About this project
What's all this, then?
We love cats. Their little paws. Their cute noses. The way they turn upside down and wait to be adored.
But they have their place. And that place is on your lap, not your laptop.
Our own cats? Lovely. Other people's cats? Less so. Pictures of cats, tales of feline cuteness? Bored now.
Wouldn't it be nice if you didn't have to see all that feline nonsense on your Facebook newsfeed without having to surreptitiously unfriend someone?
The time saved could kickstart a global economic recovery.
A cat-free newsfeed? How do I get it?
You'll need to install a bit of software. In this project that will be an extension for the Firefox and Chrome browsers - but I expect Internet Explorer and (maybe) Safari to follow.
How does it work?
Oh, you're a geek?
I've prototyped Firefox and Chrome extensions to do this. It uses simple keyword matching to spot cat chit-chat, and fancy image recognition to spot pictures of cats.
The image recognition isn't perfect, so some of the little varmints will slip through, but it's pretty good.
Ok, so what am I funding?
In the short term, I want to finish off the Firefox and Chrome versions and get them released release for general use. That means I have some expenses - I'm using a third-party image recognition service which offers a trial, but I need to start paying for it.
How long does this last?
I'll get the Firefox and Chrome versions released in a month. I then want to run a trial for three months. After that it will either be clear that I'm a lone cat-picture-loathing island of sanity in an ocean of kittens, or we'll be able to keep it going.
What happens long term?
The aim is for this to be self-funding. If this pilot project goes well there will be a free version which just spots kitty banter in text, and a paid-for version which does image recognition to zap those those little fluffball pictures.
Oooh...DogZapper? BieberZapper? FrankZappaZapper?
One thing at a time. Let's deal with the most important problem first. But yes, probably.
You read this far?
It must have been at least mildly entertaining, but it's not going to happen unless it gets funded, so...
Risks and challenges
I'm confident that I can delivering what this KickStarter project is for. I eat browser plugins for breakfast.
The key risk here is whether it can be sustainable long-term. Image recognition services are expensive (though they will probably come down in price over the next few years). That's why I need the cash to get it off the ground, so that I don't end up with egg on my face and my cats taking pictures and posting them on Facebook.
The costs will depend on how many photos people view on Facebook, and how many people view the same photos - if a cat photo goes viral, then I don't need to pay to look it up each time.
If it turns out to cost more to run this than people are prepared to pay for a feline-free Facebook, then I'll just have to hold up my paws and call it a day. We'll have had fun, and if nothing else, I'll end up with some interesting statistics about the way in which people use Facebook.
Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Cats are lovely. I just don't want to read all about them on Facebook when I could be seeing heart-warming motivational stories or hoaxes about the death of famous people.
No, seriously, who uses that? It's for geeks. Who knows the equivalent - perhaps pictures of particularly cute Linux servers. That's for someone else to deal with.
Of course not! I love cats. Though...since you mention it... No, of course not!