Tonight I was excited to wrap up a little embed-able mini-chart project I’ve been toying with, so I thought I’d share it with everyone. The motivating idea was that it would be a smaller chart that you can embed on your project page, homepage, forums, blog posts, etc. It updates automatically, just like the big charts on the Kicktraq project pages do, and has some nifty stats for backers to get excited about with their projects.
First, the new chart is a nice consolidated view of the larger daily progress chart. It shows the last 10 days of activity along with a progress bar of the total funding level. In addition, backers and project owners can now see what is required each day over the life of the project to reach successful funding. The chart calculates the remaining balance to fund, what’s needed each day to meet that goal, displays the current total for the day, and finally if it’s been met for that day.
This gives project owners a great tool to encourage backers to help them meet a manageable daily goal instead of the entire total. It also allows project backers a way to measure the success of their efforts, as well as a tool to share with others about how projects they care about are doing.
Here are a few live samples of the new chart:
The bad news, it looks like from some preliminary research, Kickstarter doesn’t allow you to use externally referenced images in your projects any longer. What their editing tool does when you select an image to use in your “Story” page, is upload a copy of it to their Amazon S3 instance and link to that version inside your editing window instead of using your external reference. I can only assume “update” pages are the same, but I don’t have a way of testing this. Unfortunately I had no idea this had changed since the last time I helped a project owner with their project, so I never noticed it until one of the initial testers brought it to my attention tonight.
Given my experience with seeing huge improvements in response times lately both with the old layout and further with the new layout, my only conclusion is that they are trying to make load times of project pages as fast as possible. The easiest way to ensure speedy delivery is to ensure all the assets on the page are loaded from their crazy-fast amazon S3 instance – in essence using it as a CDN.
This poses a problem, as the embed-able chart can’t be used with this new architecture, as it just uploads a snapshot of your chart to the CDN and the data never changes unless you manually “upload” a new version. That’s just not feasible.
So, I suppose the real question is, is this a feature project owners are interested in for their project pages, or am I just spinning my wheels? I’m happy to chat with Kickstarter about it, but not unless it something that folks want for their projects. It could be as simple as Kickstarter adding a checkbox on the upload page, defaulted to off, that said something like “use external image reference” or the like. I’m not sure if they’ll be open to this, but I’m happy to take the time to ask.
It’s really up to you, just let me know via the comments below, and I can do the rest.
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