Welcome to our weekly feature, “Question Of The Week.” As you can tell from that entirely original title each week we pose a question to our panel and they chime in with their opinions. No one sees one another’s responses until the story is posted, so each contributors thoughts are their own. Responses are posted in no particular order.
And remember, as with all editorials, the views expressed in this editorial are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of Cliqist.com.
The question of the week for the week of 4/20/14 is :
Kickstarter just tripled their number of subcategories. Is this good or bad?
I think it’s a great way for people to find what they’re looking for more easily, but it does have a downside. A big part of what i like about Kickstarter is how I discover new ideas. Let’s say I’m really into video games, but I have a passing interest in tabletop games (which isn’t true, I love tabletop games…). If I was simply browsing the former “Games” section of Kickstarter, I’d be exposed to really cool tabletop game ideas that I didn’t even know I wanted, even if I wasn’t looking for them. Now, if you’re sure of your tastes enough to browse a single section more often than not, you won’t see all the cool stuff that you never knew you wanted. I think it will strengthen individual fanbases, but it won’t expand them. People will feel a greater sense of community being completely immersed in their own category, but they won’t join new communities that they’d normally join when they find something new that they love.
In a way this could be a big help because people can hone in on the categories they really care about without any clutter. However, a huge increase in categories could cause some unexpected issues. What comes to mind for me is the fact that now many games might get lost in the shuffle of subcategories. Kickstarter will need to beef up its showcasing of cool new projects from each subcategory to go along with this change. With that said, Kickstarter has never really had a great search function so hopefully this tweak causes them to retool it.
Adam Clark via Kicktraq
I think it’s great for some of the categories that have been muddied in the past. As an example, Playing Cards has gone crazy over the past couple years on Kickstarter and there’s not been a good place for those projects. Some went under design, some under games, some under tabletop. Not sure Games is the right place, but having any place for projects like this is a good thing. I think categories like music & film will benefit from this as well, but time will tell. I think we will see that more granular categories will help projects more than dilute.
Adam is the founder of Kicktraq, the go-to place for learning about new Kickstarter projects and their performance. Be sure to check out Kicktraq for more Kickstarter numbers than your brain can handle.
I’m not a fan of it, and not just because change scares me. Given how poor the search mechanism on Kickstarter is more categories will just confuse matters even more. I think in theory more categories is good, and I’m sure it sounded great in the meeting they had where everyone’s voice was heard, but the more options you give people the more confusing things get for the end user. Look at cell phone plans. For people that are savvy a huge variety of plans with lots of options is great, but for everyday people they’re a nightmare; which is why plans have been getting simpler as time goes on. Project creators will like the new categories, but backers are going to have a harder time finding and understanding them.
Thanks to everyone that participated! Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments. Be sure to let us know if you have any questions you’d like us to answer in future editions of Question of the Week! be sure to check out some of our previous editions as well.
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