Video blogging pioneer Ze Frank shot over the finish line of his Kickstarter project Monday night, receiving pledges for $50,000 in funding less than eight hours after he had asked his fans to help him finance his online video comeback. Right now, pledges are totaling more than $66,000, and there are still 9 days to go. “I’m just very happy and grateful at the moment,” he told me via email Tuesday morning when asked about the Kickstarter success. “It’s pretty remarkable, and it gives me a lot of new energy.”
Frank wants to use that energy to get started with his new show soon. His plan is to have first episodes up at the end of March and release three new episodes every week. He told me he hasn’t made up his mind yet on how to distribute the show, but I wouldn’t be too surprised if the episodes end up on YouTube one way or another. Frank said that he’s been getting advice from Craig Benzine ( aka wheezywaiter) as well as the VlogBrothers John and Hank Green on the matter. All three of them are veteran YouTube stars.
Speaking of YouTube: the Google-owned (s GOOG) video site has been on a buying spree in recent months, securing talent for premium channels by paying out sizable advances. So why go to Kickstarter, instead of just asking YouTube for a check? Said Frank:
Kickstarter is an amazing way to get the audience involved from the ground up, which is a big part of what I am trying to do with this show. That said, I would certainly be open to having YouTube as a partner in this. They are the epicenter of online video and home to some of the best new talent on the web and beyond.