How to Save Thousands of Dollars a Year


Okay, I'm miffed.

I'm annoyed, bordering on angry, actually. Not really any REAL reason to be, but I am.

See, I was a huge Kickstarter fan. Like over 700 projects backed huge Kickstarter fan. At one point, I was the 57th most prolific backer at Kickstarter.

And then they refused a project of a friend of mine. Said project had one reward in particular that was specifically for me, so that I could commemorate my 700th backed project with a reward from her. And Kickstarter refused to host the project. Well, 100% fuck that.

I pretty much only back project when people personally contact me with an obviously non-form email.

And THEN they come out with this Superbacker moniker for people who have backed a LOT of projects like "OVER TWO HUNDRED PROJECTS."

Guess who doesn't have said Superbacker status?


Completely misses the point


So, apparently there's a mail service where you can have postcards printed in bulk and mailed out, with various APIs, all without getting your hands dirty at all.

Nominally, this is great: using technology to solve problems is a wonderful past time. I encourage this.

For Kickstarter projects, however, no.

No, no, no, no, no.

Part of the allure, charm, lure of Kickstarter is the connection the project owners make to the backers. Sure, there's an monetary contract between the backer and the project owner, but there's a social one, too. And that social one demands a personal touch. That personal touch means to me, "Write the postcard to me" not "Automate the process so that you have no connection to me whatsoever."

Sure, there are projects with tens of thousands of backers. For the most part, those projects are from companies, and for those projects, I suspect the rewards don't include anything close to "hand written postcard saying thanks!" in the rewards. I don't particularly connect with those projects. I don't receive emails from them asking them how I got into airplane restoration (I haven't, I just loved the sound of your project), or if I'd like tickets to a spring training game since the project people expect to be working on the barn I just backed (how cool is that?).

For the companies, backing their project is an economic motivation: I want the reward.

For the individuals and small groups, backing their projects is a social and selfish motivation: I want them to succeed. I want them to realize their dream. I want them to make their lives and others' lives better by completing their projects, making something that didn't exist before.

For those projects, I don't want some printed postcard from some online service. I want to connect with the project. I want to smile, knowing I helped you.

So, no.

No no no no no. Don't use this service if you have a Kickstarter project where you're thanking people with postcards. Send me a postcard.

Know what? You don't even need a Kickstarter project to do that.

Kickstarter thanks


It's the little things that amuse me. From a kickstarter project I backed:

I may have a problem


Backing Overload


I should probably pay attention to the projects I back on Kickstarter just a little bit better.

Yay for email notifications.

Skallops, another Kickstarter backing


Managed to make it completely through December without backing a single Kickstarter project. I find that both good (didn't spend money - go go go austerity program go!) and sad (didn't help someone towards their goal).

Broke that streak today:

It's from Evan Murphy and Michael Woods, of trebuchette fame, and fellow Tech alums, along with Marshall Grinstead, also a Tech alum.

Kinda excited about this. I'm mostly excited about building things with H & L with them, move away from passive games into deliberate creativity and making things.

Related: FIRST!

Kickstarted Paper Punk project!


Another Kickstarter project coming along!

This one is PAPER PUNK - paper building blocks for your imagination, by Grace Hawthorne.

The short description:

WHAT IS PAPER PUNK Paper Punk is a system of paper blocks that allow you to create spectacular looking paper toys and art forms with a few simple folds. Consider Paper Punk as building blocks for your imagination. It’s easy to use (everything you need is included) and very educational (spatial and dimensional thinking, motor skills, math, science, etc.) What I love most about Paper Punk is that it’s BEAUTIFUL and FUN.

My description:

Paper! Awesome!

Grace sent me a little teaser about the project.

I'll tell you: I can't wait!

Olloclip FTW



I received the Kickstarter-backed olloclip today. The first thing I did, of course, was TRY IT OUT.

It took me longer to unwrap the clip from the packaging that it did to install it on my iphone. It consists of a mount and two lenses: a macro lens and a fisheye lens. Fortunately, the packaging came with instructions, too, so I knew what the heck I was doing:

I didn't figure out the wide angle lens, but the fisheye and macro, oh yes, I figured those out might quickly.

And had a great time with it.

OpenPhoto community site work


Last week while I was preparing for my Open Web Camp talk, Jaison of OpenPhoto (all these opens! so exciting!) commented on twitter that he was "Looking for a good / free hosted forum solution with FB/TW login." I offered a Drupal install, but wasn't quite quick enough to prevent a Facebook Group creation. I may have begged him not to go the Facebook route, but really my personal preferences shouldn't be a deciding factor for his project.

Unless I offer to do the hard work.

Which I did.

The talk took a bit out of me last week, so needed some time to recover. I started working on the site yesterday, and let Jaisen have at it today as I tweaked the theme and started the setup of a number the desired features.

I have to said, the Omega theme has become my new favorite Drupal theme to work from. I know that Doyle uses it on his work projects, but didn't realize just how awesome it is. It uses the 960 grid system, helping me become a bigger fan. But really, being able to create child themes with drush? WIN.

So, I installed Drupal, created a child theme, updated it to match the OpenPhoto site look and feel. There are a couple more changes that need to happen, along with a few more updates and some configurations that need tweaking.

I'm excited about the site, and hope that it'll work for Jaisen. It's nice to work on a project that, well, I'm really really excited about.

Fieldnotes from Kickstarter project!


My Fieldnotes journal reward for supporting SafeCast on Kickstarter.

Whoo! Because, you know, I love paper.