The Hip-Hop word count project  on Kickstarter.com  caught my eye because it seems to be a really interesting new model for funding a digital humanities project. You can watch the video below – but the core of the project tackles assorted metadata from 40,000 rap songs from 1979 to the present including stats about each song (word count, syllables, education level, etc), individual words, artist location and date. This information aims to become a public online almanac fueled by visualizations.
I am a backer of this project, and you can be too. As of the original writing of this post, they are currently 47% funded twenty-eight days out from their deadline. For those of you not familiar with Kickstarter , people can post creative projects  and provide rewards for their funders. The funding only goes through if they reach their goal within the time limit – otherwise nothing happens, a model they call ‘all-or-nothing funding’.
What will the money be spent on?
- 45% for PHP programmers who have been coding the custom web interface
- 35% for interface designers
- 10% for data acquisition & data clean up
- 10% for hosting bills
They aim for a five month time-line to move from their existing functional prototype to something viable to release to the public.
I am also intrigued by ways that the work on this project might be leveraged in the future to support similar text-mining projects that tie in location and date. How about doing the same thing with civil war letters? How about mining the lyrics from Broadway musical songs?
If this all sounds interesting, take a look at the video below and read more on the Hip-Hop Word Count Kickstarter home page . If half the people who follow my RSS feed pitch in $10, this project would be funded. Take a look and consider pitching in. If this project doesn’t speak to you – take a look around Kickstarter  for something else you might want to support.
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