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By Mark Bell | May 19, 2011

We’ve passed the one week mark of campaigns stretching over about seven, and still so much more time to go, and ideas to try out. Today I wanted to touch on the text editing/updating systems for both IndieGoGo and Kickstarter, to express some minor gripes.

Both platforms rely on a WYSIWYG text editor system for their main text input for writing and updating the main text you see on the respective campaign pages, but with a few small differences.


IndieGoGo’s editing bar looks like what one expect; normal formatting options, plus my favorite button of all, the direct HTML code button. I’m much faster just writing the HTML code, and enjoy the formatting control. This is a huge plus for me for IndieGoGo less because of its inclusion (which I think should be standard with all WYSIWYG editors), but because of it exclusion over at KickStarter.


It’s another WYSIWYG editor bar, but with far less options (seems to be the story of Kickstarter so far; we are what we are, it works, live with it). I wouldn’t be too concerned about a lack of an HTML button here if I could actually get the WYSIWYG editor to do something as simple as linking an image. I seem to be able to link text, or insert an image, but then linking an image never works. Since I’m not given the option to direct code the linked image… I’m stuck without a linked image. Huge deal? Not really, but if you compare the main text of the IGG campaign with the KS one, you’ll see the IGG one has the linked cover for reading a Film Threat back issue, which KS does not.

Both platforms agree that campaigns with consistent updating tend to do better. Those that donated or pledged want to see forward movement with the campaigns, and understandably so. However, both platforms differ here as well.

Kickstarter is consistent, meaning that the same issues I had with the main text WYSIWYG editor are here as well. Can’t seem to link images, which is annoying me to no end. That said, however, you are able to get an individual URL link to any given update (if you put in some extra effort; copy the link location of the “edit this post” button and then paste the resulting link in your browser address bar, delete the “/edit” at the end and you have the individual URL). This allows you to share and direct people specifically to a certain update, rather than drop them at the main campaign and having them find the update on their own. This is beneficial because the main page may not be, surprise surprise, the most up-to-date, and it’s nice to be able to send people directly there.

Kickstarter also allows you to preview your update before it goes live, which lets you check for any mistakes, mark updates “For Backers Only” and KS allows you to edit any updates after they are published. Despite the annoying WYSIWYG editor KS employs, this added level of control on all text aspects is appreciated.

The Comments section is a pretty-straightforward text input box, and does not have the WYSIWYG editor (most non-spam users don’t leave comments with html code anyway). You also cannot edit Comments after-the-fact, though you can report a comment if you feel it was left as spam. Basically, nothing too flash about the system; does the job, as it should.


Textile hints pop-up for IGG updates

While IndieGoGo really set the bar with their main text editing, they drop it with their Updates section. Rather than have a WYSIWYG bar, or even an HTML input, the Updates section utilizes a coding language known as Textile… which I’d never heard of or used until IndieGoGo. The last thing anyone needs to do is learn a new coding language while trying to do something as simple as updating a page. Luckily, I found this website that has given me examples on how to do anything with Textile I could imagine doing with HTML anyway, but it’s a huge hassle. If the WYSIWYG bar can exist in the main text editing, it should be available here too.

You also cannot link directly to a given update, as the URL structure takes you back to the main campaign page. Even looking at the Page Source code and trying to manually find and type a specific update URL address just led me to a formatting-less listing of the updates. As I mentioned above, being able to link to an individual update is helpful, so this is a bit disappointing.

You also cannot edit an update after the fact, or preview it before going live. This wouldn’t be a problem, but since the coding markup is Textile, I’m never 100% confident that what I typed is actually going to work. You can delete an update after it posts, but how annoying is that, deleting it AFTER it posts when, had you been able to preview it, you wouldn’t have posted it anyway. Since my updates also auto-notify Facebook, deleting and re-posting updates can make the ‘ol Facebook Wall look even more cluttered than it usually does.

The Comments section is straightforward, but it also has it over the Kickstarter system by allowing for the deletion of comments, rather than just a “Report Spam” option. You can also mark a comment as “Private,” though I don’t know if that means only the campaign manager can read it, or all the backers can read it too. I honestly never thought about making a comment private, until I got a negative private comment, which was:

What a joke. Mark Bell wants us to finance a business he bought from the real Film Threat? GImme a brake.

I don’t know what this person means by “the real Film Threat,” but whatever. Should I ask Gore to write this person a note? And who joins a crowdfunding site with the sole purpose of smacktalking a campaign, with a private comment no less. Why not just post it here? Moving on…

With both platforms, while I like that updates have their own sections, I would prefer some integration between the update and the main text page, even if it’s something as simple as a bold link headline at the top that says “Latest Update…” “Updated on…” or something to bring people to that section that otherwise would never go that far. I mean, the argument against is that I should keep the main page updated anyway, and then it doesn’t matter. But why have an updated section, if I’m just to do the job twice? Additionally, while I can link directly to a Kickstarter update, it wasn’t like it was an obvious option; I had to do the process and above, and while I’m happy it was possible, not happy that it’s not just a built-in link “Share” option.

These issues are not make-it-or-break-it issues, but when you’re trying to keep things as current, it’s an extra step, and that time adds up.

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