Last year the trend in storm chasing was a bunch of wannabe chasers making police badges in order to add a bit of authority to the various dumbshit weather enthusiast groups they were apart of. This year the new trend is crowdfunding, or what I prefer to call online panhandling. Kickstarter, GoFundMe, IndieGoGo....no matter which site you use the idea is simple. Some noob comes up with either a sad story or try to sell their audience the idea that they are "doing research" or "saving lives." They find enough people to buy their horseshit story and cha ching....they get to chase as many setups as they want to without spending a dime out of their pockets (or their parents' pockets).
Disclaimer: as a preemptive strike I want to go on the record by saying I have no problem with people using crowdfunding as a way of helping themselves out if they have fallen on hard times (ie. medical hardships, crime victims, and those needing help paying their college tuition for one semester). I don't even have a problem with legit storm chasers starting a crowdfunding campaign for a project they are a part of (even though there is one in which one well known chaser is offering a 30 minute one on one chat on skype for whoever pledges $1,000 which I find to be absurd).
Now you're probably asking yourself right now "well Adam is okay with a few chasers doing a crowdfunding campaign, but why is he picking on other chasers who are crowdfunding?" Whenever I hear about a chaser quitting his job just so that he was able to have an "epic" 2014 season and then reality bites him in the ass by having no money and still no job, I have a hard time being sympathetic about his story. And then there was a campaign created by a kid in Mississippi playing the chase to save lives card. He has since withdrew his campaign after he got caught using video of a tornado from another chaser in his campaign vignette without the chaser's permission.
These two examples show to me a sense of entitlement (a trait I despise out of people). Now I love to chase, I love traveling to different parts of the country I have never been to before, I love meeting up with my chaser friends or meeting new chasers while I'm on the road. But I also love having a roof over my head, not going to bed every night hungry, and I love not receiving harassing phone calls from bill collectors. I'm not at a point in my life I can chase anywhere I want to for as long as I want to and still make ends meet. So consequently my chase season consists of 1 maybe 2 Dixie Alley outbreaks, a 2 week vacation on the Plains, and a surprise summer storm in my backyard. Now the point I'm getting at is I refuse to start up a crowdfunding campaign to fund my chase season. If I can't afford to chase a setup I stay home.
Just because I won't do it doesn't mean everyone else will follow suit. If you want to start panhandling people on the internet it is your right to do so. However be prepared for harsh criticism from your peers, and don't be surprised to see this trendy hashtag.....#GoFundYourself.