Finally! Our Funding Process Has Begu... wait. What?
Things I didn't think I'd be saying on day 1 of launching the Ghost Kickstarter campaign:
"It has been 12 hours since launch. We are 120% funded."
And yet, there I was - last night - saying those somewhat absurd words to my computer screen. I can't truly express how grateful I am to everyone who has supported this project so far. I know, most Kickstarter updates from project creators say the same thing... but I'm now beginning to understand why. It truly is a humbling experience.
Partners & Themes
I'm incredibly proud to announce that both WooThemes and Envato have joined the official Ghost Partner List. Please allow me 20 seconds to tell you why that's something you should be seriously excited about:
WooThemes are the single biggest WordPress themes company in the world. They have a reputation not just for making some of the best themes in the world, but also an incredible focus on design and quality. Best of all, they aren't just giving us money - they're converting a whole buch of Woo-Themes to Ghost-Themes.
Envato are the company behind many biggest things in the world when it comes to blogging and publishing. The Tutsplus Network, ThemeForest, CodeCanyon, Rockable Press... it's practically impossible that you haven't already run into their products. We will be working with Envato to establish a vibrant and healthy ecosystem around Ghost to reach as many end users as possible.
Stretch Goals & What's Next
A lot of people have been asking about stretch goals - so it's time to talk about the real, big picture vision for Ghost. The one that I'm really passionate about.
Here's the thing. I don't want to say something like "if we hit £100,000" everyone gets a t-shirt. Those things are lame. You didn't come here for a damn t-shirt - and I think, after raising £30,000 in 1 day, £100,000 isn't pushing the boundaries for a stretch goal. Stretch goals should... be a stretch.
There is the potential for this to turn into a very real, very tangible open source publishing movement that doesn't just affect small blogs. A movement of people who care about writing, publishing, journalism, and sustainable software. You already know that we won't be making any profit, if we make more money - we'll use 100% of it to make Ghost better.
So here's a stretch goal. One single, incredibly ambitious, stretch. It won't be easy, but I don't think it's out of the question.
If we hit £250,000 Ghost will be upgraded to the next level
First - Every single backer will receive 1 year free on our hosted service.
You'll have the full Ghost software with all bells, whistles, themes, plugins, and some extras that you wouldn't normally get if you hosted it elsewhere - things like automatic updates without needing to do anything, automatic backups, and really great support. You'll get this in addition to any amount of time already included for free on your current reward level.
Second - We will launch the Open Ghost Marketplace within the next 12 months
If we hit this level, we can fast track one of our longer term plans to upgrade the Ghost community website to enterprise level. Offering - in effect - an open source App Store to serve as the home for all Ghost themes, plugins and products. This will give all our users an incredibly easy place to go to find themes, plugins and products built on top of Ghost - and our developers an amazing place to release and market their products.
Third - We will build an Open Source Digital Magazine curating stories written with Ghost
This is where we commit to eating our own dog food. We're saying Ghost is going to be great for blogging? Let's create one of the world's best blogs. Think Medium - but completely decentralised. The code for the actual site will also be made public, allowing everyone to see, use, replicate, improve, and hack what we use to power it.
We'll do all of this, while remaining open source and non-profit.
It won't cost you anything extra, but only you can make this happen.
Stretch goals, by and large, are about just how many people are willing to back a project. You've already backed us - you've done your part (thank you!). Now it's a case of how many people we can get to notice Ghost. If you want all of the above to happen - we need you to share Ghost with your friends, family members and colleagues and encourage them to get involved.
Seth Godin has backed Ghost. Leo Babauta of Zen Habits has backed Ghost. Our advisory board has grown to include Darren Rowse - ProBlogger himself - in addition to Frederick Townes (Founding CTO of Mashable), Adii Pienaar (Founder/CEO of WooThemes) and Vitaly Friedman (CEO of Smashing Magazine). We have people running the biggest blogs in the world helping us make Ghost a reality.
This has never happened before.
And it's in your hands.
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LAST MINUTE FLASH SALE: We're giving 50 backers 50% off 50 copies of Ghost for the next (slightly-more-than) 50 hours! Tell your friends who've been on the fence about the £10 level that they could grab themselves a great deal if they're very quick!Estimated delivery:
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YOUR OWN COPY OF GHOST: Thanks for helping make this project a reality. The software will be released by digital download to Kickstarter backers before anyone else. NOTE: This project is being funded in Great British Pounds, but you CAN back it in your own currency from anywhere in the world! Woo! £1 is around $1.50.Estimated delivery:
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THE QUICKSTART GHOST PACK: You get an early access copy of Ghost. You'll also get to RESERVE YOUR USERNAME on the TryGhost community website, which will be the home of Ghost themes, plugins, support forums, documentation, and user profiles. You also get THREE MONTHS FREE on our hosted service so you can set up a public blog in mere seconds. If you want the best and easiest way to launch a blog with Ghost, this is it.Estimated delivery:
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EARLY BIRD MEANING OF LIFE SPECIAL. The first 100 backers get access to the Ghost Founder Pack at nearly 30% off! This is limited to the first 100, once they're gone - they're gone!Estimated delivery:
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THE GHOST FOUNDER PACK: You get an early access copy of Ghost, reserve your username on the community website. You also get SIX MONTHS FREE on our hosted service and a FOUNDER emblem forever marked next to your username on the community site. You will be listed as a contributor on the first public release of Ghost - etched into history.Estimated delivery:
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THE GHOST SUPER VIP PACK: You get an early access copy of Ghost, reserve your username + founder emblem on the community website, listed as a contributor on the first release. You also get access to private WEEKLY DEVELOPMENT RELEASES as we build Ghost, and ONE YEAR FREE ON OUR HOSTED SERVICE. This means you'll be using Ghost and giving us feedback on it at least 3 months before anyone else.Estimated delivery:
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THE DEVELOPER SPECIAL: You get everything in the super VIP pack, but you also get access to the Ghost Nightly releases as well as the Theme and Plugin documentation *as we write it*. We'll help you get started with developing themes and plugins on top of Ghost and we'll promote one of your products for ONE YEAR on the official Ghost website.Estimated delivery:
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THE ELITE DEVELOPER SPECIAL: You get everything in the Developer Special, but you also get a top-secret email address that gives you direct, priority access to the Ghost development team. We'll help you convert your blog (or your themes) to Ghost, and ask you to help us with planning the official Ghost open marketplace. Oh, and you're also invited to our launch party in London.Estimated delivery:
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SPONSOR A GHOST RELEASE: Being a release sponsor means we'll name a release of Ghost after you and thank you publicly on our blog, social media channels, and newsletter (with your logo and link) when it goes out. Not only that, but you also get everything in the Elite Developer Special! We'll organise with you which release you'd like to be a part of, and you'll be featured heavily when it goes out.Estimated delivery:
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THE IRONIC BACKER SPECIAL: If Ghost is successfully funded, I will get a large (like, coffee cup radius) tattoo of the WordPress logo! I'll make a video of it and send it to you. Presumably you'll publish it on the internet, so all can revel in my humiliation. You'll also get everything in the Elite Developer Special. See? Even if you don't like the idea, you can still help. HATERS GONNA... BE PRODUCTIVE.Estimated delivery:
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THE OFFICIAL GHOST PARTNER LIST: You don't just believe in this early version of Ghost, you believe in the vision and what it stands for. Being a Ghost partner means you will be a part of all our launch activities and gets your logo + link on every page of our site and newsletters for at least the next year. We'll help you convert (or set up from scratch) one Ghost blog and feature you as a case study on our site. And, of course, you also get everything in the Elite Developer Special. Put your company firmly behind backing this open source project and it won't soon forget you.Estimated delivery:
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THE SILVER PARTNER LIST: After the wild 8-day sellout success of the initial Ghost Partner List, we're bringing you the Silver Partner List. We now have 8 more slots for companies who want to get behind Ghost in a very real way. Being a Ghost Silver partner means you get your logo and link prominently on the 'Partners' page of the website as well as in the newsletters for our major and minor releases for the next year. You'll also get a logo/link in the final Kickstarter update of the campaign. We'll help you convert (or set up from scratch) one Ghost blog and feature you as a case study on our site. And, of course, you also get everything in the Elite Developer Special.Estimated delivery:
- (29 days)