About Gittip – “crowdfunding site”

Well, it may be little shabby that I want to write about something that already exists for a particular time and got more or less quite decent attention after all. Gittip calls itself a crowdfunding site. Most often, somebody finds out about Gittip when wandering around a popular blog/website of an IT guy, programmer, blogger or any other recognized community influencer. It doesn’t stop someones from inserting a Gittip widget on his site, but a counter of 0,0$ received may look disappointing at some point.

The main idea of the portal are bi-diretional money transfers, and secondly, sending money to someone you admire to support him.

On the main page, you have a choice of searching a person by pointing to a GitHub or Twitter or a BitBucket user, or browsing the Gittip community (still, you could just have clicked a widget before, so omit this step).

What strikes me is the fact that statistics are shown basing on the “per week”. Gittip states that

2,700 users are exchanging $12,700 per week

And there are more artists than technology evangelists. Well, maybe those tech guys don’t have problems with funding their ideas at all.

To sum up, I would seriously discuss the the interpretation of Gittip as a “crowdfunding site”, maybe because in my interpretation, crowdfunding is limited to projects, not persons, and projects have a feature of a close time of existence from point A to ->B (which is maturity, product lunch, etc.)


Kickstarted most active users

kickstarter logo

Kickstarter is a crowdfunding platform. The company’s stated mission is to help bring creative projects to life. Kickstarter claims it has received over $1 billion in pledges from 5.7 million donors to fund 135,000 projects

1. Introduction

Kickstarter.com is a modern responsive internet portal, but it can be also understood as a society of backers – they are users which can be identified as simply altruists devoting their time and money for the sake of different startups* registered as Kickstarter-projects. Anyone can create a project (startup) on the portal, for which users are pledging money (collected upon successful amount pledged).

Kickstarter is also a:
multi-dimensional social network (mdsn)

Users registered on the portal have a possibility to give their Facebook account id

a good source of start-up language and a rich English text corpus

All projects are by obligation described in English language, and it’s a lingua franca here on this portal.

semi-collaborative network

Kickstarter users can share ideas and tips between them and project owners.

possible competition and attention attracting medium

2. What are the micromotives of backing a project?

The mainstream thinking is that a user is interested mostly in helping a project to happen by adding a small share to the fund, and a reward is a think of second importance. On the other hand, an open secret is an obvious hand that crowdfunding sites can be understood as gadget shops with delayed shipping. Items with a bargain price are disappearing from the list of available perks really really fast.

2. Creating list of active Kickstarter backers

One of the main goals can be creating a table of “most active Kickstarter backers”, updated annually, let’s say every month. Similar data pages exists on other portals, i.e. GitHub (www.github.com). Such statistic would be generated basing on number of contributions. According to this definition, to get to the top of list a user should back as many projects as possible (amount of pledge is not important here). It’s not possible publicly to get amount of money which a backer pledged on a project. Still, these are the available data per project:

– Number of backers
– List of backers
– Total money pledged
– Number of backers per reward (reward have a description text and a minimum pledge amount in project currency).

Please note, that a backer can pledge money (back a project) without getting a reward, thus total number of backers per reward is less or equals to total number of backers. By visiting user profile, it’s possible to get a list of projects he backed.

2.1 Side problems and interests

2.1.1 Guessing amount of pledge inside a project
2.1.2 Language analysis Redefine the “start-up specific language” How text and language used affects success Create a corpus
2.1.3 Moaarrr statistics

Kickstarter.com provides some statistics publicly on website http://www.kickstarter.com/help/stats
There are many interesting problems which are still unresearched by portal workers neither scientists (regarding my best knowledge).

2.1.4 Predicting success – how ?
2.1.5 Overmeeting goals (overpledging) – start-up gets more money than they thought…
2.1.6 Try to create a Multi-layered multidimensional social network (GitHub + Kickstarter + LinkedIn…)

3. Data download
HTML crawling?
Above is a sample standard URL address to one of the Kickstarter projects. Visiting webpage http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/393112334/ ends with 404 error.
Kickstarter API?

* startup, not start-up or start up [http://www.feld.com/wp/archives/2012/12/its-startup-not-start-up-or-start-up.html]