Kickstarter: The Missing FAQ

(Figured I’d write this up while it was still fresh in my head…)

If you’re doing a Kickstarter project, you’re going to run into weird issues, and none of them are going to be covered in Kickstarter’s FAQ. They seem to have removed anything even vaguely technical from their FAQ so that it doesn’t look scary. Sigh. Well, here’s some Q’s we had, along with their A’s. Hope it helps somebody get their dream funded!

Q: I embedded a movie in an update, but it doesn’t show up in the preview! It’s just a blank box! Will it really work if I send the update?

A: Yes. It will be shown embedded on your kickstarter updates webpage, and it will be sent as a plaintext link in the update email.

Q: How do I get the Rewards to be formatted well?

A: You don’t. It removes all formatting, even line breaks! This is why reward lists are always so hard to read on Kickstarter.

Q: The Kickstarter dashboard says most of my pledges are coming from email. But I didn’t send very many emails! WTF?

A: The problem is that you used a URL that ended in &from=email. Kickstarter tells you to “email your friends” and provides you with that link. It doesn’t explain that anything using that link will be treated as coming from email! Never use that for anything but email solicitations. For posting elsewhere on the web, just remove the &from=email part.

Tip: don’t make up other “from” values either! We figured our blog should have “from=blog”… well, that worked… but it was displayed as the Kickstarter blog, not our blog. This made the reports a bit confusing, because Kickstarter kept claiming credit for helping us get all those people from our own blog.

Just leave the “from” bit off entirely if you’re not sure. It will show the referring website’s URL by default (so our blog would have shown up as eldergame.com, which would have been fine).

Q: I’m setting up my project and I want to add FAQ questions to the project page, but I can’t figure out how!

A: You can’t add FAQ questions until your Kickstarter is live. Then there will be a link on the main page. (Not in the Edit area!)

However, in our experience, nobody reads the project FAQ — it’s too isolated and hard to find. So don’t expect that to be a main way to convey information.

If you need to add FAQ questions after you launch, you should also post them in an Update.

Q: Some people have cool shortened URLs that start with kck.st … how do I get a Kickstarter vanity URL?

A: Go to bit.ly and paste in your Kickstarter URL. The shortened URL you receive will automatically use the kck.st domain. (This same URL will also be used in automatic tweets and facebook posts that are sent out when people back your project.)

Q: Help! The text-box for Project Updates keeps locking up!

A: That’s because Kickstarter’s text-editor is really very bad. (But it’s not like that’s the most important part of the website or anything…) If your browser locks up, you’re pasting too much text into the Updates window at once. Instead, paste the text in small chunks, about three or four paragraphs at a time.

And no, there’s no way to retain your text’s formatting, you’ll have to reformat the text after you paste it in.

 

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2 Responses to Kickstarter: The Missing FAQ

  1. Scoboose says:

    That just sounds horrible.

  2. Wow, thank you. I was going crazy trying to figure out how to create a FAQ.