Give and Take

Only two more days to fund The Wardenclyffe Horror!

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?

The Wardenclyffe Horror -- Kicktraq Mini

This entry was posted by David Winchester.

7 thoughts on “Give and Take

  1. I see the things you’re talking about, but I guess I don’t necessarily see anything too sinister in them. Sure, there are plenty of people or groups who have an active drive without having backed anything, but so what? That doesn’t necessarily mean they’re just in it for “free money” any more than you are. It could mean that the thing they’ve been obsessively working on up to that point simply hasn’t left them with the resources to back someone else’s work. It could mean they just recently discovered KS and haven’t found anything active that they want to back, and don’t want to wait until they do before they launch. It could also mean they simply want some of that free money, but we can’t really say it’s so as a default.

    As for the reciprocal advertising, I think it’s a great idea, and one I’ve suggested should be more common. Hell, I even sent you an email on your KS about possibly teaming up with a guy doing a comic about Harry Houdini and Arthur Conan Doyle, as their work seems like it would complement yours nicely. I would assume that if someone talked up another project that there was some reciprocal agreement, though I’ve noticed that’s not always the case. Some people are just nice.


    • Some creators are nice, and helpful, and others are just looking to make a buck.

      When I have concerns, I usually message them and ask questions – sometimes they even answer. I have gotten some pretty lousy, “I’m just here for the money” answers though.

      The creator of the project you pointed out was actually very nice and receptive, but also totally broke. He does plan to use KS in both directions in the future (and I have backed his project).

  2. hmmm, some project creators have left me wondering.. hence I have withdrawn pledges. Some projects have individuals that back on other sites instead of using their backing accounts. I have seen CR from Star Citizen on Elite, and Tony from Broken Sword on a few others. However, the best was probably Project Eternity, who actively asked their backers about good projects and backed them, and have continued to do so since their ks completed. I think in many cases, smaller creators have difficulty marketing or differentiating their product from others. They don’t have the experience in this field, outside their creativity. I have seen a few projects fail that have astounded me, and others make money, where I have been astounded. I suppose that is what makes ks so awesome, it give project creators and idea of how well their product will be received, and it simultaneously appeals to a diverse audience, whose interests are not similar. However, never having created a project myself (nor is that on the cards), I have not had the same experience as you guys….

  3. Ever since Wasteland 2, I’ve paid extra attention to Kickstarters that showed up on Kicking It Forward. I do agree that there is nothing innately sinister nor overtly wrong about developers who do not back other projects. I don’t actually expect them to either.

    However, Kickstarter is a community first sort of project, I feel, for both the developers and the consumers. Reciprocation either through getting out the word or actual donations are necessary to maintain that community atmosphere and attitude. For that reason, I pay special attention to those who have participated before and who will participate again in the future.

    Also, I put in my two cents today. Sorry it wasn’t a bigger amount but I am not a big graphic novel guy. Still, I love the idea, and if you need any volunteer support of any kind feel free. Community is caring!

      • Well, our brief exchanges and opinion sharing have meant a lot. I’ve really enjoyed my time blogging here on WordPress and the people I have been able to talk to, the articles I have been able to read, and the community I am feeling more and more a part of. Showing my support anyway I can is only the right and good thing to do.

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