GOOD

Localizing Kickstarter: Mapping Mashup Helps Keep Cash Close to Home

ThingsWeStart brings geo logic to Kickstarter data with mapping and alerts for potential donors of nearby projects.

How do you decide which creative projects to back on crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter? Are you compelled by a unique story? Do you just donate to your friends? Or do you like to support projects that bring money and impact back to your hometown?


If you're inclined to think local, you're not alone, according to Justin Wilcox, a software developer who interviewed Kickstarter backers to gain insight into their perferences. “There was a real desire [among interviewees] to send more of their money and more of their investments locally,” says Wilcox. "Kickstarter has some rudimentary capabilities to find projects around you"—like searching by city—"but we saw a need, an interest, to develop that to much more depth.”

For example, looking for projects under the cateogry 'New York City' won't necssarily turn up projects tagged as Brooklyn. If you live in Los Angeles and want to support projects there, Kickstarter will surface the ones inside the city limits only, not even if they're in contiguous communities like West Hollywood or Pasadena. It's difficult to connect with projects in your area, regardless of how municipal boundaries are defined.

A few months ago, Wilcox began collaborating with a few other developers to build a website that could grab Kickstarter data and plot it geographically, so anyone could locate all the projects in their area on a map—similar to what PadMapper did with Craigslist data, before Craigslist cut them off. The team named the project ThingsWeStart and launched it to the public yesterday.

Those who want to support local projects—or more specifically, local design or food projects, for example—can use ThingWeStart to sign up for email notifications whenever a project of that ilk launches. Or they can just explore the project-tagged map as a new way to discover the lastest in creative local ideas. Wilcox believes that adding a layer of geographical organization could potentially support an expanded set of Kickstarter users—whose projects are great but whose social networks are small.

“Basically, the only way to get your project funded now on Kickstarter is if you do all the legwork of publishing out via Facebook, social media that your project is happening—or if you go get press,” he says. But given the interest in supporting local projects, “It’d be cool if people could just put their project out there and get automatically matched with people interested in funding it. Even if they don’t have the media savvy to go and tell their story to everybody, if someone has said, 'I want to be notified about food projects in Seattle,' that organic food share will automatically be surfaced to them.”

Kickstarter doesn't ask users to submit their zip code or neighborhood, so ThingsWeStart can’t yet completely pinpoint a project's location in your city. But the website appears to be one of the first external sites to do something interesting with Kickstarter's increasingly large set of data—and hints at a future of more mashups of this kind.

Articles
via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

If you are totally ready to move on from Donald Trump, you're not alone. According to a report last April from the Wason Center National Survey of 2020 Voters, "President Trump will be the least popular president to run for reelection in the history of polling."

Yes, you read that right, "history of polling."

Keep Reading Show less
Politics
via Around the NFL / Twitter

After three years on the sidelines, Colin Kapernick will be working out for multiple NFL teams on Saturday, November 16 at the Atlanta Falcons facility.

The former 49er quarterback who inflamed the culture wars by peacefully protesting against social injustice during the national anthem made the announcement on Twitter Tuesday.

Kaepernick is scheduled for a 15-minute on-field workout and an interview that will be recorded and sent to all 32 teams. The Miami Dolphins, Dallas Cowboys, and Detroit Lions are expected to have representatives in attendance.

RELATED: Joe Namath Says Colin Kaepernick And Eric Reid Should Be Playing In The NFL

"We like our quarterback situation right now," Miami head coach, Brian Flores said. "We're going to do our due diligence."

NFL Insider Steve Wyche believes that the workout is the NFL's response to multiple teams inquiring about the 32-year-old quarterback. A league-wide workout would help to mitigate any potential political backlash that any one team may face for making an overture to the controversial figure.

Kapernick is an unrestricted free agent (UFA) so any team could have reached out to him. But it's believed that the interested teams are considering him for next season.

RELATED: Video of an Oakland train employee saving a man's life is so insane, it looks like CGI

Earlier this year, Kaepernick and Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid reached a financial settlement with the league in a joint collusion complaint. The players alleged that the league conspired to keep them out after they began kneeling during the national anthem in 2016.

Before the 2019 season, Kaepernick posted a video of himself working out on twitter to show he was in great physical condition and ready to play.

Kaepnick took the 49ers to the Super Bowl in 2012 and the NFC Championship game in 2013.

He has the 23rd-highest career passer rating in NFL history, the second-best interception rate, and the ninth-most rushing yards per game of any quarterback ever. In 2016, his career to a sharp dive and he won only of 11 games as a starter.

Culture

In the category of "claims to fame nobody wants," the United States can now add "exporter of white supremacist ideology" to its repertoire. Super.

Russell Travers, acting director of the National Counterterrorism Center, made this claim in a briefing at The Washington Institute in Washington, D.C. "For almost two decades, the United States has pointed abroad at countries who are exporters of extreme Islamist ideology," Travers said. "We are now being seen as the exporter of white supremacist ideology. That's a reality with which we are going to have to deal."

Keep Reading Show less

Between Alexa, Siri, and Google, artificial intelligence is quickly changing us and the way we live. We no longer have to get up to turn on the lights or set the thermostat, we can find the fastest route to work with a click, and, most importantly, tag our friends in pictures. But interacting with the world isn't the only thing AI is making easier – now we can use it save the world, too.

Keep Reading Show less
Good News