Give and Take
I’ve been giving a lot of thought to interconnectedness recently, for a variety of reasons. Not the least of these is for the reason depicted in this strange picture – think link between audience and performer, and the shared experience involves everyone.
When I look at the logs of everyone who has donated to the project to date, I see everything from first time backers to hardcore serial backers with pledges to over three hundred projects. I also see spikes and connections from the data on the dashboard. I can see this group join in a flurry, and that group join in rapid succession a little while later; sometimes I have enough data to figure out where they found the project, and sometimes I am left to wonder.
I have even seen people, which I know came to Kickstarter for the first time to pledge to The Wardenclyffe Horror starting to explore Kickstarter and back other projects. This is extremely heartening – a real circle of life moment.
Unfortunately all these positive things aren’t the only kind of connection I have seen on Kickstarter.
In the last month or two, I have seen the number of creators launching a project (or two, or three) without backing a single project at an alarming rate. I have seen perhaps two dozen of these to date. I understand that this isn’t required, indeed – I have had a lot of discussions about this with friends and fellow Kickstarter users, and that what they are doing is perfectly allowed . All I see though, is a person chasing free money at that point, not exploring the medium or community. Perhaps half of these projects eventually go on to back a project or two as a fig leaf; this leads me to believe I am not the only one that feels this way. No doubt somebody is pointing the incongruity out to them.
I have also seen some very sleazy emails from other projects asking me back their projects reciprocally, so that we can both try to get more backers from each other’s base. While I would be remiss if I did not point out projects I think my readers and my backers would appreciate, doing so as a quid pro quo without telling them would be highly unethical.
Doubtless I will provide more observations in the coming days as a sort of Kickstarter post mortem, but now I would like to know. Have you seen any of these behaviors, good or bad? What is it you think Kickstarter should/will be?