would be collected. Those who donate to the paper are gifted a sincere thank you or a copy of the paper, while those who invest more are given books about economic inequality.
EpicStep is collecting votes on their website and guaranteeing they will build a billboard in Times Square that will stand for 30 days if 20,000 votes are cast in Occupy Wall Street’s favor. If 200,000 votes can be raised, two billboards will tower over Times Square. Since billboards in Times Square can cost upwards of $300,000, EpicStep co-founder Lev Reyes says this is a unique way to spread the message. Voters, of which they have 1,761 so far, can also upload ideas for billboard images and the most popular will be featured on the actual billboard.