Archive for July 12th, 2012

Unrelated: Bees and Kickstarter

Two unrelated items.

First, I mentioned in my post about the big storm that both our beehives were knocked over by a falling branch, and have since gotten questions about how the bees are. We reassembled the hives on the spot, but weren’t able to take a full look at the hives until this past weekend. I can report that both queens were spotted (get it, it’s a pun because queen bees are typically marked with a spot of paint) during the inspection, so all the branch did (to the bees at least) was put a massive dent in one of our outer covers and riled up the hives. They’ve been devouring sugar water at a high rate of speed, but that’s a good thing at this stage. Got to get the stores together to overwinter.

For now, we’re filling up the feeder jars as quickly as the bees empty them, both otherwise letting them live their lives. Once we saw both queens, we removed any need to go deeper into the hives for the next few weeks.

Second, anyone who follows Kickstarter is probably aware of the controversial new project wherein Penny Arcade is using the site to raise $250k (though they’re really looking for $1million) in order to remove all advertising from their site. No one has asked, but I still wanted to share my thoughts on the project.

Thought the first. I don’t believe this is within the spirit of Kickstarter. I’m not going to say that Kickstarter should only be for the unknown and unheralded, it shouldn’t. I’ve seen many established products and brands use the site as an end-round of the games making process (such as for Double Fine and Ogre) or drives to fund reprints (such as for Order of the Stick). However, the Penny Arcade project strikes me more as a company seeking business expenses, not creating a product. As quoted from the Kickstarter guidelines:

A project has a clear goal, like making an album, a book, or a work of art. A project will eventually be completed, and something will be produced by it. A project is not open-ended. Starting a business, for example, does not qualify as a project.

I can’t help but wonder if the name “Penny Arcade” is what got this project green lit by Kickstarter. Obviously I don’t know Kickstarter’s reasoning, and I won’t pretend that I have an encyclopedic enough knowledge of past Kickstarters to know the precedents. However, in spite of my thoughts on whether it should or shouldn’t be within Kickstarter’s guidelines, I’m not joining the outrage because…

Thought the second. I don’t believe that Kickstarter is a zero-sum game. That is to say, I don’t believe there’s a set amount of money that is going to be donated to projects on a given day, and that the Penny Arcade project is taking money out of the mouths of projects that are less ambiguous about their adherence to policy. The people who are donating the Penny Arcade are donating to Penny Arcade. Hell, it could even be a net positive if people are funding a Kickstarter for the first time, and finding other projects while browsing around the site.

There’s one exception to the zero-sum issue, the staff picks. Currently the Penny Arcade project is taking one of the three Staff Pick spots within the Comics section, an exposure that it clearly doesn’t need. So do I think that it’s strictly within the rules? No. Do I think that makes it inherently a bad thing? No.

But I’m just me.

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