This new page is yet another online outlet for TIME’s photo team, which is already maintaining a blog, LightBox, as well as a Tumblr, the above mentioned Twitter account and a Facebook fan page. So why did it decide to create a new channel? We decided to ask this question to Paul Moakley, which has been the deputy photo editor of TIME since 2010.
AH: How and why did LightBox decide to create a Kickstarter page?
Paul Moakley: Doing a curated page was something that Amy Lombard, TIME’s Assistant social media editor, proposed when she was hired to help us with our social media strategy for LightBox. She was previously at LIFE and did the same thing for them. We had so many posts with Kickstarters that it seemed like a natural thing to do.
AH: What is your personal role in this project?
PM: Along with Kira Pollack, I’m one of the top editors and developers of LightBox, but our site is run by the entire photo department along with many contributing staff writers. It’s an enormous group effort and everyone is encouraged to pitch projects to support. There’s no way I can keep track of them all while doing my job as a photo editor here. Kira and I just try to maintain an identity that’s aligned with the quality of the photos in the magazine and all the work that inspires us beyond that.
AH: What is LightBox’s global online strategy?
PM: Our goal is to reach the largest possible audience interested in photojournalism, news photography and the larger culture of images aground the world. LightBox is also a way to show people what’s happening behind the scenes in the magazine’s photo department and our social strategy helps us do that more and more to connect with people more personally and regularly.
AH: How does crowdfunding curation fit into that strategy? What does TIME expect from that page?
PM: The bottom line is that we are only interested in the most outstanding photo projects from around the world. If one of our contributors or someone we really want to work with is looking for support, we love to help them out. We hope the page attracts some new visitors to the site and draws regular readers to support the projects we’re also seeing as worthwhile.
AH: Why does this page matter?
PM: It’s incredibly important to all of us at TIME that we can help photographers out as much as possible. It’s usually a photographer’s own personal work that inspires us the most to hire them. It’s always ideal when we can hire them to do assignments aligned with the subjects they’re most passionate about ,but it is sometimes hard to always make happen. This is just another great way for us to help them out and so far it’s really changing the way people work.
AH: How many projects will the photo editors at TIME select each month?
PM: We have no set number right now – we are just waiting for great ones to support.