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Canadian standards and accessibility expert Joe Clark’s latest project has been making headlines and not just on account of its objectives either.

Joe is hoping over a four month period to raise up to seven million Canadian dollars to fund an accessibility research project The Open & Closed Project, something he has spent the last four years working on.

The project’s goals include writing and testing standards, and developing training and certification programs, among other things.

In the meantime however Joe is hoping to raise a smaller sum, almost eight thousand dollars so he can block-off a four month period to seek funding for Open & Closed. And after all, short of a very big win at the races, finding seven million dollars is no small ask.

But Joe is intending to raise this “fund-seeking funding” by way of micro-patronage, a term first coined by pro-blogger, Jason Kottke.

In early 2005, Kottke, a long time blogger asked readers to make donations to support his blogging activities full time. While he didn’t disclose exactly how much he wanted initially, he was hopeful reader contributions would cover a year’s blogging.

In light of the reaction subsequent to Kottke’s pro-blogging venture, in which some “micro-patrons” felt short changed, Joe has drawn a number of wisdoms for a successful micro-patronage drive.

These include setting specific dollar targets, providing clear expectations of what the funding will achieve, and also supplying regular progress reports on the micro-patronage drive, plus the project it is funding.

Joe’s use of the micro-patronage system is certainly a little more appropriate than it is for a personal blog, which could find other means of funding, and it will be interesting to see the results accordingly.

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Tags: Accessibility, Blogging, Fund-raising, Joe Clark, Kottke, Micro-patronage, Project, Web standards

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