How does metafilter fare with kickstarter? December 28, 2013 12:08 PM   Subscribe

Have you started a kickstarter and informed the Mefi community about it? Did they help or hinder the process? Or have you been a loyal Mefi and supported some of the kickstarters? What was your experience like?

No doubt there are people here who want to know what your experience has been either as a recipient or giver of funds...tell us!

Also, I didn't want this discussion to take over the previous thread (good call).
posted by hal_c_on to MetaFilter-Related at 12:08 PM (88 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

It's a little tetchy, the relationship between MeFi and Kickstarter. The Projects subsite is for completed projects (although I seem to recall that it was also set up so that the community could provide feedback for improvement of projects in progress...?) so in general linking to a Kickstarter via a Projects post is verboten. Kickstarter links violate a guideline for posts on the Blue.

All that said, whenever I do manage to find out about a MeFite's Kickstarter campaign I am eager to help support it.
posted by carsonb at 12:35 PM on December 28, 2013


Open Kickstarter links are generally deleted as soon as the mods notice. Which is usually pretty fast because they usually draw a lot of flags.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 12:45 PM on December 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


I Kickstarted a print edition of my webcomic earlier this year. I would say that having the Projects post I made for the comic forwarded onto the Blue helped increase my readership, and that increased readership helped my Kickstarter be much more successful than I'd expected -- certainly more than one MeFite backed it, for which I was very grateful.

However, I think that having my project featured as a KS Staff Pick made a much bigger difference than anything else.

It's hard to say, certainly talking about your project on Metafilter in the appropriate place won't HURT.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 12:52 PM on December 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


yes, I'm curious as to how/why it would hurt ... unless you've got enemies here.

does everyone have enemies here?
posted by philip-random at 12:59 PM on December 28, 2013


does everyone have enemies here?

Are you new in town?
posted by special-k at 1:15 PM on December 28, 2013 [8 favorites]


It's a little tetchy, the relationship between MeFi and Kickstarter.

In case people don't know, mathowie curates a page on Kickstarter which is all MeFite projects. So if you have a Kickstarter and are a member here, drop him a note and he can add it there. People interested in funding MeFite projects can also go browse there. I have had mostly good experiences with Kickstarter generally and the one bad experience that I had (with someone who was an incidental MeFite but who I did not know from MeFi) did wind up eventually resolving itself decently but it took much longer and much more nagging than I would have liked.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:38 PM on December 28, 2013 [18 favorites]


someone who was an incidental MeFite

Where does Incidental MeFite fall in the hierarchy? I assume that it's somewhere between Banned Spammer and Back Tagging Superstar.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 1:59 PM on December 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


I'm a kickstarter fan and have funded mostly successful projects, but some never got the right amount, others fell through. I would fund even more if I had the money. It's also a small shame of mine that I failed on one of my projects. I underestimated the time involved and overestimated my abilities at the time. I still plan to finish it someday, but it put me off kickstarter as someone that is ever going to ask for money. If I do that again it'll only be for finished projects. (Mine was only for $200, and if I could refund I would.)

I went back and looked and I only funded one mefi project and it failed to reach funding.

I look forward for my kickstarter and indigogo emails and if people have great ideas I want to hear them. Occasionally things fall through, and I look at that as more of a "I voted for this to happen," too bad it didn't. I funded things like Diaspora and Dark Mail, not because I ever intend to use the product, but because I support the idea.

Personally, I wish links to open campaigns were allowed. I get that if the idea is cool while it's going on it'll still be cool after, but this is like posting about GISHWES or the DARPA challenges after the fact. If it's cool I want to participate.
posted by cjorgensen at 2:27 PM on December 28, 2013


Incidental MeFite

Coming this spring from Anne Tyler.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:51 PM on December 28, 2013 [10 favorites]


does everyone have enemies here?

I would take on the role of nemesis for a small monthly consideration. Dastardly plans cost extra, of course, and you pay expenses.
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:58 PM on December 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


[skull ring not includ]
posted by edgeways at 4:24 PM on December 28, 2013




I'm not quite sure I understand?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:26 PM on December 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Matt basically mentored me through my Kickstarter when I wanted to put one together but had no clue how it worked. The only way I really put in in front on the MeFi community though was by having some mefites following me on twitter & basically message-bombing twitter while the project was open. He did also add it to the Metafiter curated list on Kickstarter but that didn't ultimately drive more than a few page views. It was never really "put in front" of Metafilter as a whole.

My experience with Matt being a really great and helpful guy was super-fantastic.
posted by Devils Rancher at 4:46 PM on December 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


If you wanted to hear from Sara C. about her project, I think you should have just memailed her-- bringing up her fairly recent project (which does have one episode up) in the context you did in two Metatalks that she hasn't yet participated in seems unfair.
posted by jetlagaddict at 4:49 PM on December 28, 2013 [14 favorites]


does everyone have enemies here?

Artw swore at me one time but I got over it. Plexi and Bardic said bad things about Texas and I swore at them but it's so long ago, I doubt either of them recall it. I otherwise generally like Bardic. Is he still around?
posted by Devils Rancher at 5:00 PM on December 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've backed 60+ projects and so far the only two that funded and then fell apart were from MeFites. (One of them is apparently limping forward, although the creator has stopped bothering to post updates on KS; the other sort of half-assed a thing before dropping off the earth.)

I'm going to assume it's coincidence for now. *narrows eyes*
posted by Karlos the Jackal at 5:08 PM on December 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


I am completely baffled about why Fake Geek Girls is the elephant in this room or any other.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 5:22 PM on December 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


(Seriously, I have backed some train-wreck Kickstarters. There's one that's gotten so bad that I've started to call it my "Soap" and I moan in I-can't-believe-I'm-actually-reading-this-I-am-not-your-therapist agony whenever they send out an update. Sara C's project doesn't even edge into the foothills of Kickstarter Drama.)
posted by Narrative Priorities at 5:25 PM on December 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


I funded Narrative Priorities' kickstarter and now my laptop and phone are covered in kitty stickers. Doesn't get much better than that.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 5:28 PM on December 28, 2013 [12 favorites]


I backed a Kickstarter project back in '09 that hasn't updated in four years and hasn't given a single reward to anybody. It was not Mefi-related.
posted by box at 5:46 PM on December 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Jessamyn, see my comment in the Team Kiva Metatalk thread. That thread is the one that indirectly spawned this one.
posted by misha at 6:29 PM on December 28, 2013


Fake Geek Girls is not an elephant in any room.
posted by oceanjesse at 6:30 PM on December 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


I've only backed 4 Kickstarter projects. 1 didn't get funded, the other 3 went great. Two of them were by mefites & I got my stuff when I was sposta.
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:35 PM on December 28, 2013


Matt and a couple other Mefites helped fund the kickstarter for my bands record in 2010. It took forever to get that record done, so long that I am no longer in the band. If anyone didn't get a record when it finally came out this year, let me know and I'll fed ex you one.

My point being a. Mefites are a kickstarter happy bunch and Matt is great. & b. No updates for 3 months should be addressed, feel free to email the poster if you contributed to it , but it's not exactly Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. And if you didn't contribute, mind your own business. Maybe they're getting emails , or some other communication about the progress. Or not. Either way why is it your problem to get involved in?
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:45 PM on December 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


I don't want this thread to turn into "Let's compare Kickstarter horror stories," nor do I want it to be a referendum on the Kickstarters of specific Metafilter users. But....hmm.

My eyebrows don't start to go up regarding "late" Kickstarters until it's been at least six months. And the more complicated a project is, the more likely I am to cut them some slack.

Even organized, responsible people sometimes underestimate how long a project will take to execute, or make ultimately inaccurate assumptions as to how stable their schedules will be, or get derailed by unexpected complications in their lives or jobs, or run into any number of other obstacles that keep them from doing a thing in the manner and at the pace they'd originally intended. I usually try to give people the benefit of the doubt, because stuff happens, and even when you're pessimistic you can sometimes be unpleasantly surprised.

I built something like a MONTH of extra time into my Kickstarter, which was a really simple one honestly, and shipping problems completely upended all my carefully laid plans for fulfillment -- FedEx just decided not to deliver my books until a week after the scheduled date, and the friends I'd recruited to help me with shipping needed to go back to their regular jobs before the books even arrived. I got things done on time because I'm lucky enough to have an extremely flexible work schedule, but if I had a regular day job I would've been pretty screwed.

Like seriously, major studios and publishers sometimes push things back a few months because of hiccups in production. Most Kickstarters are put together by one person, or very small groups who're working in their free time. I try to cut people some slack.

Now, the people who still haven't delivered their rewards a full year later? And who're obviously living off the money that was supposed to pay for those rewards? And who send me, a total stranger, frequent updates with elaborate sob stories about the intricacies of their marriages and jobs in order to explain why they can't afford to ship my book to me? THOSE are the people who get on my nerves.

And in my experience, if the Kickstarter is professionally put together with realistic goals, and the people involved have any kind of track record of being reliable and accountable, that almost never happens.

(See also: why I almost never back comics/books that haven't been drawn/written yet.)
posted by Narrative Priorities at 6:47 PM on December 28, 2013 [11 favorites]


the elephant in the room.

I'm not seeing an elephant there. This is an elephant. This is a mastadon or something. I think you might want to calibrate your elephant detector.
posted by hades at 6:47 PM on December 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


the elephant in the room.

I must say I don't understand why you had an impulse to post that KS here - when anyone sufficiently interested could have checked out the mefi kickstarter page themselves.

One of the things that really bothers me about this community, and MeTa in particular, is the impulse to turn threads into general grievances against users, and in particular referendums on particular mefites. It's gross, unkind, and frankly seems little better than cyber-bullying to me.

Given that you have more than once had issues with this kind of thing, and you have only just recently come from a MeTa where a general discussion was unhelpfully derailed into a sniping match with a mefite - to the detriment of all - I honestly would have thought you would be more circumspect about how you discuss other mefites, your opinions of them and your interactions with them.

I like you Misha, and I think you make some great contributions here. I do wish you could restrain from airing your negative opinions about other mefites. You are entitled to them, but they can really derail discussion, be hurtful - for you as much as anyone else, I'm sure - and have an overall negative impact on the site.

I could defend Sara - but I'm not going to as frankly I don't think any discussion about her personal Kickstarter, occurring off the site as it does, should be subject to general inspection and discussion here. I find it really distasteful.
posted by smoke at 6:59 PM on December 28, 2013 [38 favorites]


I'm not seeing an elephant there. This is an elephant. This is a mastadon or something.

Those were not elephants. I was expecting pictures of elephants and was disappointed.

I mean, I get what you're saying, but those definitely were not the graceful, loving creatures that are elephants. Also, I would love to have an elephant in my room.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 7:01 PM on December 28, 2013 [6 favorites]


Here are some actual elephants. And a bonus elephant with birds. Sorry to disappoint, earlier.
posted by hades at 7:23 PM on December 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


Yes. Good.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 7:26 PM on December 28, 2013


I agree on the distasteful thing, as well as being unclear how it deserves any ire at all. Maybe I'm a dunce at reading kickstarter pages, but all I can see is that it is still raising money and is at most barely late on some deliverables? I am just not seeing an ant, much less an elephant.

I've never donated to a KS thing, though I would if someone I knew approached me -- I'm a total soft touch when asked nicely. I hadn't known about the MF KS page; is that linked somewhere?
posted by Dip Flash at 7:28 PM on December 28, 2013


I don't think any discussion about her personal Kickstarter, occurring off the site as it does, should be subject to general inspection and discussion here

Putting aside the particular project under discussion -- which I know absolutely nothing about -- it does seem like this is a potential future issue that might need some clarification, in terms of etiquette and protocol.

If there is an official-looking MetaFilter Kickstarter page, with the logo and everything, does that make the various projects acceptable topics for MetaTalk? Let's say some Doom That Came to Atlantic City-level fiasco happened with a MeFite's project, a project that was posted on Matt's Kickstarter page -- would that be considered something "personal" and "occurring off the site"?

Really just wondering -- not trying to challenge anyone. (And again, this hypothetical has NOTHING to do with any projects previously discussed.)
posted by neroli at 7:31 PM on December 28, 2013


Thank you! That's much better!

As an act of reciprocation, I offer you this; sometimes I am sad and I need comforting, just like this baby elephant. It's nice to know that when the baby elephant feels sad, his person gives him a lap to crawl into until he feels better.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 7:31 PM on December 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


Even organized, responsible people sometimes underestimate how long a project will take to execute, or make ultimately inaccurate assumptions as to how stable their schedules will be, or get derailed by unexpected complications in their lives or jobs, or run into any number of other obstacles

I've been in and out of the video/film production biz for decades. Trust that one of the easiest things for a newcomer to mess up is a budgeted production, particularly if they've got the money in hand up front. Maybe it goes to some blow or a pile of cocktails, or maybe it just goes to rent ... but it's all too common that it doesn't go to the intended production, certainly not all of it. Which was my immediate impression when I heard about Kickstarter -- that there would all manner of these kind of issues.

But I still tend to throw in with a few bucks when someone asks, because I do like the basic model of giving creative people money to pursue their visions, cutting out as many mercenary middlemen as possible.
posted by philip-random at 7:32 PM on December 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


Personally, I always turn to this for all my baby-elephant-cheering-up-needs.
posted by jetlagaddict at 7:42 PM on December 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


I've only backed 4 Kickstarter projects. 1 didn't get funded, the other 3 went great. Two of them were by mefites & I got my stuff when I was sposta.

Thanks. This is the kinda stuff I wanna hear about! How did your mefite funding go? How did your kickstarter which was mefi-related go?
posted by hal_c_on at 7:43 PM on December 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's gross, unkind, and frankly seems little better than cyber-bullying to me.

I don't think there was any reason to single out SaraC's project, but it was hardly cyber-bullying. I think to call it such does a real disservice to the many people who have been deeply affected by bullying of any kind.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:44 PM on December 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


I had an Indiegogo project, which is more or less the same as Kickstarter. I found it a little odd that it wasn't allowed on the "official" page, but that's Ok.

Honestly, that was a few years ago and no one has gotten anything yet because the movie still hasn't been made yet. I send out periodic updates and I sincerely hope no one feels we have "flaked out" because I work hard on it every day. That's just how long film production takes, and I honestly find the concept of "missing deadlines" hard to understand in this context. What deadlines? You do realize it's not a binding legal contract to deliver certain things by a certain date? It's not a freaking Amazon pre-order. You're supporting an artist who will try in good faith to complete their project as best they can, as soon as they can. If that doesn't interest you, there are tons of other things to do with your money, but don't pretend people are knifing you in the back.
posted by drjimmy11 at 7:48 PM on December 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


I don't think there was any reason to single out SaraC's project, but it was hardly cyber-bullying

I'm confused that you would feel that is what I wrote: I thought it clear that I was referring to the sentence immediately preceding that one, ie "the impulse to turn threads into general grievances against users, and in particular referendums on particular mefites."

Additionally, without getting into semantics, there are all kinds of bullying - cyber and otherwise - with varying levels of severity. I personally believe that some of the dynamics that occur here (in metatalk, in the mefite community) flirt with that. Naturally, you can disagree; but that's how it feels to me, and certainly how it has felt to some of the recipients of it, given what they often write in MeTas.
posted by smoke at 7:51 PM on December 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


Maybe it goes to some blow or a pile of cocktails, or maybe it just goes to rent ... but it's all too common that it doesn't go to the intended production, certainly not all of it.

I would certainly never even entertain the thought of spending crowdfunding money on anything not directly related to the project, and I doubt anyone but the very shadiest folks would either. However, you must understand that *artistic projects fail,* especially big ones like films. Sometimes you try your best and it just falls apart, or takes a really long time. I don't think any of the crowdfunding platforms ever imply otherwise. Films fail constantly, even big studio projects, and that's a risk you take when you put money into them.
posted by drjimmy11 at 7:52 PM on December 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Jessamyn, see my comment in the Team Kiva Metatalk thread. That thread is the one that indirectly spawned this one

So feel free to be less cryptic or contact Sara C or the mods directly to explain what you are looking for here and why it should be in this MeTa thread. I really don't see this as a room elephant situation either.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:53 PM on December 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'm confused that you would feel that is what I wrote: I thought it clear that I was referring to the sentence immediately preceding that one, ie "the impulse to turn threads into general grievances against users, and in particular referendums on particular mefites."

If that's not a reference to "the elephant in the room" than I misunderstood and I stand corrected.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:59 PM on December 28, 2013


To clarify:

An "Elephant in the room" is an idiom meaning something which has been referred to only obliquely and is being talked around without being addressed.

I made a comment in the other thread about online fundraising in general and about how I had my own reservations about accountability. You can read my comment if you're interested, but I mentioned in that comment that I was excited about Matt's Metafilter kickstarter page until coming across one project that looked, to me, an outsider, pretty bad. A mention is made that this is a discussion worth having, just not in that thread.

Then I get some MefiMail about my comment (per site rules I won't say from whom or quote from that correspondence).

And then BANG! Up comes a new MetaTalk post asking, hey, what's up with those Metafilter Kickstarter projects?! (FWIW, I don't think it is off-limits to ask about Metafilter kickstarters on Metatalk, as they certainly come under the "Metafilter related" heading.)

So, you are me here. Should I just have skipped this thread or not commented? It seemed to me that even though I didn't post that Metatalk thread OR this one, now I am in the middle because of what I said. My comment spawned this Metatalk.

Smoke, I respect you, and have favorited you many times. Maybe you can see more clearly than me in this. I sincerely try to be upfront and direct in my dealings here, and that still didn't go over so well last time, as you know.

So I felt like, jeez, I don't want to get sucked into this whole thing where now I come off as being passive aggressive after that comment I made!

Maybe I was off-base to feel that way, I don't know, but that's why I felt like it was best to say, hey, here is the Kickstarter I was indirectly referring to, the Elephant in the Room, and let you all just form your own opinions, rather than talk around it. Whether you or anyone else feels passionately about that or could not care less, that's for you all to decide.

That's my sum involvement in this whole thing, FWIW.
posted by misha at 8:57 PM on December 28, 2013


This winter, I have received, from Kickstarter projects, some truly excellent little cookies (some also sent from the baker to my friends), a spice kit, and am hoping for something called a "Wipebook" in January. So far, so good.
posted by amtho at 9:00 PM on December 28, 2013


An "Elephant in the room" is an idiom meaning something which has been referred to only obliquely and is being talked around without being addressed.

Pretty sure we all know this, but we don't consider Sara C.'s kickstarter an elephant in the room. It only seems to be you who has an issue. One person does not an elephant make.
posted by sweetkid at 9:06 PM on December 28, 2013 [19 favorites]


So, you are me here. Should I just have skipped this thread or not commented?

Honestly, if I were you, I would have, yeah. Or just linked to your existing comment in the thread.

I sincerely try to be upfront and direct in my dealings here, and that still didn't go over so well last time, as you know.

I totes know you do - and it was a damned shame how that went down last time. I just... I think maybe your barometer might be a bit off on this kind of stuff? Do you, or people who know you, feel that you have quite a thick skin? I grew up in a fairly... intellectually rambunctious family, and people can sometimes feel my animated discussions about issues we disagree on (which I genuinely find stimulating, and not at all personal) are an attack on them, and unusually aggressive. It's something I have to remind myself of when I feel that I'm getting a bit revved up; that not everybody is used to spirited disagreement and certainly doesn't view it as a sign of trust and respect (which I do). Neither me, nor the people who get offended, hurt, or pissed off with me are wrong, per se, we just have different cultures in this respect.
posted by smoke at 9:11 PM on December 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


misha, I hadn't seen the Kickstarter discussion at the end of the previous thread, and would never have noticed your oblique reference to a Metafilter user's Kickstarter if it hadn't been specifically linked to here. It felt like kind of a weird callout because this new thread seemed to be targeted at people who have run Kickstarters, as opposed to how the community at large feels about KS as a platform or about specific users' projects.

Also, I dunno, it just seems unnecessarily mean to call out specific users' projects?

If someone wanted to know what you were referring to in the other thread, they could just ask you over MeMail.

Like I totally get wanting to be transparent and direct, but this seemed unkind in a not-especially-warranted way, is all.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 9:21 PM on December 28, 2013 [6 favorites]


(Ah, missed the "giver of funds" bit under the fold, so scratch that part. Apologies.)
posted by Narrative Priorities at 9:22 PM on December 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


For whatever it's worth, I had read misha's earlier comment and when I saw this thread I immediately thought this thread was asking for more information about that comment.
posted by vegartanipla at 10:37 PM on December 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


Films fail constantly, even big studio projects, and that's a risk you take when you put money into them.

I'm assuming that the failure you're speaking of here is at the box office, or a failure to secure some kind of distribution deal. But films that have raised the necessary production funds do not constantly fail to get made. I believe that that way lieth lawsuits. As it would with most investment scenarios where money is put up but the production part of the project doesn't go ahead as promised.

But Kickstarter etc is a different dynamic as the money given is not an investment. It's more of a gift, an encouragement to a creator to go create that thing. I think we're just starting to get a sense of the ethical (and other) issues involved in not delivering as promised/intended.
posted by philip-random at 10:42 PM on December 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


I always approach Kickstarters with the thought that I am not actually going to GET anything - in fact, I frequently request that I not get anything. I like kicking in a little for cool projects and people I believe in. If they get to make their thing, hooray! That's a good prize.
posted by louche mustachio at 11:51 PM on December 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


If you wanted to hear from Sara C. about her project, I think you should have just memailed her-- bringing up her fairly recent project (which does have one episode up) in the context you did in two Metatalks that she hasn't yet participated in seems unfair.

Two things:

1. To be fair to Misha, I asked for experiences which kickstarter; Misha gave her experience. For her to keep her mouth shut about it would be tantamount to people listing all the positives about something but not the negatives. That's not what this meta is about.

2. For whatever it's worth, I had read misha's earlier comment and when I saw this thread I immediately thought this thread was asking for more information about that comment.

Hi. I'll speak for myself, thank you very much. As per the ONLY link in my post, I actually wanted to hear from cjorgensen. That was the origin story here. He had an opinion and I wanted to hear it. Being fair to Sara C, this thread was not asking for more info about her.

So yeah. The impression I get is that some mefites who have successful projects will give back to the givers. Others will take the money and run (or have excuses). Any other input would be appreciated...
posted by hal_c_on at 12:42 AM on December 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


Lost in La Mancha is a really interesting documentary showing how a big budget film can totally fail to get made. Sometimes shit just happens.
posted by shelleycat at 12:45 AM on December 29, 2013 [5 favorites]


It's a little tetchy, the relationship between MeFi and Kickstarter.

I know I'm reading too much Yudetide fic cause my first thought was "ooh hate pairing! Maybe they have to pretend to be married!"
posted by The Whelk at 2:06 AM on December 29, 2013 [5 favorites]


mathowie curates a page on Kickstarter which is all MeFite projects.

Loots of good projects there. For instance I had no idea Christopher Kirkley was a Mefite, that is so darn cool. If only I'd known about that page before (shame on me) I'd have backed that project so hard. (Of course I already own "Music from Saharan Cellphones Volume 2" on cassette, but still! :))

Bookmarked!
posted by soundofsuburbia at 2:15 AM on December 29, 2013


"... is the elephant in the room."

Not a fan of something like that being written without at least trying to justify it in the same comment. Feels a bit cowardly and mean, similar to some "I'm just going to leave this here..." type comments. It's MetaTalk, not MetaFigureOutMyPassiveAggressiveCommentWhileIHideInThatCornerOverThere.
posted by Wordshore at 6:59 AM on December 29, 2013 [12 favorites]


Misha: I believe your question has been answered. There is nothing untoward about a KS which was funded a few months ago not being complete yet or posting anything publicly. It's pretty normal, especially for film projects. If this project was over a year late, and had no updates, then I think it might be appropriate for someone who had contributed to bring it to MetaTalk, given the MF connection. Hopefully your perceptions of how KS works have been adjusted.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:05 AM on December 29, 2013 [8 favorites]


I enjoyed the MeFite kickstarter page. There are a couple of things that were completed a couple of years ago that I'm sorry don't appear to have gone into widespread production so that I, a non-backer, can buy them. I may be memailing some people about that.

I have fun backing things on kickstarter and indigogo from time to time. Our only disappointment has been a swiss-army-ish iPhone case with built-in knife and other cool things that I ordered for my partner. While production was delayed, the makers were great about staying in touch, and their updates were factual and not whiny. The disappointment was that the case, while exactly what was described and good quality, wasn't very functional in practice. Still, I call it a good experience and hope the folks who made it go on to other cool things.

It feels a little like gambling to me, but even more it feels like being in on helping somebody's cool idea see the light of day. I like that.
posted by not that girl at 8:18 AM on December 29, 2013


I funded a kickstarter or two, and to my mind as the person forking over the money, the entire difference between "kickstarter" and "buying a thing in a shop" is that the thing is currently entirely imaginary and there will be all kinds of unforeseen monsters on the journey between here and "product through my letterbox".

If this were a person with a previous track record of completing similar projects on time and on budget, they would not be raising funds on Kickstarter.

I expect any kickstarting thing to go a year over its time estimate and have good odds of never completing at all. I am paying this money to fund someone else's learning experience, with a side gamble that I get a fun thing at some point.

If you treat Kickstarter like a pre-order for a product that's practically finished but they haven't finished the print run yet I think you'll be sadly disappointed.
posted by emilyw at 8:29 AM on December 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


That's my sum involvement in this whole thing, FWIW.

Your approach seems a bit unnecessarily rude, misha - it looks from here like you started out cowardly and coy in the previous thread and then used your own coyness to create an unspoken "elephant" in this thread. Not a high point, given that you could have easily contacted the person you were calling out for an explanation, and that you seem to be unusually impatient for Kickstarter progress.
posted by mediareport at 8:46 AM on December 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


Have backed 4 Kickstarters, 3 have already delivered, fourth is all but in the mail.

A+++ would kick again
posted by oulipian at 9:08 AM on December 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


Hi. I'll speak for myself, thank you very much. As per the ONLY link in my post, I actually wanted to hear from cjorgensen. That was the origin story here. He had an opinion and I wanted to hear it. Being fair to Sara C, this thread was not asking for more info about her.

I wasn't speaking for you. I was speaking of my own impression of the timing and content of these two closely related threads and how that substantiated misha's interpretation that there was an "elephant in the room."
posted by vegartanipla at 9:26 AM on December 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


I think that if Mefites' projects appear in a Metafilter kickstarter page, it does run the risk of people looking at projects that are not completed and concluding that it is a Metafilter/Mefite problem rather than a KS problem or just people who are new to creating their own visions.

I wonder if people who complete their funded projects could be allowed to put a link to any completed projects, but only on a voluntary basis? That may offset those sentiments. I can't figure out what was or was not completed on that page, and some of the ideas look fascinating.

As a complete aside, I have always raved to people about the Run Zombie Run app, as a great example of a game that actually requires a smart phone and can encourage a person to run. I had no idea until now that it was actually created by a Mefite and was part of a KS campaign! Cool.
posted by Wolfster at 9:42 AM on December 29, 2013


Hi. I'll speak for myself, thank you very much. As per the ONLY link in my post, I actually wanted to hear from cjorgensen. That was the origin story here. He had an opinion and I wanted to hear it.

I've done one kickstarter where I asked for money. It was a modest one and I got my $200. I bought the materials, and then my personal life got confusing, and creatively I kind of fell apart. I feel guilty for taking people's money, and not producing. This probably drives some of my funding for others. (I've put that much money down on a single campaign).

I see Kickstarter as a risk. I don't see it as a "pre-sales" (though I think it is becoming this).

I've backed two mefites. One failed to get funded and the other did. The second is probably a failure by the standards of kickstarter, but I'd do it again. My dollars were an attempt to help create art. Not all art succeeds.

In my mind much of the interesting innovation is happening through crowdsourcing. I find it a minor annoyance that we don't participate in these events until after the fact.

I've also funded many based solely on kicksaver.
posted by cjorgensen at 9:51 AM on December 29, 2013


I am not calling anyone out, mediareport. I've funded six or seven kickstarters and have had nothing but good experiences with them.

The reason I haven't funded any Metafilter-related kickstarters, though, is because although I was interested in the idea of funding a kickstarter from a Mefite, like Devil's_Rancher, for instance, who I know and respect, I had serious misgivings about that after visiting Matt's Metafilter kickstarter page.

The only criteria for inclusion on that page seems to be to email Matt and ask him, and the first kickstarter I saw, which at the time was Sara_C's, gave me a really negative vibe. It felt like that project exploited that criteria to get backers and then didn't make an attempt to follow through on the project. So I shied away. That is my experience with Metafilter kickstarters, and that's why I shared it here.

Personally, while I don't expect a lot from kickstarters, I do expect the kickstarter to at least provide status updates, and the lack of updates for months, especially from someone who is one of the most prolific commenters on the site, is like a huge glowing red flag to me. Others have chimed in, though, and said that it is common for shows like this one to fail to make it to production, that a few months of no progress is not a big deal and that sometimes schedules fall behind by a year or even longer.

I feel like that is good information to have, on both sides. Seems to me that the best way to be informed is to get these perspectives out there so everyone can weigh for themselves what they feel the risks and advantages are.

That's why I disagree that Metafilter kickstarter projects that Matt is curating at kick starter under the Metafilter name should only be discussed through private channels rather than here on Metatalk. I'm surprised that the mods seem to be advocating that angle, too, and have emailed them in the hope that maybe they can can weigh in on that.

I am going to bow out of the thread now, because comments about me being "cowardly" or "coy" or whatever are threatening to derail the whole discussion, which is not fair to hal_c_on, who started this Metatalk to discuss the kickstarter projects.

Before I do, though, I want to thank smoke for helping me see the big picture. I get what you were saying and I appreciate the feedback. Thanks for keeping it real.
posted by misha at 10:58 AM on December 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


You should have emailed the person you were questioning directly, before dragging them into MeTa in a weirdly overly coy way, misha. That's all.
posted by mediareport at 11:00 AM on December 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


That's why I disagree that Metafilter kickstarter projects that Matt is curating at kick starter under the Metafilter name should only be discussed through private channels rather than here on Metatalk.

But there's a big stretch of distance between "can only be discussed privately", which isn't really something we've laid out as a policy, and "makes sense as something to publicly advance a user-specific, non-Mefi-related, Kickstarter-related grievance about on Metatalk", which is I think more what people feel like was happening here.

Like, if there's something that's fundamentally related to the Metafilter community that happens to have an ancillary Kickstarter angle, sure, more or less makes sense to broach it. But if it's more about not being happy about a Kickstarter project as such that happens to be a mefite's project, that's not really a community thing. It'd be like complaining about a meal you didn't like at a food cart a mefite happens to run; it sucks that your meal wasn't satisfying, but your issue is with someone's food business, not with the Metafilter community or their being part of it. You have every right to broach the subject with them, but it's not really everybody's else's business and the subject of food carts coming up doesn't suddenly make it so, etc. Nobody needs the extra drama.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:05 PM on December 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


It'd be like complaining about a meal you didn't like at a food cart a mefite happens to run

But what if it were listed on a semi-official page of mefite-run food carts? I think by listing these kickstarters together under the mefi brand it makes it seem as if they have been given a seal of approval, and consequently I think the metafilter community does have a shared interest in assessing the trustworthiness of these kickstarters.
posted by Pyry at 12:26 PM on December 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


Nobody needs the extra drama.

Ah, splendid. Could that be the official motto of MetaTalk in 2014, please?
posted by Wordshore at 12:32 PM on December 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


I am not calling anyone out, mediareport.

I don't know what you call injecting criticism of a specific person into two sucessive metatalk threads that have nothing really to do with that person but it looks like a "call out" by any other name to me. What's remarkable is that not only did neither of those threads have anything to do with said person, nothing said person did ever affected you in any way. So it was basically just a free-floating gripe on your part that you should have delivered to the person directly if you absolutely had to get it off your chest.

Re accountability, I agree that many kickstarter projects take that less seriously than they might, which is why I tend to restrict my contributions to friends' and friend's of friends' projects. But financial accountability isn't just a kickstarter problem, it's an internet problem. And, FWIW, I seem to recall that you had a blog where you solicited donations, also. (I also thought that the way your blog was heavily focused on promoting particular products was kind of spammy as well, if we're speaking frankly, but that's your business.) If there's a difference between asking for money on kickstarter and asking for money on a blog, then it's a difference of degree at most.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:36 PM on December 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


I think the metafilter community does have a shared interest in assessing the trustworthiness of these kickstarters.

But the thing is, if there was a reliable way to asses the "trustworthiness" of Kickstarters then none of this would be an issue to begin with.

Kickstarters fail or are delayed for myriad reasons. Very, VERY few of them are actually outright scams, and most of those are pretty obvious if given a moment's thought.

One of the most hilaritragic Kickstarters I've ever backed was from a woman who's extremely well-regarded, prolific, liked and respected in her community. I had ZERO reason to worry about her project going in, which was why I backed it. And oh man, it has been awful. Like COMICALLY bad, terrible decisions made at every turn, way behind schedule, crazy updates, the whole package. She's clearly a very very nice woman and she's good friends with lots of my friends, and I can tell she has the best of intentions, but WOW! Wow. That was not a good investment on my part.

If you want a guarantee of getting a thing you've paid for, you should probably just avoid KS and other crowdfunding sites entirely.

There's literally no way for the mods to vet projects and provide some kind of assurance that they'll succeed, and I don't really expect them to try.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 12:38 PM on December 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


The only criteria for inclusion on that page seems to be to email Matt and ask him, and the first kickstarter I saw, which at the time was Sara_C's, gave me a really negative vibe. It felt like that project exploited that criteria to get backers and then didn't make an attempt to follow through on the project. So I shied away. That is my experience with Metafilter kickstarters, and that's why I shared it here.

You have no direct experience with "Metafilter kickstarters." You did not pay attention to the request for information Hal_c_on made. He asked for input from people who have run a kickstarter with Mefi community assistance, or contributed to one. You did neither.

You took advantage of two questions asked in Metatalk to publicly call someone out.
posted by zarq at 12:41 PM on December 29, 2013 [13 favorites]


But what if it were listed on a semi-official page of mefite-run food carts? I think by listing these kickstarters together under the mefi brand it makes it seem as if they have been given a seal of approval, and consequently I think the metafilter community does have a shared interest in assessing the trustworthiness of these kickstarters.

I can use the MeFi Social Explorer to find MeFites who play World of Warcraft. But if I group with one and they ninja the loot that I needed, I'm not going to take it to MetaTalk just because they were listed on this site.
posted by kimberussell at 12:47 PM on December 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


Pyry: " But what if it were listed on a semi-official page of mefite-run food carts? I think by listing these kickstarters together under the mefi brand it makes it seem as if they have been given a seal of approval, and consequently I think the metafilter community does have a shared interest in assessing the trustworthiness of these kickstarters."

I don't think it implies any kind of seal of approval. This is the text on the page:
This is a collection of projects seeking funding, all featuring someone who is also a member of the MetaFilter community. We hope to see completed projects end up on MetaFilter Projects, when they are ready to be announced.
It's a list of projects by people who have MetaFilter accounts and who've submitted the info to Matt, that's all.

I suppose he could make it explicit with a "no endorsement is implied or should be inferred". Yay, creeping, unnecessary legalism. Ugh.
posted by Lexica at 12:56 PM on December 29, 2013


Ok. Everyone who has said something kinda critical to miesha raise your hand.
Now count off.

Shit motherfuckers, how about we leave her alone now...I'm pretty sure that this pile-on isn't helping ANYONE anymore.

Also, as disengenious as it may seem to one, the way misha did things, it seems rather disingenuous for people to pile on and say the same thing again and again.

Also, misha, I understand your point. If someone gets $11,000 to make 8 webisodes, they should have some kind of responsibility to produce them in a timely manner or at least give updates as to what is happening to the money.

I understand shit happens...but it's not like this is a program to send astronauts to mars.

Or maybe what I'm hearing from the community is that this is the way of the kickstarter. You give your money,,,and even if they are a Mefite, there is no guarantee that there is going to be anything made. It doesn't matter how much funding they have, or how they are related to metafilter.

Chances are...giving to kickstarter will not yield anything that is worth the amount one gives.

Point made.

Also, thanks Cjorgensen.
posted by hal_c_on at 12:59 PM on December 29, 2013 [5 favorites]


Chances are...giving to kickstarter will not yield anything that is worth the amount one gives.

For what it's worth, this has actually not been my experience at all. I've backed 50 Kickstarters, mostly for books and comics but with some podcasts and videogames mixed in, and nearly all of them have delivered the promised rewards in a timely fashion. For every comically awful Kickstarter there have been ten or fifteen wonderful projects with awesome, responsible people. And when there have been delays, nearly everyone has done a great job on explaining the situation in a professional manner and keeping their backers updated on progress.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 1:03 PM on December 29, 2013 [5 favorites]


Seriously, the repeated coy calling out of one particular Kickstarter project is beyond distasteful. (And the weirdest thing is that it doesn't at all look like a trainweck of a project and in fact looks like it is progressing normally if maybe slightly slowly.) That the calling out is being done by two people with high-friction histories isn't adding any credibility, either.

I get it that almost nothing gets deleted in MeTa threads, but at the least maybe it's time to close this one down?
posted by Dip Flash at 1:16 PM on December 29, 2013 [5 favorites]


giving to kickstarter will not yield anything that is worth the amount one gives.

I'm not sure how you got that from this conversation.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:19 PM on December 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


Chances are...giving to kickstarter will not yield anything that is worth the amount one gives.

Hey, man, then don't give to kickstarter. See, I've solved your problem for you. No, don't thank me, I'm still filled with the Christmas spirit.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:26 PM on December 29, 2013 [5 favorites]

Chances are...giving to kickstarter will not yield anything that is worth the amount one gives.
If by "chances are" you mean "there are chances", then that is certainly true. If you mean "It is likely" then that doesn't match my experience.
posted by dfan at 1:52 PM on December 29, 2013




but at the least maybe it's time to close this one down?

Agreed. A lil help, mods?
posted by hal_c_on at 2:05 PM on December 29, 2013


> Chances are...giving to kickstarter will not yield anything that is worth the amount one gives.

I think you made a jump there over the crucial ground where it was implied that you might not get back your money's worth in product, but the reason you would fund a Kickstarter has to be more that you support the idea. The fact that people have begun to equate Kickstarter projects as "pre-sales" as mentioned above certainly does muddy the waters there also.

Anyway, if I had been a backer of the project singled out here, I would also have similar concerns. True, the subject was broached imperfectly and people got hung up on a poor choice of idiom. But Metatalk is a poor place to discuss that since it largely involves off-site activity. I don't think the insults were needed here, though.
posted by planetesimal at 2:06 PM on December 29, 2013


A lil help, mods?

Oh! And he's signalling the refs! Ladies and gentlemen at home, what a bout this has been!
posted by octobersurprise at 2:11 PM on December 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


but the reason you would fund a Kickstarter has to be more that you support the idea.

Huh. I think there's the disconnect. I haven't come around to that idea yet. But looking through various non-tech kickstarters, this seems to be the way of the money.

Thanks, y'all.
posted by hal_c_on at 2:14 PM on December 29, 2013


Oh! And he's signalling the refs! Ladies and gentlemen at home, what a bout this has been!

Amazing.
posted by hal_c_on at 2:15 PM on December 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh! And he's signalling the refs! Ladies and gentlemen at home, what a bout this has been!

Hm, someone else watched the fights last night, I gather. I'll go ahead and close this, since it seems to have served its purpose.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 2:26 PM on December 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


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