Kickstarter post poison! February 1, 2012 6:27 PM   Subscribe

Is there any point recasting this post about the absurdly successful Order of the Stick reprint Kickstarter, or is it never going to fit the front page?

Taz zapped my post. Which is fine, I didn't know about the 'no Kickstarter' rule. But since a stick-figure webcomic about D&D is currently the 7th most successful KS project ever... could it be considered a legitimate post topic, with some more fleshed-out context about the strip? Or will any mention of Kickstarter doom it?
posted by Sebmojo to Etiquette/Policy at 6:27 PM (31 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

It's fine to link to Kickstarter posts that are over, if it's in the context of a larger post. I get that this one is already funded, but any sort of open-ended "Hey give these people money!" sorts of posts are deeply problematic. So, post about it in 20 days. Not before then. Or leave the Kickstarter links entirely out.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:30 PM on February 1, 2012


Maybe after the funding is closed? I used to read Order Of The Stick and hadn't caught up with it, the closing of the successful kickstarter might be a good reason for a "hey remember Order Of The Stick?" round-up dealie.
posted by The Whelk at 6:30 PM on February 1, 2012


It's not just "hey, remember..." Rich Burlew has been had prolific this past month, with some fun major plot twists and shit getting real. I got the sense that his heart wasn't in it for a lot of the Empire of Blood stuff, but he seems renewed now.
posted by Navelgazer at 7:47 PM on February 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


What?! The Empire of Blood was amazing. Tarquin may be Burlew's best creation.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:31 PM on February 1, 2012


I can't say I saw any decline in quality in the Empire of Blood storyline (but I tend to catch up on OotS about once every couple of months, so if there's been a change in posting frequency I wouldn't notice). It did feel like it bogged down a bit in the middle, but that's hardly uncommon in intrigue-driven plots. Tarquin's character was more than enough to keep it afloat through the slower bits, as far as I'm concerned.
posted by EvaDestruction at 4:16 AM on February 2, 2012


Taz prepared explosive runes this morning.

Sorry, couldn't resist.
posted by running order squabble fest at 4:53 AM on February 2, 2012 [2 favorites]




When the title of the post was essentially "Look at all the money they are raising," maybe that's a hint that the FPP was, if nothing else, badly framed....
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:34 AM on February 2, 2012


I mean, I enjoy Tarquin and all, but Burlew's posting frequency went WAY down for about a year there. Since we got back to Azure City, things have picked up considerably, is all. I still loved it through Empire of Blood, but I just started to get concerned that he was going to pull an Onstad at some point.
posted by Navelgazer at 6:26 AM on February 2, 2012


When the title of the post was essentially "Look at all the money they are raising," maybe that's a hint that the FPP was, if nothing else, badly framed....

Yeah, I don't know. I find the fact that he was asking for $50k and got it amazing. I find the fact that he had a "walk on role" for a D&D character as a $5k reward level and got it amazing. I find the fact that he's raised a quarter of a million dollars amazing. I find the fact that there is a stick figure web comic about D&D and people read and like it amazing.

I come here for the amazing shit. The "look at all the money they are raising" aspect is part of what makes this amazing.
posted by cjorgensen at 6:48 AM on February 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yeah, this is a tough one because the subject so clearly overlaps many circles of the Mefite venn diagram. And its fun to discuss these geek cultural events as they happen.

But, the greater good of no Kickstarter links is a worthy policy to cut through those concerns.
posted by meinvt at 7:39 AM on February 2, 2012


Yeah, I was planning do do an FPP for this as soon as the fundraising period was over. It's most definitely interesting and newsworthy, but the whole panhandling aspect of an active Kickstarter page is touchy.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 7:39 AM on February 2, 2012


Exactly. The project will still be amazing once it's funded and then will be in a solidly okay area for posting.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:44 AM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


On the plus side, I didn't know that someone else had started a blog of deleted MeFi threads, so thanks for that.
posted by Curious Artificer at 8:36 AM on February 2, 2012

I mean, I enjoy Tarquin and all, but Burlew's posting frequency went WAY down for about a year there. Since we got back to Azure City, things have picked up considerably, is all. I still loved it through Empire of Blood, but I just started to get concerned that he was going to pull an Onstad at some point.
Apparently, it's less ennui, more undisclosed chronic medical condition that he doesn't like to talk about.
Those of you who have been readers a long time know that I tend to go in cycles with the strip: a few weeks on time, followed by a few weeks where most of the comics are late (and some days are missed altogether). Oftentimes, I’ll make an announcement afterwards that I was sick. The thing is, I get sick a lot, and that’s not likely to change in the future. For more than two years, I’ve been experiencing a medical condition that often leaves me unable to work (or even sit at the computer) for 2-3 days at a time, and the symptoms tend to come and go in clumps. I’ll be fine for a few weeks, then have a few really bad weeks where I struggle to get any work done. This is part of the reason I never can manage to create a “buffer” of strips in advance: I spend all of my working time catching up on stuff I was supposed to finish while I was sick. (No, I’m not going to tell you exactly what is wrong with me; it’s nobody’s business. Suffice to say that it is nonfatal and my significant other takes good care of me.)
posted by zamboni at 8:52 AM on February 2, 2012


wow, zamboni. I had no idea about that.
posted by Navelgazer at 8:58 AM on February 2, 2012


How much does it cost to make a stick figure web comic, anyway?
posted by thelonius at 9:33 AM on February 2, 2012


A lot, when it's your full-time job and you like to eat. Also, the initial buy-in on a run of full-color comic collections big enough to supply retailers for a while is, as we're seeing here, in the mid-to-high five figures.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:53 AM on February 2, 2012


Yay OOtS! Yes, please post about this when the fundraiser is done.

(Regular OOtS readers: I tried to start from the beginning like a year ago, and then life happened and I dropped out around #400(?) - should I try again from there or just jump in where it's at now?)
posted by epersonae at 11:14 AM on February 2, 2012


epersonae: start from where you left off. Or rather, go back to #302 (the beginning of "War and XPs") and catch up again. I wouldn't try to jump in now - way too much has happened.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:22 AM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


This kind of thing, distributed direct patronage (the independent artist who makes a nichey comic, which then finds a huge following, enabling the artist to become a one-person small business directly supplying readers who happily pay to support the artist), is possibly my favorite thing about the internet.
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:55 AM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


I thought he's been posting a lot lately! Good for him. I haven't played D&D in ages, but I love the characters and I still read faithfully. epersonae, I agree with Navelgazer: go back to where you left off, or even before. Nothing to lose but time... time well spent reading an excellent comic, that is, stick figures or no.
posted by tomboko at 3:38 PM on February 2, 2012


I HEART VAARSUVIUS
posted by tomboko at 3:40 PM on February 2, 2012


It's fine to link to Kickstarter posts that are over, if it's in the context of a larger post. I get that this one is already funded, but any sort of open-ended "Hey give these people money!" sorts of posts are deeply problematic. So, post about it in 20 days. Not before then. Or leave the Kickstarter links entirely out.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:30 PM on February 1 [+] [!]


I'll start on a Mother of all OOTS posts to go up on the 21st of Feb, then.

Assuming there is any money left in the economy that has not been pledged to Rich Burlew - $403k. With 18 days to go.
posted by Sebmojo at 6:34 PM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'll start on a Mother of all OOTS posts to go up on the 21st of Feb, then.

Can't wait!
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:06 PM on February 2, 2012


Just out of curiosity - is the "No Kickstarter" rule stated in detail somewhere? Active Kickstarters bad, closed Kicksterters OK? No active fundraising in any fashion? What about charities or public works that are always fundraising - when is it OK to post about a cool Humane Society program, for example? Is there a clear test, or is it completely situational mod judgement?

I get that "fund my Kickstarter project" posts aren't cool, but as a newer member here I'm confused about the general rule. Some fields I follow quite closely and might want to write about, like the Open Hardware movement, have projects seeking funding on a regular basis. What is the dividing line between OK and Not OK? I'd love some concrete guidance before spending a bunch of time on a doomed post.
posted by SakuraK at 1:57 AM on February 5, 2012


Just out of curiosity - is the "No Kickstarter" rule stated in detail somewhere?

It's mentioned in the FAQ at this point, but no. This is a site with a lot of guidelines and very few rules. General rule of thumb is that if your post looks more like "Fund this thing/sign this petition" and linking to something cool on the internet, the community will likely flag it and there's a good chance we'll delete it. The "No Kickstarter" rule basically came in because even though this has sort of always been the guideline [at least since the site has been "full grown" and not just a collection of friends who all know each other] people always wanted us to make exceptions for Kickstarter posts because they were often really cool. And so we've evolved the "Mod discretion" set of guidelines that looks a little like this....

And to be clear, the "We're not even paying attention to the flags, just please don't do this" is a post that has a link to an active, open for funding, Kickstarter post, even if they've already reached their funding goal. A post that is basically "Sign this petition" or "Contribute to this fundraiser" [kid with cancer, White House petition, whatever] is unlikely to go well, but this is usually because people flag these things, might be okay, might not. Linking to something that is something that accepts funding and has a PayPal link is not in and of itself an auto-delete but needs to be a pretty decent post for MeFi otherwise.

If you are unclear, you are more than welcome to ask us. If you're making a post because you think it might be neat of something that was in process got more eyeballs and therefore more money, that's usually a good reason to leave it alone. If you are personally involved with a Kickstarter project, then email that info to Matt and he can put it on the curated MeFi page over at Kickstarter. Once it's an actual done project you can put it up on the Projects part of the site here. If you want to link to something that you think is great but they coincidentally have an open Kickstarter campaign, make a post about them and don't link to the Kickstarter page [and don't do it in the comments either, that looks weaselly, and we've had people do it] and see how it goes.

So long story short, after the "no Kickstarter links" other things are mod discretion and usually we stick pretty close to the flag queue but people have a tendency to flag this sort of stuff heavily.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:42 AM on February 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


That is helpful guidance for Kickstarter projects. I'm still not sure about the general attitude towards other projects that raise money (especially continually). It sounds like it's up to what the community thinks about a particular project. I totally get that "give this project money" posts are bad, but neutral posts about fundraising orgs are on shaky ground, and it's down to the community's whims to determine whether a post is OK.

It would be nice to have a clearer standard of what is acceptable, even if that is a view into the flag queue if you're a poster.
posted by SakuraK at 9:28 PM on February 5, 2012


neutral posts about fundraising orgs are on shaky ground, and it's down to the community's whims to determine whether a post is OK.

I sort of feel that this is how it has to be because there aren't hard and fast rules that we can delineate. We can, as mods, give you a pretty good idea on whether something will be okay or not, but otherwise yeah it depends on the specifics and that's about as clear as the standard is going to get.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:40 PM on February 5, 2012


It's too bad that the recent post about Order of the Stick and Double Fine had to get taken down to meet Metafilter guidelines (though I understand the reason for said guidelines). It's a genuinely interesting development that is being talked about a lot, and the projects are already well past fully funded so it's not like anyone's going around with hat in hand trying to drum up desperately-needed support for their favorite cause. restless_nomad implies that the post would be okay if it linked only to the blog post (which of course contains links to everything else mentioned in the deleted post). Would that really be fine? If all that has to be done to make the post kosher is to put the links one step farther away, it seems like a letter- rather than spirit-of-the-law situation, which is not really the Metafilter Way either.
posted by dfan at 1:54 PM on February 10, 2012


We already talked to the OP about it and strongly suggested he just make the same post absent the links to the fundraisers. We feel sort of stuck on this one. On the one hand all the mods were like "well this is clearly the OP not trying to nudge people towards a fundraiser" and on the other hand "But we just went on the record as saying absolutely no Kickstarter fundraising links to open stuff" enough so that our concern was that the thread would become a debate about our Kickstarter link policy at the expense of the impressive story that it is mostly about. So since this isn't a breaking news story, we figured that a repost was the best way to make sure the thread went okay, it didn't turn into a churlish MeTa thread and the OP (who is a new user) was happy.

And yeah as the site gets bigger we do wind up with more "letter not the spirit" situations which is somewhat vexing for us and part of why trying to make the decision that helps the threads themselves go more smoothly [where now we've set up a situation where if people see Kickstarter fundraising links, they flag them and complain] and this seemed like the best way.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:00 PM on February 10, 2012


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