Crowdfunding and Online Social networks
Crowdfunding is gaining popularity as a viable means to raise financial capital for good causes, cultural goods, new products, and ventures. Little empirical research has been done to understand crowdfunding and basic academic knowledge of its dynamics is still lacking. By data mining the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter.com and Facebook we collected a large dataset of crowdfunding projects and the ego networks of the entrepreneurs. We study the relation of the success of the Kickstarter project to his social network and to media activities and find a scaling law that predicts the number of clicks on the project website required for a successful project. Examining the results of the social network analysis we concluded that successful initiators on Kickstarter have more friends but a sparser network. Unsuccessful entrepreneurs on the other hand have a higher average degree suggesting a denser network. Our analyses suggest that sparse, and thus diverse networks are beneficial for the success of a project.
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