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ysabetwordsmith in crowdfunding

Progress Meters

Several folks have mentioned that they like progress meters, tickers, widgets that show how much money has been donated toward a project or word count written.  Pretty much any goal can be tracked with these tools. You put the thing on your project page, and depending on the model, either it updates automatically or you change it manually.  This gives your donors a sense of accomplishment when they make a donation and see the number ring up, which can encourage people to give more.  aldersprig mentioned that progress meters can be found for free on the web, so I looked up some resources.

[EDIT 7-22-11] NOTE: dreamwriteremmy commented on my blog that ticker graphics are not very accessible. If you use one, please consider including a text tally for people who can't see the graphic image. Some tickers may be enabled for interface with assistance software but you'd have to check that.

The main crowdfunding hubs, such as IndieGoGo and Kickstarter, have amount tracking as a standard feature on their project page; there's a place that tells about the progress toward goal.  ChipIn offers a Flash widget that automatically updates funds received.  I've seen artists with multiple webcomics set up a competition with a ChipIn widget for each series, and the one that gets the most donations will get a free wallpaper drawn for it.

Some websites offer progress meters of various types.  Writertopia offers a plain bar and a customizable cartoon writer, for tracking wordcount.  ProgPress is one of several ticker plug-ins built for WordPress.  StoryToolz offers a simple wordcount meter.  Fundraiser Insight provides several free thermometers in different styles, vertical and horizontal.  TickerFactory lets you customize tickers for all different kinds of things -- fundraising, deadlines, etc.

It's also possible to create your own progress meter from scratch.  That takes more work for the coding (or a volunteer to do it for you) but can be unique and perfectly matched to your project.

Creators: Do you use progress meters?  If so, how well do they work for you?
Patrons: Do you like or dislike progress meters?  Why?

Comments

Meters Customized To Your Specifications For Your Projects!


As I mentioned on the post that inspired this one, I can take commissions for simple, easy to edit Meters. I can make them with either The GIMP, Paint Tool SAI, or OpenCanvas, with instructions on how to change, upload, and post it as needed.

These can go for as little as $5, depending on what you want. Feel free to either PM me here, or email me at thisthatand AT hotmail DOT com for commission inquiries.

For just a basic one to update by hand, html and css suffices.

Well, for one you update by hand, the most basic would be a bit of html and css...
The "width:200px" at the start if for total size, and the "width:60%" for how far along you are.

<div style="width:200px;border: black solid 1px;height:1em"><div style="background:blue; width:60%"> </div></div>

 
As a patron, I like progress meters. It helps me know whether the creator is making his or her goals, and it's one more way for me to learn about the crowdfunding process.

I recently saw someone mention being a data packrat. Is there a 12-step program for that? Hello, my name is LaffingKat, and I obsessively gather information, but I'm happy to share. :)

Thoughts

>>It helps me know whether the creator is making his or her goals, and it's one more way for me to learn about the crowdfunding process. <<

That's interesting to know. It is cool to see someone meeting their goals.

>>I recently saw someone mention being a data packrat. Is there a 12-step program for that? <<

Nah, it's like chocolate: nobody wants to quit. *grin* I'm an information attractor and dispensary. I pull in as much data as I can, collate it, and re-release it in convenient forms.

As a patron, I like watching data in other people's projects because sometimes it helps me figure out how to use them better. As a creator, I need the information about my own projects to know what's working and what's not, and give me ideas for new things to try.
I always feel like I don't collect enough data about what works and what doesn't for my projects.

Well...

It depends on the project, what kind of data it will generate; and on the creator, what kind of data you want and can use.

I try to collect a lot for my Poetry Fishbowl, but sometimes I still find things that I want to start tracking. Last month it was "largest number of new series started." When I first began the project, I made a good educated guess what I'd want and need. That helped. But you never think of everything right away.

My tracking did let me spot the summer slump, so I've put more effort into boosting activity in the summers. I was also able to figure out that Monday or Tuesday worked better than other days.

I highly recommend the Three Micahs installment on "Tracking."
http://mcahogarth.blogspot.com/2010/05/metrics-part-1-tracking.html