I've been following the development of Cuusoo with interest, not so much the individual projects, although there are some very lovely candidates, but more so the process by which projects are selected. So far two models have hit the 10,000 supporter mark: Minecraft and The Winchester from Shaun of the Dead
. Both of these models received significant support from outside the Lego community. The number of supporters of the Minecraft project famously exploded overnight after Mojang backed the idea, and The Winchester saw a similar effect after Simon Pegg began tweeting about it. (I might be wrong, but Minecraft reached 10,000 supporters within 48 hours of Mojang's endorsement and The Winchester earned something like 4,000 supporters within three days of Pegg's appearance on Conan
and subsequent tweets.)
Let's now compare this with another project, the Modular Western Town
, which currently has the distinction of being the second most supported project on Cuusoo. This project picks up on a theme for which many AFOLs have been clamouring to see a return, so we should expect it to see a fair bit of support based on that. Similarly, the model itself is very well done, which again should help drive interest. Most significantly, however, the project received a significant boost from prominent AFOL sites like Eurobricks and The Brothers Brick, which asked their followers to support the project, much in the same way that Mojang and Pegg did for their respective projects.
It's been at least several weeks since this push, and currently the Western project has ~6,450 supporters. What does this say, if anything, about the relative strength of the online AFOL community? For a project to be successful on Cuusoo, does it require a tie in to another existing 'franchise' so as to be able to tap the support of fans of that franchise (the other three most supported projects are based on Back to the Future
, the mmo EVEonline, and the Zelda game series)? Can AFOLs alone rally enough support to see a project over the mark of 10,000 backers? I'm curious to see what others might be thinking about this.