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Crowdfunding George Zimmerman, OWS, Wine Maps & an Air Quality Egg
© Image: Screenshot by Eric Mack / Crowdsourcing.org
editorial

Crowdfunding George Zimmerman, OWS, Wine Maps & an Air Quality Egg

By now it's safe to say there's officially some serious buzz around crowdfunding. So much so that one of the country's most controversial figures, George Zimmerman, who stands accused of murdering teenager Trayvon Martin in Florida, has apparently raised over $200,000 online for his defense, according to the Washington Post.

Zimmerman did the fundraising through his own website -- which has since been shut down -- rather than an established platform. Other campaigns tied to current events are also undertaking some ambitious crowdfunding campaigns. 

Occupying your mind and wallet

You might not have heard so much about the Occupy Wall Street movement in the past few months, but some members are organizing through social ad buying platform LoudSauce to get their message out. The OWS effort is looking to tap both the crowd's creative skills and their wallets in a combined campaign to produce a series of 30-second TV spots and then put them up online to see which raise the most cash to pay for a big ad buy totalling $150,000. The most popular ads will receive some of the funds raised to help pay back some production costs. Here's one of the first crowdsourced submissions:

A Wine App to Help Prevent Whining

Too much talk of George Zimmerman and Occupy Wall Street can make anyone long for a decent glass of wine. Winemaps.com is looking to raise funds to create a mobile app for its social directory of boutique wineries and vineyards. The content on the app will include a unique blend of crowdsourced opinions and reviews from users, but controlled by a team of industry pros who help keep fresh content flowing, which will help ensure that your glass runneth over with the good stuff when on the road or near home. The WineMaps campaign is wrapping up soon on IndieGoGo.

Egg Aims to Hatch Improved Air Quality

Some crowdfunded projects aren't so sexy, but manage to generate plenty of donations by virtue of their importance, even when addressing a topic as vanilla as air quality. That's the case with the Air Quality Egg, a $100 device using open source hardware, open data and now, crowdfunding. In addition to monitoring air quality in an individual home or business, the device also contributes data to Pachube, the open data platform, to help create a picture of air quality worldwide. The Kickstarter project finally wrapped up last week after raising more than three times its original $39,000 goal from over 900 backers.

 - Eric Mack is a contributing editor for Crowdsourcing.org. He also currently contributes to CNET. In the past, his work has been featured by NPR, Wired, the New York Times and other outlets. You can contact him at eric.mack@crowdsourcing.org. Find him on Twitter and Google+. Also be sure to follow Crowdsourcing.org on Twitter.

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