Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote in crowdfunding,
Elizabeth Barrette

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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?
Tags: cyberfunded creativity, economics, how to, spotlight

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