We are excited to announce that major upgrades will be coming to BackerClub soon! For the past 8 months, our team has worked tirelessly to envision a new experience for the users of our website and develop – from scratch – a new platform to deliver our ideas. In this article, we’ll briefly cover the upcoming changes and what they mean for you.
Special Perks – A Shift In Strategy
One of our primary goals at BackerClub has always been to support our members to the best of our abilities. From performing additional research on the viability of certain campaigns, to fulfilling special perks on our dime when the creator goes silent, we genuinely have our members’ interests at the forefront of our actions.
Because of this, we have decided a shift is needed in the way we handle Special Perks for our community. To date, there have been a significant number of complications with Special Perks due to the fact that it’s in the creator’s hands to carry out and accurately fulfill the rewards promised to our members. Unfortunately, as we have seen countless times in the crowdfunding industry on the whole, some creators lack integrity, which leads to Special Perks going undelivered or severely delayed.
On top of this, it has become increasingly more difficult to work with the Kickstarter website on a server-to-server basis. In early 2021, Kickstarter deployed sophisticated anti-bot technology that prohibits traffic from the vast majority of bots – including “good” ones like ours that follow their prior requirements of engagement. This means a key piece of functionality – identifying when a BackerClub member has pledged for a project on the Club – has become impractical at scale. Unfortunately, the Kickstarter team has refused to offer any support, and combined with the lack of a proper api, our hands are tied. Thus, attempting to handle Kickstarter Special Perks in our traditional, per-pledge fashion, is futile. If we can’t keep track of BackerClub member pledges on Kickstarter, it’s unfeasible to handle Special Perks that are tied to a pledge.
Therefore, BackerClub will be shifting to a Special Perk strategy where the perks are fulfilled by us instead of the creator.
Reward Points and Prizes
With the launch of our new website, BackerClub members will be rewarded for certain actions they perform – activities like viewing a project, liking/disliking it, leaving comments, and providing pre-launch campaign feedback via a new Survey service we’ll be offering to creators. Each member will accrue reward points that will then impact their odds of winning various prizes arranged by the BackerClub team. To begin, prizes will consist of cash lotteries, 100% pledge refunds for your most recent contribution to a BackerClub campaign, and giveaways sponsored by creators (but performed in a way that puts the control of the reward in our hands). We’ll host these prize drawings on a frequent interval (~monthly) where the winners are picked at random, but on a linear reward-points-weighted basis (in other words: having 20 reward points for the drawing will give you double the odds of winning vs. 10 points).
We believe this new structure will provide an exciting aspect to our community involvement (after all, who wouldn’t want to win $1,000 for supporting crowdfunding campaigns!?) while simultaneously ensuring that our members receive the “special perks” they are promised.
IndieGoGo Secret Perks
A quick note: in a future update, we may be able to provide BackerClub members with a Special Perk for a specific Indiegogo project by continuing to utilize Indiegogo’s “secret perk” functionality. This means, for Indiegogo specifically, traditional Special Perks of the discount, freebies, etc. types may be offered by the creator and rewarded with a pledge to the “secret perk” on the campaign.
What This Means Today
In preparation of switching to our new website platform, you will begin seeing projects on BackerClub that do not have the traditional Special Perk offering or message from the creator. Instead, we will reiterate these upcoming changes in the message area. Furthermore:
- All projects currently on the Club that have a special perk from the creator will remain like normal.
- The project with the latest end date that has a special perk from the creator (Shadeeco) will end on September 11th, 2021. In other words, this will be the last date that any “traditional” special perks exist in the Club.
- We aim to have our first giveaway, under the new special perk strategy, rewarded on September 21st, 2021. More info about this giveaway will come in a future post.
An Entirely New Website
In order to pull off the ideas we have for the future of our community, we concluded that a complete re-write of our web platform was in order. Although it’s no small feat, our new platform is based on modern technologies and high quality development practices, providing the foundation for a secure, performant, and rapidly updateable user experience as we continue to unveil valuable features for our users.
A few of the major features we plan to have at, and shortly after, launch:
- Ability to associate multiple funding campaigns to a single project record to accurately represent a situation where a project is funded on Kickstarter and then subsequently on Indiegogo (or vice versa).
- Like + dislike widget
- Tags and categories for enhanced searching.
- Native comments with rich formatting capabilities.
- BackerClub original content that provides an alternative perspective on the campaign.
- (Future) “Ratings” widget that allows users to assess a project based on several factors (things like innovation, sustainability, viability, etc.) and provide reasons for their ratings.
- (Future) Investigation / due diligence reports – a dedicated area to highlight the research, questions, and answers the BackerClub staff obtained during the application & review process for the project.
- (Future) If possible, we’d love to expand into other fundraising platforms. Perhaps drop.com, equity crowdfunding opportunities, etc.
- As mentioned in the Special Perks section above, we’ll be hosting numerous drawings throughout the year to reward our active members. This section of the website will display the drawings, the prizes up for grabs, the winners, etc.
(Future) Campaign Feedback Surveys
- A process where creators can preview their campaign to our users and request various points of feedback in hopes of optimizing their campaign content, pricing, etc. This will be similar to the “Feedback for Giveaway” on the Forum previously.
- Users that participate in the survey are rewarded points that goes toward the next drawing of prizes (see Special Perk section above).
- This feature is about 70% complete already, so it should be available shortly after launch.
(Future) BackerHack Gigs
- Do you know a thing or two that could help creators with their campaign as an independent consultant? This section of our website will enable creators to post job listings where members can assist (and get paid for) with a crowdfunding campaign. Furthermore, it’ll enable users to post several “gigs” for themselves – ie, open calls for jobs they are capable of performing that creators can browse through.
Summary and closing notes
The coming months will be host to the most significant changes the BackerClub website (and business) has had since its inception. We can’t wait for you to check it out, and we look forward to the growth it’ll support for our community going forward. If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to write us something below!