Six Degrees of Kevin errrr... Kickstarter March 14, 2013 11:34 AM   Subscribe

I'm concerned about indirect referencing of active Kickstarter projects being given a blind eye.

As requested by Jessamyn, taking it to MeTa. I personally don't like that the standard for nuke on sight of anything to do with "Your Favourite Kickstarter™" is being a bit pushed (another one about a week ago was allowed to stand for a bit and then eventually removed) but I'm not the only member of the site. I don't want a shitfight but can we please get some guidance on where this rule is going and where the boundaries may be moving to?
posted by Talez to Etiquette/Policy at 11:34 AM (61 comments total)

Recent Kickstarter MeTa. About this very project.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:38 AM on March 14, 2013


The no active kickstarter rule is a good one, but there are some huge breakthrough projects coming out of Kickstarter that are interesting and worthy of news and discussion about them. The pebble watch, the doublefine adventures game, and the veronica mars movie projects are all huge breakthroughs for Kickstarter, stuff people will be talking about years from now.

It should be possible to talk about these breakthroughs without linking to the active project, no?
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:39 AM on March 14, 2013 [8 favorites]


It should be possible to talk about these breakthroughs without linking to the active project, no?

I don't doubt that but the reasons I've seen before during the great "but look at this cool aspect" Kickstarter shitfights ultimately boiled down to "it won't be any less cool when the Kickstarter finishes in a month".

I'm just worried that when it comes down to making sure the links are one level removed it basically opens a loophole big enough to drive a Mack truck through. Nevertheless as pointed out there's an active MeTa about Kickstarter already so if you want to close this off I can just add it to there.
posted by Talez at 11:42 AM on March 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


The reason we have the guideline is because almost all fundraising projects are not okay here. There is the rare total breakaway thing that is so interesting in its own right that the fact that there is a Kickstarter about it is not only not using MeFi to drive eyeballs to fund the thing but it's actually a notable media thing completely in its own right. But basically the guideline is "No fundraising links unless your thing is a one in a million project" and if you want to know if something fits those parameters, that is why we have human moderators and don't just delete every Kickstarter link with bots.

Put another way, as a guideline: Posts with links to things that are in a fundraising stage will probably be removed at community/moderator discretion. If you are not okay with this, do not make these sorts of posts.

That's really as close as we're going to get. I'm sorry that this is frustrating to some people.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:45 AM on March 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I was under the impression that the "no kickstarter &c." rule was about linking to ongoing fundraising projects and that once the fundraising period had ended we could link to them. While this project has met its target it still has 29 days to go.

I get that people want to talk about this, but the FPP feels a lot like that wink-wink nudge-nudge post that cortex specifically said would be a bad idea yesterday. And they still have to make the movie -- there is plenty of time to discuss Veronica Mars and crowdfunding once the fundraising period has ended.

I'm a HUGE Veronica Mars fan but I share Talez' feelings about the FPP.
posted by gauche at 11:47 AM on March 14, 2013


I always interpreted the rule as "don't be shitty about flooding mefi with begging" and then people started using KS for more than nonsense ipod accessories and networked hair accessories.

My sense is that there's things out there where neatness outweighs the "and also kickstarter", but most KS/indiegogo/etc. are insufficiently neat and the mods came out with a fiat out of not wanting to explain to everybody why their ipad stand/ rpg maker/ anodized aluminum rail lamp isn't really that interesting in a broader sense.
posted by boo_radley at 11:49 AM on March 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


I also agree with Talez. I flagged the post and moved on. Mostly.
posted by Splunge at 11:49 AM on March 14, 2013


Wait--"some cancelled TV show gets a movie" is the definition of a one-in-a-million project that's so important that the rules doesn't count? This has to be among the least important high-profile things on Kickstarter. I have no dog in this race one way or the other but that just seems bizarre to me.
posted by darksasami at 12:05 PM on March 14, 2013 [21 favorites]


My favorite part about this is that there are now two metatalk threads indirectly directing me to the Veronica Mars kickstarter, which I otherwise would have missed.

It's kickstarters all the way down.
posted by phunniemee at 12:08 PM on March 14, 2013 [11 favorites]


I thought Barkley 2 was pretty groundbreaking, while forgetting that it had an active kickstarter and that still got canned.
posted by codacorolla at 12:13 PM on March 14, 2013


his has to be among the least important high-profile things on Kickstarter. I have no dog in this race one way or the other but that just seems bizarre to me.

I'm not entirely disagreeing from a personal perspective (never seen VM, don't care personally) but it hits the MeFi nerve (and other nerd media outlets) in some very specific way that makes it that weird and that edge-casey. The longer more complicated explanation is that at some very basic level the entire structure of guidelines and rules we have is to try to sort of reverse-engineer mathowie's personal judgment from when this site was smaller and he knew everyone posting on it personally. This is his executive decision, the sort of thing that happens once in a thousand posts (where he might decide to overrule some otherwise hard and fast rule) and there you go.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:16 PM on March 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Six degrees of next generation: Picture on twidder of Levar Burton holding a Public Laboratory DIY spectrometer, obviously the best project that is now a successfully completed kickstarter...
posted by infinite intimation at 12:26 PM on March 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


I thought Barkley 2 was pretty groundbreaking

Agreed! I almost posted an FPP about it myself! But it'll be an even better post once the game's actually done, so I have no problem on the waiting.

In the meantime, I strongly urge all'a'y'all to play the previous installment if you haven't already:

Tales of Game's Presents Chef Boyardee's Barkley, Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden, Chapter 1 of the Hoopz Barkley SaGa

Just fantastic.
posted by Greg Nog at 12:30 PM on March 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


It should be possible to talk about these breakthroughs without linking to the active project, no?

Sure, but you're basically driving traffic to the KS anyway. May as well link it or ban posts on the subject all together.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:37 PM on March 14, 2013


I know of a number of great projects (mainly documentaries) on Kickstarter, that I've never posted about, because of the rule.
Veronica Mars? So obscure, so unknown, so worthy.
posted by Ideefixe at 12:39 PM on March 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sure, but you're basically driving traffic to the KS anyway.

They're not Stormfront. We don't have philosophical objections to the fact that Kickstarter exists and that people might go to their site. Similar to how we don't let you link to your own stuff (not because it might not be good but because money clouds people's objectivity about how right their fundraiser might be for MetaFilter) direct links to open fundraisers are not okay. 99.99% of posts that even imply that there is a Kickstarter will get deleted. This one didn't.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:43 PM on March 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


Bit confused. Bigger fish to fry. Sending hugs.
posted by RolandOfEld at 12:51 PM on March 14, 2013


Shouldn't this be in the other thread? I mean, no biggie either way, but it might be easier for the mods to do it all in one place.
posted by Justinian at 1:09 PM on March 14, 2013


"some cancelled TV show gets a movie" is the definition of a one-in-a-million project that's so important that the rules doesn't count?

It's the fastest funded project on their system ever, the biggest project goal launched to date, it involves a bunch of hollywood stars using a little indie crowdsourcing app, and will likely become the highest funded project before it is done. Those are all pretty big things and all the press I've been reading is trying to make sense of such a big project, and whether every nerd niche show that gets canceled can come back to life via kickstarter, whether you have to be super famous to be successful on kickstarter, and how this will affect smaller kickstarters via various trickle down effects.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 1:11 PM on March 14, 2013 [8 favorites]


The other thread had mission creep into this topic but started out talking about fundraising posts generally. This thread, to me, is more about "When is it okay to set the guidelines aside if something is really good?"

In any case, don't worry about us, we're fine.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:12 PM on March 14, 2013


It is a really interesting discussion, though, on Kickstarter and large corporations, on the ethics of this, on how it affects other projects -- it's not all about "go donate!"
posted by jeather at 1:15 PM on March 14, 2013


If there's ever a Firefly kickstarter I am going to post it just to watch it die. Again.
posted by cjorgensen at 1:17 PM on March 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


Poor Firefly fans. If your beloved show had only started a few years later you would have had the opportunity to see more of it.
posted by Justinian at 1:19 PM on March 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm fine with the project- if people who like a show get a movie about the show, cool. And it's not like we weren't all hearing about it in every other media outlet anyway. It's tacky of the studio to not just put up the money, and I sincerely hope Ms. Bell is taking SAG minimum, but whatever.

I just wish we could stop pretending it's going to somehow "trickle down" - admit that crowdsourcing inevitably helps most those who need help least. Again: you dig the show, cool, I get it. The "Yay Goliath!" cheerleading just wears a little thin sometimes.
posted by drjimmy11 at 1:28 PM on March 14, 2013 [5 favorites]


Poor Firefly fans.

Don't get me started about Carnivale.
posted by RolandOfEld at 1:45 PM on March 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


Those are all pretty big things and all the press I've been reading is trying to make sense of such a big project

I dunno, isn't this kind of the same argument that mods usually smack down by pointing out that it's a big internet, and there are lots of places to talk about hot topics?

I mean, there was a post deleted because there was maybe an impending Kickstarter, but this post stays?

I tend to think the Kickstarter ban isn't necessary; there are some really interesting things going on there these days and if a post isn't straight up FUND THIS THING and at least provides some context, why shouldn't it stay up?
posted by lalex at 1:56 PM on March 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


It should be possible to talk about these breakthroughs without linking to the active project, no?

Is there a rush? Wait for it to be closed. Talking about it but coyly not linking to it seems like hypocrisy. Either follow the spirit or don't.
posted by DU at 1:57 PM on March 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


I always took the ban on KS to be centered around not wanting to see 10 pet KS projects on the front page every day. The Veronica Mars project -- already funded with record-breaking speed, all over twitter, and Reddit, and who who knows where else, and creeping into mainstream media -- is pretty solidly into "current events impacting the web and the possible future of media productions."

But that said, if you're going to allow the post, just allow the post without the fig leaf. One of MeFi's strengths is that real people make real decisions on exceptions, and no one is disemvowelling or rules-lawyering.
posted by tyllwin at 2:01 PM on March 14, 2013


is pretty solidly into "current events impacting the web and the possible future of media productions."

Well, so were these posts. If a post is interesting and provides context describing the importance of a campaign, I don't see why it should be deleted.
posted by lalex at 2:07 PM on March 14, 2013


I get that people want to talk about this, but the FPP feels a lot like that wink-wink nudge-nudge post that cortex specifically said would be a bad idea yesterday.

As the OP of the post being called out, I can assure you there was no wink-wink nudge-nudge intention on my part. I've been following Kristen Bell on twitter for a while and each time there was a mention of a Veronica Mars movie I went "pleeeeeeease do iiiit" in my head. Yesterday I woke up to the news of the whole Kickstarter stuff and went "hmmm, does this mean we won't be able to talk about the movie on Metafilter?". I know that a lot of Mefites are VM fans. There have been a lot of AskMes about TV shows and VM gets suggested fairly often. I knew there were going to be people here wanting to squee about it and maybe get some ideas going on about characters and plot. I tried to make the post as much about the movie as I could, but the way things unfolded, the crowd-funding aspect to it also became part of the "interestingness" of it.

In a way, the post also goes well with the Best of the Web philosophy here, as much of what's happening and how it's happening is about people on the web.
posted by CrazyLemonade at 2:09 PM on March 14, 2013


Well, so were these posts. If a post is interesting and provides context describing the importance of a campaign, I don't see why it should be deleted.

I actually agree with you. I'd have left those up, too. At least the first, probably the second, too. I'd almost always err more to the "don't delete" side than do the people who actually have to make the calls. But, nonetheless, I'm still kind of feeling for the mods, who have to do some sort of policing and draw a line somewhere, somehow. Wherever they draw it, someone's going to be unhappy. In the case of Veronica Mars I think the whole KS thing is so much more talked about elsewhere that it leads to a situation where it just looks silly for MeFi to forbid it. And an informal policy that they'll allow exceptions when it makes us look silly is fine by me.
posted by tyllwin at 2:30 PM on March 14, 2013


CrazyLemonade, I didn't mean to imply, and I don't think, that you were intentionally skirting around the guidelines or doing anything untoward. I more meant that it would be hard if not impossible to talk about what is going on right now in Veronica Mars fandom without talking about the Kickstarter. Even without a link to the kickstarter.com domain, the kickstarter is kind of in the room, so to speak, in a way that I have thought the mods try to discourage.

I hope I did not offend.
posted by gauche at 2:40 PM on March 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


As a data point, I've never seen the show and knew nothing about it - I had to Google to see what it was, and still don't get the nerd/geek angle. I've also never heard of the movie fundraising stuff in any other media...only through the MeFi post.
So one-in-a-million big news story worthy of lifting the active-KS ban? I don't see how, myself.
posted by rocket88 at 2:48 PM on March 14, 2013


I think that's just you, though. VM is absolutely a geek darling, and this story has been covered in most major news outlets.
posted by Justinian at 2:51 PM on March 14, 2013


It seems to me like there's an element of punching up vs. punching down. The goal is that people not use MetaFilter to build buzz for their projects, because (?) that's the way to SEO hell. For this Kickstarter that's not an issue; it's already big and it's already funded.

It might suck that we end up not helping the little guys, but I really do like my MeFi clear of marketers.
posted by benito.strauss at 2:54 PM on March 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


I hope I did not offend.

No offense taken.

it would be hard if not impossible to talk about what is going on right now in Veronica Mars fandom without talking about the Kickstarter

Yes, but Kickstarter is not taboo or a topic-Mefi-does-not-do-well. My feeling is that we can talk about the projects being funded or Kickstarter as a thing-that-exists as well, as long as Metafilter as a community does not support or promote Kickstarter projects. Individuals are, of course, free to do as they wish.

If I'm wrong, please correct me anyone.
posted by CrazyLemonade at 2:59 PM on March 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


admit that crowdsourcing inevitably helps most those who need help least

Nailed it.
posted by Kitteh at 3:02 PM on March 14, 2013


Personally speaking I like Kickstarter right where it is. I can always head on over there to check the cool stuff. It's like Metafilter for my spare bucks.

Then when I'm done there, I can come right back here and read more very interesting links about things.
posted by salishsea at 3:09 PM on March 14, 2013


I wonder if the stars involved could have just raised the money themselves. Or gotten an investor or two? But then, that's not nearly as newsworthy.
posted by Ideefixe at 4:02 PM on March 14, 2013


From my point of view (and speaking from personal experience as someone who had a post [probably rightly] axed because it was about a Kickstarter project), what makes the Veronica Mars post different from other Kickstarter posts is that this is about Kickstarter itself and its relation to the movie world. This is the first time that Kickstarter has been used to fund a movie on this level, and although I don't know that I totally buy into the breathless speculation, it does present a genuinely new paradigm for movie funding. So I see it as kind of a meta-Kickstarter post, and truly different because of that.

(Also, this is HUGE HUGE news in the nerd-o-sphere, to the point where it's surprising to me that people haven't heard of the show. Honestly, among nerds of a certain age, this is VERY SRS BSNS.)
posted by Frobenius Twist at 4:20 PM on March 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


admit that crowdsourcing inevitably helps most those who need help least

Bill Gates, Carlos Slim and Warren Buffett are behind all the crowdsourcing? THOSE BASTARDS!
posted by yoink at 4:44 PM on March 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Don't get me started about Carnivale.

I don't know. I thought the fifth season was only marginally better than the first four years. After all that foreshadowing I expected the finale to end up being something more than just a homoerotic climax between humanity's representatives of good and evil. *BOOM!* Also, while full frontal Clancy Brown was exactly as expected I can go the rest of my life without ever seeing Nick Stahl fully erect (again)! Seriously, who needs that? And we get it...gay people caused the nuclear age! We don't need to keep being beaten with the imagery off that "bomb" exploding over and over again. Put it away Stahl!

Of course this show fell into the same trap as Deadwood seasons four and five. As soon as the first love scenes between Gerald McRaney and Ian McShane were broadcast I knew this show jumped the big gay shark. Look, I am into gay sex as much as the next straight guy, but even I don't want to see that! Two old dudes discussing how they like their prostrates massaged? Screw that! I want fights and whores and guns and blood and Shakespearean language, because at the end of the day I am a poet. Or at least I want to be one.

But you're wrong about one thing, when push comes to embrace, none of these sins even approach the level of betrayal Firefly fans faced. After fucking up a dozen shows executives decided they weren't done, so they came along and fucked up the movie too?

That's unforgivable. "Yeah, yeah, yeah," you're going to say, "It's not like the Carnivàle movie was any better!" To that I say, "Who even saw that movie? It only played in North Korea and wouldn't even have happened if cortex hadn't emailed Kim Jong-un the fucking kickstarter link! WTF‽ Even taz had the sense to delete that post!"

To clarify this update: I am a confused and bitter and delusional man in a lot of pain (both spiritual and physical). My reality is still better than most.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:12 PM on March 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


The only Mars I know of was Mars Blackmon, but I am old.

I like that there are rules here. I think this post skirts the rule about KS, but I think it falls within rule #1, it is Mathowie's sandbox and by extension the mods too. If they think it is appropriate to let it stand, then stand it should.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 9:54 PM on March 14, 2013


It's the fastest funded project on their system ever, the biggest project goal launched to date

These are all fascinating to talk about, but wouldn't it have been better if that had been done through linking to somebody actually analysing what it means that a big media conglomerate has actually been using Kickstarter as an advertising medium, rather than just linking to the news that this movie was going to happen?
posted by MartinWisse at 11:57 PM on March 14, 2013


(another one about a week ago was allowed to stand for a bit and then eventually removed)

Which was a weird little moment of distraction on my part on a day when I was feeling sort of emotionally tilted by some bad pet health news and was sort of riding the Awwwww train to Feelsville. It was a straightforward delete, I was just in a pretty weird mood, which is why I sanity-checked the whole deal with my teammates to get back in standard gear.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:54 AM on March 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm not understanding the distinction here either. A good lot of fascinating projects have kickstarters. I had one deleted. I know it's Matt's call, but it's a little strange. I don't really get the specialness of this post, even after it's been explained and vouched for.
posted by agregoli at 6:26 AM on March 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


I know it's Matt's call [...] I don't really get the specialness of this post

you've answered your own query. there's not going to be a satisfactory rules based explanation, i don't think. this is an exception.
posted by nadawi at 8:42 AM on March 15, 2013


The pebble watch

THE WHAT???

*duckduckgooses*

Oh. It's a wearable computer watch gadget thing.

I was thinking (hoping, really) it was a waterclock that ran on pebbles.

That you could wear.
posted by notyou at 8:46 AM on March 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


I am curious, and was going to ask, why is the Yo La Tengo Live on WFMU post okay?

Is it because the radio station will ensure regardless (and it is apparently annual), and kickstarters are ephemeral?

(I can totally get behind the 'no active Kickstarter ban', even if if were, say, SUPPORT FIREFLY, but it does pose the question.)
posted by Mezentian at 9:05 AM on March 15, 2013


Nadwai - I didn't have a query.
posted by agregoli at 9:15 AM on March 15, 2013


ok - then your confusion or your not getting it. unless you're saying you do get it and just said you didn't to make a point? whatever.
posted by nadawi at 9:24 AM on March 15, 2013


I was expressing my opinion that this exception is odd - not sure why it concerns you so much, but whatever indeed.
posted by agregoli at 9:33 AM on March 15, 2013


it doesn't concern me. you phrased your opinion as if it were an open question and i was answering it. maybe a different rhetorical device will serve you better in the future...
posted by nadawi at 9:47 AM on March 15, 2013


Are Kickstarter links in comments not ok either? I doubt random comments offer that much exposure and it's not as if other commercial links (amazon books, that rss reader etc.) are discouraged.
posted by ersatz at 12:43 PM on March 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Are Kickstarter links in comments not ok either?

That's weird. Is that really a thing?
posted by lalex at 1:23 PM on March 15, 2013


Is that really a thing?

The basic deal is that we want posts not to be about Kickstarters. There are some people who are doing cool things who just happen to also have a Kickstarter out but if it's a weird coincidence and the Kickstarter is linked in one of the early comments, it becomes a weird Kickstarter post by proxy which is not okay. We have, in the past seen people who made a whole post without mentioning the associated Kickstarter but then linked to the Kickstarter in the first comment as if that was okay.

Look, I do not really love this either but basically the deal is "No fundraisers." the exception is "If mathowie says so. Expect this to happen roughly less than once a year." and early Kickstarter links in a post about a certain topic are edge-casey and especially right while we're talking about stuff, not a great idea.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:45 PM on March 15, 2013

I'm just worried that when it comes down to making sure the links are one level removed it basically opens a loophole big enough to drive a Mack truck through. Nevertheless as pointed out there's an active MeTa about Kickstarter already so if you want to close this off I can just add it to there.
I assume the rule is there to prevent people from linking to minor, crappy kickstarters in order to get help get them funded. If a Kickstarter is such a big deal that it's getting linked all over the place and generating major discussion then it's probably not crappy.

The rule exists for a reason. If a post doesn't interfere with the goal of the rule (keeping crap off the front page) then what's the problem?
posted by delmoi at 9:32 PM on March 15, 2013


The Veronica Mars project -- already funded with record-breaking speed, all over twitter, and Reddit, and who who knows where else, and creeping into mainstream media -- is pretty solidly into "current events impacting the web and the possible future of media productions."

No, this is what the word "hype" means. It’s one of those things that seems like it’s a big deal because the people selling the product are good at their job. Everyone is talking about it because the people selling the product are good at their job.

"some cancelled TV show gets a movie". An old product is being rereleased. People pre-ordered.
posted by bongo_x at 1:55 AM on March 17, 2013


Look, I do not really love this either but basically the deal is "No fundraisers." the exception is "If mathowie says so. Expect this to happen roughly less than once a year." and early Kickstarter links in a post about a certain topic are edge-casey and especially right while we're talking about stuff, not a great idea.

If there is a post about subject X and someone links to a kickstarter for an unrelated project, which shares the same sensibilities, is that still ok? I've found some quite good kickstarters this way and it doesn't feel like shilling (although this is also "I know it when I see it" territory, granted).
posted by ersatz at 4:03 PM on March 17, 2013


Way down the thread, probably. Early in the thread, less okay. A lot of times just linking to the people's website where they say "Hey we've got a kickstarter" is a better way to go. Clearer.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:01 PM on March 17, 2013


Okay, thanks for the clarification!
posted by ersatz at 4:23 AM on March 18, 2013


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