Using Kickstarter for a website?

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Twelfthroot
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Using Kickstarter for a website?

Postby Twelfthroot » Thu Apr 12, 2012 8:07 pm UTC

A few seasons ago I started a website called http://meaninginmusic.com, inviting people interested in music to express specific concepts in 20-second instrumental compositions and discuss the results. It had a promising start and got some positive feedback, but ultimately stagnated. I think the idea has potential, but it suffers from a bootstrapping problem, in that it's too small and unknown to have an interesting community with enough music to be interesting for more than a few minutes. It would have to get bigger in order to get bigger. Perhaps I'm just beating a dead horse and should move to the next idea, but I recently thought of Kickstarting it.

Does anyone have experience with Kickstarter, especially regarding building a website? I really don't know how much money would make sense to ask for or how I would spend it. Given a small amount, I could buy advertising, but I wouldn't know where or how to buy it to reach an interested audience. With more money, I could offer monetary prizes for composition contests, or hire a designer/programmer to improve the site. I also don't know what I would do for 'rewards' for investors. Does anybody have an idea, advice, or know where people usually turn for advice in such things?

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Re: Using Kickstarter for a website?

Postby Jesse » Fri Apr 13, 2012 11:45 pm UTC

If you couldn't find the audience for your website to begin with, how do you propose these people finding your Kickstarter?

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Re: Using Kickstarter for a website?

Postby Twelfthroot » Sat Apr 14, 2012 6:06 pm UTC

Huh. Good question. I guess I sort of assumed that simply having a page on Kickstarter would pull in whoever usually browses that site. In case it's not obvious, I have no idea how to do this.

I guess the more general question is, how do you reach a sparsely distributed niche audience, particularly if the reaction of many members of that audience would be "Well, it's a nice idea, but it would have to have more participants for me to care to participate."?

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Re: Using Kickstarter for a website?

Postby apricity » Sat Apr 14, 2012 11:15 pm UTC

Well, for one, Kickstarter's terms of use prohibit this. You use it to fund projects, not advertising and whatnot.
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Re: Using Kickstarter for a website?

Postby Hofstadter'sLaw » Sun Apr 15, 2012 12:43 am UTC

Just wondering, what did you do to spread the word about/draw in members thus far?

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Re: Using Kickstarter for a website?

Postby Twelfthroot » Sun Apr 15, 2012 7:47 am UTC

All I've done so far was to post the site on my Facebook, xkcd, and one other forum. I'm not sure where to go -- where do people interested in the intersection of music, language, and semantics/philosophy hang out? Given the relatively small number of people who have found the site, I have managed to find a handful expressing genuine interest and participating, so I'm pretty sure the audience exists, I just don't know where or how to reach it.

I see that advertizing alone is not an acceptable use of Kickstarter, but I don't see that I couldn't use funds for advertizing, as long as it was part of the larger project of creating this online community. I suppose I would have to frame it as a rather significant overhaul / improvement of the site though. Perhaps Kickstarter isn't the right tool. But what is?

If anyone believes the concept is just flawed or poorly executed, I really would appreciate being told so, especially if you have an idea as to how to make it viable. I don't want to waste too much time trying to grow something that had no hope to start with.

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Re: Using Kickstarter for a website?

Postby Soralin » Sun Apr 15, 2012 8:06 pm UTC

I don't think it would work that well, I mean, I've browsed through Kickstarter a bit, but practically the only way I've noticed something on Kickstarter is because it was mentioned somewhere else, from people pledging to it and spreading the word about it, from it becoming really popular, and thus getting attention from elsewhere, etc. But a project sort of needs to have that good chunk of popularity to start with to attract that sort of attention.

I mean, pick a category, go down to the "popular this week" section, and click on the "see more popular projects", and scroll down the list to the bottom. That's about the only way you can find most of the projects on Kickstarter from the site itself. And you'll find a bunch of them down there with hours left and $0 in funding. It's probably not something that's going to be particularly useful for getting attention, unless you already have attention. And even then, only if you can provide something that people want that you don't already have. If it's just a project to get the site more attention, you probably won't have many people willing to back it, or spread the word about backing it.

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Re: Using Kickstarter for a website?

Postby lizkatz » Sun May 13, 2012 4:00 pm UTC

Kickstarter is awesome but as others have pointed out you first need a following of your own to bring people to it. it isn't a voice in itself

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Re: Using Kickstarter for a website?

Postby Роберт » Tue May 15, 2012 7:52 pm UTC

It might help if it was more obvious how that site was supposed to work. I clicked random and got a page that I was supposed to guess what the song represented. But I have no idea how I was supposed to hear the song. Is there a player hidden somewhere that I'm supposed to find and click?

(Firefox)
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Re: Using Kickstarter for a website?

Postby Hofstadter'sLaw » Tue May 15, 2012 11:51 pm UTC

Роберт wrote:It might help if it was more obvious how that site was supposed to work. I clicked random and got a page that I was supposed to guess what the song represented. But I have no idea how I was supposed to hear the song. Is there a player hidden somewhere that I'm supposed to find and click?

(Firefox)


A player comes up for me (Internet Explorer).

I can see why the page is labeled "random" (it gives you a random song, using a one-word label on the button looks good next to all the other one-word labeled buttons). But I probably wouldn't have clicked on it without reading Роберт's post, unless I was interested enough to click on every button on the site, since "random" doesn't mean much. Maybe you could think of a better word to describe it? "Interact"? maybe? =/

Twelfthroot wrote:All I've done so far was to post the site on my Facebook, xkcd, and one other forum. I'm not sure where to go -- where do people interested in the intersection of music, language, and semantics/philosophy hang out? Given the relatively small number of people who have found the site, I have managed to find a handful expressing genuine interest and participating, so I'm pretty sure the audience exists, I just don't know where or how to reach it.

If anyone believes the concept is just flawed or poorly executed, I really would appreciate being told so, especially if you have an idea as to how to make it viable. I don't want to waste too much time trying to grow something that had no hope to start with.


Some ideas: Maybe you could join some music forums, get active in them, and message a few people or put a link in your profile/signature? Are you in college? You could ask a music professor to mention the site to his students, or you could get permission to post fliers around campus. You could make up a patch to put on your bag/backpack, or make up a t-shirt. (I had patches on my backpack in college, and people would ask me about them occasionally, so people were obviously reading them.) If you have a little bit of money, you could buy a prize (say a $20 iTunes giftcard) and have a contest for whoever gets the most new members (that post at least one music clip) or something. These things won't get a ton of new members, but they might help a little. =/

I'm not really into music, so the site isn't something I'd contribute to myself, but I could see myself spending some time on it once in a while. (Seems fun and relaxing, and it's a cool/novel idea overall.)

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Re: Using Kickstarter for a website?

Postby Twelfthroot » Sat Jun 02, 2012 1:44 am UTC

Oh hey, didn't notice this thread had gotten a few more posts. I'd since realized Kickstarting wasn't going to work and turned my attention to other projects, figuring if I still wanted to run with MeaningInMusic in the future I'd try to spread it once I'd managed to actually gain a following for something else. I really like the idea, but I'd rather spend brainstorming power on thinking of new projects then on trying to force something that didn't take off. But many thanks for the feedback / encouragement.

Hm, I see what you mean about random being unclear. Perhaps 'guess" might be a better title.

Robert: What version of Firefox? I've tested on a few browsers over a few versions and never not had the player show up. It's supposed to appear in the white rounded rectangle along with the title and author.

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Re: Using Kickstarter for a website?

Postby SurgicalSteel » Sat Jun 02, 2012 1:54 am UTC

I'm on firefox 12.0 and I also don't get a player. I just get a black bar, which when I right click gives me the quicktime player context menu.
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Twelfthroot
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Re: Using Kickstarter for a website?

Postby Twelfthroot » Sat Jun 02, 2012 3:28 am UTC

Huh. I'm also on Firefox 12.0 and it works for me.

Can anyone reading this perhaps recommend a better way to embed a sound file + player than an <embed> in an <object>?


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