Keywords: crowdfunding; production of culture; culture of participation; web 2.0; self-management.
The term crowdfunding is used to define fund raising campaigns addressed to web-users in general or to users of specific web-platforms. It is a growing practice, especially in the field of cultural production. This kind of micro-financing can be considered an example of the new forms of participation in cultural production afforded by digital media, which are the focus of an ongoing academic debate. In the first part I will refer to aspects of the debate about participation used as a framework for the research. In the second part of the paper I will present some results from research consisting of the analysis of 18 websites specialized in crowdfunding for different kinds of cultural production and 32 interviews with users, either "applicants" and "backers". The research aims to distinguish different crowdfunding models, to analyze the technological and discursive contexts where interactions between applicants and backers take place and to examine their actions and experiences.