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  1. Being Rewarded

    Earlier this week it was my day to get a postcard from Emily Grenader’s 365 Postcards, an interactive art project where Emily mails one handmade postcard a day to someone. I had been eagerly awaiting it since the project finished earlier this year, especially after my mom called to tell me how much she loved the postcard she received for backing the project. Aren’t moms great?

    When my postcard showed up in the mail, I couldn’t be happier. Here’s what I got:

    There are little touches that I liked a lot. My postcard was numbered (117/365) on the back. The stock of the card was very thick — closer to a magnet than a simple piece of paper. And I could see that Emily worked on it by hand. I’ve had weirdly high expectations for this very simple thing, and I was not disappointed.

    Getting rewarded for backing a project is a very satisfying thing. I’ve backed a lot of projects at this point, and I’ve received somewhere around 10-15 rewards thus far: T-shirts, records, handmade things, weird certificates, magnets, postcards, etc. All of them costing less than $20.

    I approach backing a project with a very particular set of expectations. I want a story that grabs me, and I want a unique reward that costs $10 or less that showcases that story and my part in it. A badge that I can put on my refrigerator or pin to my jacket, something that demonstrates my involvement and the fact that this has some special meaning to me. I don’t want a flat-screen TV, I want my participation etched into stone — or at least a nice piece of paper.

    We have a Flickr photo group where myself and some others have been posting photos of rewards as we get them. You can see it here. It’s not specifically for rewards — there are some event photos in there, too — but I like the idea of everyone simply documenting what they receive, and I’d like to encourage everyone to join and post their own pics. It’s one of those things where if enough of us do it, something cool and unexpected will come out of it.

    The final point: back more projects! We all approach backing in our own way, but I’ve yet to be disappointed with where my memento approach has taken me. Projects are real efforts by real people to do something cool, something they feel passionately about. And when all is said and done — when the project is successfully funded and the creator has finished their work — seeing that passion arrive in your mailbox, no matter how trivial the manifestation, is a very special thing that everyone should experience.

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  2. New Discover Projects Page

    Kickstarter has grown dramatically over our first five months, with more and more projects showing up every day. We’re up to more than 800 launched — so many that our browse page has been bursting at the seams. Too many great projects and not enough ways to find them.

    Today we addressed that with a new Discover Projects page that allows you to browse by:

    Tags: The top ten most-populated tags. This has long been among our most-requested features.

    Project State: Want to see only successfully funded projects? Want to see only projects that are currently raising money? You can now do that.

    Ending Soon: See which projects are coming down to the wire.

    Those are the primary additions, and you can use those to drill down into all projects, Recommended projects, and projects that show up on Popular. So if, for example, you wanted to see all photography projects that are ending soon, you could drill down to that exact filter.

    We’ve also changed the way we handle recommendations — now once a project has been flagged as recommended, it stays that way. You can browse every project we’ve ever recommended by simply paging through the list, which is nearly 100 projects long. Also note that you can now browse popularity by week, month, and all-time.

    Anyway, take a spin around the page, and please share your feedback in the comments. Thanks everybody.

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