Health

Raising funds on Google+ vs. Facebook

Gene ExpressionBy Razib KhanAug 25, 2011 1:09 AM

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As some of you know I've been looking for a Malagasy genotype. I found one. Or at least a potential one. At this point I need to have the person genotyped. I've sent the kit overseas, and within 1-2 months I should have a post up analyzing the ancestral affiliations of this individual (who is of Betsileo background). All that being said this costs money, and I'm willing to pay for it myself (in fact, I have). But the total costs is ~$280, and that's not trivial. I'd like to do this sort of "crowd-sourced" analysis in the future, but not at this personal cost (I'm not including my labor hours, just the bare minimum fixed costs of shipping the materials, and typing the sample). So I started thinking of various ways to fund this project, as I have a large number of people who follow this blog, and, who are enthusiastic about personal genomics. After considering Kickstarter and gofundme, I went lower-tech. I put up a post on Google+, asking for a "pledge" of at least $10 for the project. I quickly received ~$200 of pledges. After sending the Paypal funds requests I received the money. I'm still $80 short of break even, so I posted on Facebook, and received no pledges! First, if you want to be mentioned in the post on Malagasy genotypes (I will credit everyone who donates), put a pledge of at least $10 in the comments. Make sure you fill in your email address, as I'll send you the funds request via Paypal. Second, I hope to refine this model in the future, but this shows the utility of Google+. I have over 600 people who have added me to "circles," mostly through the blog.

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