kickstarter.com - Interesting Way to Raise Money for Creative Endeavours

I was reading the anti-Facebook  privacy driven Internet zeitgeist around the new Diaspora project.  I'm not sold on the idea of Diaspora, a peer to peer solution for social networking.  I doubt it will have any more success than Freenet and other similar peer to peer projects which haven't gained traction.

What is interesting to me is that Diaspora has managed to raise $171,866.00 in about a month on kickstarter.com.  That's an incredible amount of money in the form of gift contributions, not investments.

For those not familiar, kickstarter is a site that allows teams and individuals to publish an idea for a creative endeavour and set a fundraising goal.  Site visitors then have the option to pledge donations and if the goal is met, the project is funded.  The funding is in the form of patronage not investment so the creators retain complete ownership of their work.

This is not the first site that I've seen with a similar model, but in browsing the list of projects it seems that a fair number are getting the funding they're seeking.  If I were in the market to finance a short film, musical composition, or free software project I would definitely try their service.