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Kickstarter Etiquette
September 4, 2012 7:13 AM   Subscribe

A request for clarification on Kickstarter-linking etiquette in FPPs.

So, quite a lot of postworthy stuff on the internet is, somehow, involved with Kickstarter. In my case, it's mostly been that someone is making a video game, or artpiece, or whatever, and they've plastered links to the Kickstarter all over the website. News articles and blogposts regarding the project do the same thing. I've also noticed that it's pretty common they include a lot of project-relevant information solely on the Kickstarter page (for instance, the GaymerCon Kickstarter page had pretty extensive answers to many questions raised in the FPP comments and not covered by the links.)

So the options someone who wants to post an FPP based around a project with a particularly Kickstarter-savvy creator is:
  1. Link to the Kickstarter in the FPP or comments.
  2. Wait until the Kickstarter ends to post the project.
  3. Try to find as many links about the project as possible to get all the relevant info in.
  4. Hope someone else links the Kickstarter.
#1 is a guaranteed deletion, #2 seems to impose an artificial limit on FPP content based on a project's attempt to get funded (especially if the end-date is months from now,) #3 leads to unnecessary FPP padding and if an FPP depends on #4, then why even bother?

So, some clarification of the guidelines would be nice here. Right now it feels like I have to find a way to circumvent the rules to post an FPP where there's a Kickstarter involved, which is making me a lot more reluctant to post whatever.
posted by griphus to MetaFilter-Related at 7:13 AM (17 comments total)

It's our general feeling that there is enough cool stuff on the internet so that avoiding linking to Kickstarter is not problematically limiting what you can and can't link to on MetaFilter.

The general rule is: no linking to open Kickstarter projects whether or not they have been fully funded and no making a post about a thing that is on Kickstarter as a sideways way of getting people interested or involved in their Kickstarter. This is tricky for us because it's somewhat about intent. If you link to a cool project that happens to also have a Kickstarter associated with it [or IndieGoGo or other funding stuff] and didn't know and someone links to the Kickstarter in the comments, that's often okay. If you knew full well that there was an open Kickstarter and YOU link to it in an early comment, not cool.

This grows out of our general "Don't use the blue as a way to fundraise" guideline which has more and less strict applications but is something that we've talked about at length here.

So, in terms of your itemized list.

1. Never okay. Don't do this.
2. Is fine.
3. Should be fine but be careful that your post doesn't look like a sideways all-but-the-Kickstarter post
4. Not really that cool but not an auto-delete.

Seriously, just don't link to Kickstarter. Post things to MetaChat or some other website-of-choice but not here. Wait til the fundraising is done and feel free to let us know about the thing then. It's a huge internet.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:20 AM on September 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, my feeling is there's basically never a serious time element to a Metafilter post that Has To Be Made Now; if it can't wait for a week or a month or two and still be a good post, maybe just don't make a post out of it. So my practical advice to folks asking for feedback on this has mostly been about point #2: let the funding period end and then it just doesn't matter and your post in unimpeachable.

There's a lot of cool stuff on the internet, right now; we aren't gonna run out of posts for Metafilter because of the "no active fundraisers" dictum. So if you've got a really great post being monkeywrenched by that angle, put a note on your calendar to make it the day after funding closes or whatever.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:39 AM on September 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Interestingly, it doesn't look like anyone's done FPPs on lighttable or Ouya since their kickstarters concluded.
posted by Jpfed at 7:47 AM on September 4, 2012


Well, looks like I'm gonna be marking my calendar. Thanks, y'all.

Also, were you planning to FPP the Ouya, Jpfed? Otherwise, I'd be glad to in the next few days.
posted by griphus at 7:56 AM on September 4, 2012


No, things are getting too busy on my end for that. Go ahead, I'd love to see a good Ouya post.
posted by Jpfed at 8:02 AM on September 4, 2012


I think everybody's expecting for March to roll around and the Ouya post to not actually appear but with some vague handwaving about "a few problems that we hope to get worked out" and then sometime in like August people will be all "where is my money" and then in 2014 it'll come out and it'll turn out to be a refurbished TI-84 calculator pre-installed with a cheap demake of Duke Nukem Forever.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:05 AM on September 4, 2012 [7 favorites]


The post I mean. That parodic metaphor where the post about Ouya is like Ouya itself sort of got away from me. I will drink my tea now.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:06 AM on September 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


That reminds me, it's about time I switch back to tea as my caffeinated beverage of choice. Glad there's this fantastic tea of the month club kickstarter I can fund to help get me in the mood.
posted by slogger at 8:17 AM on September 4, 2012


cortex: "it'll turn out to be a refurbished TI-84 calculator"

I'm here to chew bubblegum and calculate the taylor series and I'm all out of gum.
posted by boo_radley at 9:01 AM on September 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


stretch goal: I will buy some more bubblegum.
posted by boo_radley at 9:01 AM on September 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


I'm setting my calendar to post about Duke Nukem Forever running on a TI-84 in a year and a half.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:05 AM on September 4, 2012


Related.
posted by griphus at 10:09 AM on September 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's #4 that gives away the game. If your post can't stand on its own without KS being mentioned by somebody then your motive is to fund the project & it's a bad post.
posted by scalefree at 1:57 AM on September 5, 2012


If your post can't stand on its own without KS being mentioned by somebody then your motive is to fund the project & it's a bad post.

This sounds like a strident, categorical objection with a lot of parallels to "If you own a single article of leather, you're a bad vegetarian!" Only instead it's "If you link to KS, your motive is clearly to fund the project and you're doing it wrong!"

First, it's a non sequitur. It doesn't naturally follow that someone linking to a KS page for a project must therefore be interested in seeing it funded. See griphus's example. The claim that the former is necessarily the latter is begging the question and bad rhetoric.

Second, I'm not sure where the line is between unwanted promotion of products and wanted promotion of products. From my perspective, every FPP about an ongoing TV show is an example of word-of-mouth promotion. "Here's some exciting stuff from this show you could be watching right now!" The "wait till it's funded" guideline is basically equivalent to a guideline for TV show FPPs that says "wait till it's off the air."

And I'd be fine with that, but a lot of users wouldn't.
posted by Nomyte at 6:55 AM on September 5, 2012


Second, I'm not sure where the line is between unwanted promotion of products and wanted promotion of products.

For me it's about the aspect of fundraising/activism. Something that's already a major going concern unlikely to be financially impacted by a Metafilter post is generally not something we're worried about someone having an angle on, so e.g. a TV show isn't going to have the same issue with wondering whether Metafilter is being used as a staging/organizing/fundraising platform as we'd have with someone being like "hey look at this project that's seeking cash right now from people like you!". Mefites may love or hate Mad Men, but Mad Men isn't going to notice one way or the other.

When there's an incentive for gaming the system directly (whether with good or not so good intent), we have to look at keeping that in check. For the specific case of fundraising stuff, that's taken the form of a general prohibition on doing grassroots/fundraising/activism type stuff on the front page, and with the rise of Kickstarter a more specific version of that saying "no active kickstarter projects". In every case that prohibition is not about the product/cause, it's about the implications of the use of the front page.

That's all side from more garden variety spam issues, of course.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:25 AM on September 5, 2012


Ouya FPP is go.
posted by griphus at 7:02 AM on September 7, 2012


This sounds like a strident, categorical objection with a lot of parallels to "If you own a single article of leather, you're a bad vegetarian!" Only instead it's "If you link to KS, your motive is clearly to fund the project and you're doing it wrong!"

If you're hoping somebody else will chime in & post the KS link so much that it's a part of your calculus in deciding whether to write the post, your motive is to fund it. Can you describe another motive for "Hop[ing] someone else links the Kickstarter"?
posted by scalefree at 9:07 PM on September 7, 2012


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