In which Miranda nails it. Well, sort of. It’s not really something you can nail, but she nails the non-nailability of it.
This is the bit of DIY/crowdfunding culture that people don’t get. It’s not about buying the product. It’s about the idea of forming and nurturing a relationship with people, and it works both ways.
The “social graph” bit is key. I pay for stuff (the Dark Mountain books, the Kotki Dwa special edition album, I Am A Great Man, Anyone Can Play Guitar, the A Silent Film album and vinyl singles) because the people who make them are in my social graph (some very close, some miles away). I enjoy supporting their work and feeling involved. I enjoy sharing their stuff with people. I enjoy talking to them about what they’ve made. The products are secondary.
BUT in the end I really love all of the products. I don’t usually like spiky indie music, but I really enjoy the Kitki Dwa album because I’ve met the guys, I’ve seen the videos and it’s given me a deep context to listen to and appreciate their music. I don’t usually read books of poetry and short stories, but I’ve been bowled over by Dark Mountain since seeing Paul Kingsnorth speak at Hay, reading the blog, chatting on Twitter and funding the latest edition. With all of that context it’s almost impossible not to enjoy the book.
So yes, it’s about the experience and the relationship. But in the end the product (the social object) seals the deal, and it’s the combination of the process and the product that gives you something exciting to talk about.