Hi everyone —
The world is rapidly changing, and Project Mushroom is too.
We're just a day or two away from launching our platform (I saw my first glimpse tonight!) with built-in support for migrating all your followers from Twitter to our community centered in justice and action.
Thursday is also USian Thanksgiving — a holiday that has a deeply colonial history. That doesn't mean it's too late to reclaim it, repair past wrongs, and rebuild a better future.
If you are gathering together with friends and family this weekend, set aside some time to talk with your people about this collective moment we're in — but make a point to steer the conversation to: "OK, so how do we change it."
All radical change begins by imagining a better future, together, with people you love and trust.
And that's the whole point of Project Mushroom.
Commiserating in chaos is one thing, but gathering momentum for radical change is something all of us can do.
I know that first-hand.
I'm literally just a meteorologist who cares about the world and every living thing in it. I don't know how to build a social media platform. But when the richest person in the world decides one day to destroy the years of organizing work that people like my friend Kelly has built — I started organizing, asked for help, launched a Kickstarter, and now here we are.
Project Mushroom has a real chance to become a hugely influential force for good in the world.
Here's the numbers that have made me more convinced than ever that what we're doing is truly special:
- Our waitlist is now more than 30,000 people, from 158 countries
- We have the technical team, tools, and plans to onboard all of you before Dec 15, and most of you before Dec 1st
- We'll also allow you to invite your friends — though invites will be limited to start
- At this pace, by Jan 1, we could have a million active users — and be well on our way to becoming
Over the past five days, we've raised $35,156 and counting from 857+ backers in our Kickstarter. That means we've got 22 days left to raise $160,000.
That also means that we need to increase our pace of $7,000 a day in pledges to hit our target.
Our goal is to hit $50,000 by Black Friday.
Those funds will go towards: paid moderation, developers, DEI, trust and safety, legal support, project management, and server costs. And everything we do will always, always be guided by a majority-BIPOC, majority-women creator council.
Thank you for generously supporting our work so far. We've got more work to do. And we're thankful to be building a better future with you.
We've updated and clarified our Kickstarter pitch, and here it is:
TLDR: People are unsure of what to do about the climate. They need a place to connect and discuss options, to move from despair to action. They are who Project Mushroom is for.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the climate emergency. We know that climate justice is deeply connected to other forms of social justice, and that marginalized people are always the most impacted. Yet misinformation, fear and harassment distract us from collective action. We believe it’s still possible to help our warming planet and the people on it.
Our mission is to create a place that promotes connection, mutual aid, and transformative action at a critical moment in history – centered in joy, justice and action. A place where harassment and bigotry cannot thrive.
We’re not waiting for the billionaires to save us. And we’re not alone in that mission. In just three weeks we have:
- Built a waitlist of more than 30,000 people who have raised their hand to join us
- Connected with more than 300 creators who want to contribute and are eager to bring their dedicated audiences from across the internet and the planet
- Onboarded more than 200 people with a collective reach of more than 3.2 million followers to our Creator Council
What we’ve built so far
An MVP to help kickstart the community without scaring people with complicated tech.
- A user interface that makes it easy to get set up
- An onboarding tool so you can find the people you already follow on other social media platforms
- An invite tool so you can invite your friends and followers along without losing any momentum
What we want to build
We've seen how easily platforms can fail the people that rely on them. We want to do better. We are working with the community to build with their needs in mind. Project Mushroom will amplify and lift up diverse voices in justice & action. We are building a creator-first platform where users can easily find, discover and interact with each other on a safer, more inclusive platform.
- A community of vetted creators
- A safer more inclusive social network platform with dedicated moderators and explicit community guidelines
- Paid moderation & mental health support resources for them
More opportunities to interact and connect
- Subscribe to newsletters, listen to podcasts and discover underrepresented creators and justice leaders
- Live online and in-person events. Project Mushroom will host Q&As, interviews, and community meetups both on its platform, and in-person across the globe
Easy to use interface
- Features that lift up creators that have been historically marginalized
- Creator tools for climate and justice leaders to set up, customize, and distribute newsletters, podcasts, events and other community incentives for both experienced and new creators
Why we need the money
Your funds will help us build Project Mushroom into a modern, robust, and easy to use platform. All Kickstarter funds will directly support the development of the platform, from building the product to managing the community.
We risk the implosion of existing social media networks, as well as other global events that are outside our control. We also risk moving too quickly without giving adequate time for our community members to provide their input.
We want to ensure marginalized voices have a say in everything we build. The funds we raise from Kickstarter will help hire additional developers and consultants on trust and safety so that we can prioritize community safety & input in all aspects of the design and development phase — and work quickly at the same time. That includes product managers, engineers and designers, community leaders and trust & safety experts. We will also hire and train a dedicated team of moderators so our creators can focus on what they do best.
Once we’re up and running, our community will continue to be funded by:
- Vetted advertisers that share Project Mushroom's values, and are actively making a contribution to global justice & climate action without selling or using personal information.
- Supporting community members that continue to donate as they wish, who will receive additional benefits such as premium content, free access to live events, and the knowledge that they are helping curb the climate crisis and promoting global justice.
Who we are
Project Mushroom is a project of Currently, Inc., and organized by Eric Holthaus — a journalist and climate scientist who has spent his career focused on climate justice and equity. We're in the process of organizing this effort as a B-Corp/501(c)(3) — bound by a mission to advance justice in all its forms on an overheating planet. Our goal is simply to bring a safer, better online experience into the world.