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 7/13/14 is :
What’s your opinion of the Potato Salad Kickstarter?
Well, to be honest, I thought it was outright hilarious when I first read about it and skimmed over the Kickstarter. Reaching around $5K for it was a bit much but still in the area of funny. A guy just wanting to make a potato salad and he only needs $10, that’s weird, lazy, and kind of awesome.
But now that it has exceeded $50K, it’s gone too far. Way too far. At the time of writing this, he never posted anything about donating a chunk of the money or contributing it to any sort of food bank/charity. Given, people have suggested it but it says a lot about his character to not even include those options when he offered backing options in the hundreds when he first launched the campaign. The fact he included those tells me he considered the possibility of it blowing up. And you know what? It would. People love quirky, oddball ideas and usually the simplest of things will circulate around the internet for being different and humorous. When you get down to it, a lot of that money should be put forth to charities, community help, or getting involved with some food-related association to help those in need. This campaign has turned into a greedy, outrageous misuse of crowdfunding and the Kickstarter website itself and Kickstarter ought to kick things into gear and make an example of him.
Besides, why would you turn to the internet for a month of funding to make a potato salad when you can earn the money a different way? You don’t need that money. Get off that website. Now. It’s just bringing in a bunch of greedy people that want to abuse a helpful system trying to be funny (maybe?) and scam some money off of people. I’m making a pizza. I’m making a potato salad making game. I’m boiling an egg. It really shows an ugly side of people that downright disgusts me.
On a positive note, Kickstarter already had a lot of attention prior to this campaign but this is getting Kickstarter and various crowdfunding projects more attention. Someone could be skimming over the potato campaign or one of its scammy brethren and decide to explore other categories and options on the website. Inadvertently, this jerk is actually attracting some attention to other campaigns in need, and for that – at least something good came out of this, technically.
-Drops microphone- Julie out.
There are really two parts of me that have two completely opposite opinions on this. One half of my brain thinks that there are literally thousands of projects more deserving of the current amount pledged to potato salad, and this half of my brain is sick to its stomach that Potato Salad is getting all this attention. Yes, this side of my brain has a stomach. The other side of my brain has a stomach too, but that brain-belly is hungry for potato salad. This half of my brain also loves the sheer insanity and chaos that has allowed this to happen, and it’s an interesting social phenomena. I haven’t pledged any money to Potato Salad, but you can bet your ass I’ll be attending the Potato Salad party in Ohio. Nothing on this Earth will stop me. So I guess that’s where I stand with this whole thing. Seriously, though, stop giving your money to stupid stuff like this. Thousands of amazing artists and game developers need your five dollars way more than Zack Danger Brown.
In theory I find the potato salad Kickstarter harmless because many people are participating out of the sheer ridiculousness. Everyone knows what they’re paying into, basically. However, on a more serious level this obviously helps pave the way for more “projects” that do not really fit within Kickstarer’s rules. That’s not to say this is the first time it has happened but it is certainly generating a lot of press.
Another problem with this Kickstarter is the sheer lack of knowledge about Kickstarting by the team. At the $3 tier they promise some 900 backers a bite of the potato salad. Does that mean they will ship potato salad out to all those people for $3? Not likely, although they suggest they’re working on it. Many backers will revoke funding before this ends because they don’t really want to donate money to nothing. Even so, the only news everyday people will see is “two guys fund potato salad for lots of money” and think they can do the same. I’d love to see Kickstarter take rule-breaking projects down but since they make a percentage of funds, well, I can see why they’re lenient about this one…
Meloney Buehl – via Kicktraq
I think it’s an interesting illustration of how the new non-curated projects can impact the community and their perception of the platform. It may seem silly, but if you’re going to open the gates to anything, you just have to let the crowd decide if it wants to fund silly things (even potato salad).
Meloney is the Jack of all Trades at Kicktraq, the go-to place for learning about new Kickstarter projects and their performance. Be sure to check out Kicktraq for tons of Kickstarter related news and numbers.
Believe it or not I do have a sense of humor, even though it may not seem like it in a moment.
The Potato Salad Kickstarter, and other novelty campaigns like it, are a slippery slope. Sure, you could argue that its taking money away from people that actually need it, or go the other way and say that everyone should just relax and let the money go where people want it to go. However, looking into my crystal ball, Kickstarter is going to very quickly find itself being a more crowded version of IndieGogo before too long if it’s not careful. Tons of sketchy projects that are nothing more than digital panhandling. Non-fans already argue that crowdfunding is nothing more than online begging, but if you compare the wasteland of junk found on IndieGogo to what you typically find on Kickstarter it’s easy to see that things could be much worse. Unfortunately projects like Potato Salad only serve to speed the process along; and cement in people’s minds what they think they already know.
Have a question you’d like our panel to answer? Post it below, or email firstname.lastname@example.org with your toughest crowdfunding questions!
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