Kicksaver: Find and save Kickstarter projects ending soon.
May 21, 2012 6:05 AM   Subscribe

Kicksaver: Find and save Kickstarter projects ending soon.
Kicksaver finds Kickstarter projects that will end soon without meeting their funding goals. If you have a few dollars to spare, you can help tip a struggling project over its goal and prevent it from losing the pledges made so far. It also tweets endangered projects a few times a day. This is a weekend project I made as part of my continuing effort to teach myself programming. It's completely noncommercial, open source, and not affiliated with Kickstarter in any way (although I do think they're pretty great).

You might notice that project funding levels are sometimes out of date: the site will occasionally show a funded project or an inaccurate amount from the project goal. Kicksaver only crawls for new projects a couple times a day, so this happens once in a while, but it shouldn't prevent you from finding interesting projects to rescue.

For this project, I learned to use the built-in webapp framework on Google App Engine, figured out how to interact with the Twitter API, and made my first foray into using Javascript on the browser side. Once I got the hang of the DOM, I was pleasantly surprised by how much Python knowledge transferred over. All the code is available on GitHub under an MIT license. I hope you'll check it out and save a struggling artist or two!
Role: Programmer
posted by ecmendenhall (6 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
This project was posted to MetaFilter by cjorgensen on June 13, 2012: No Links to Kickstarter Projects!

I'm actually more interested in your programming experiences than this particular project (I'm thinking there must be a reason why Kickstarter projects don't get funded...) ;)

How long have you been coding?
posted by Foci for Analysis at 7:39 AM on May 21, 2012

Yeah, it definitely has a knack for finding the sort of project one might charitably call "outsider art."

I've been learning for just about a year now. I started with Learn Python the Hard Way, and kept going with Udacity, which has been really excellent so far. I've learned the most from working on simple projects like this one, so I've made a few other things. It's been a good year to pick up programming: there are lots of new and very good resources out there.
posted by ecmendenhall at 1:17 PM on May 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

This is really interesting. How does it decide what is nearing its end date? It's showing me some that have over a week to go, which is where I'd probably think to set my arbitrary threshold.
posted by Night_owl at 1:54 PM on May 23, 2012

A few of the results turn up as being 100+% funded. Is this because your program only queries the list of Kickstarter projects so often, but updates the totals more frequently?
posted by filthy light thief at 4:40 PM on May 31, 2012

That tabminder extension is reason enough for me to switch to Chrome. Neat.
posted by arsey at 4:11 PM on June 9, 2012

Night_owl: Yeah, this is by design, but it's a bit of a trade-off. The site crawls both the "Ending Soon" and "Small Projects" categories. Users like searching for projects with $10-100 left, but often there are no projects in "Ending Soon" within two figures of their final goal. "Small Projects" contains more of these, at the expense of later deadlines.

filthy light thief: Yep. The dirty secret is that all the project boxes are embedded widgets from Kickstarter, so they're usually more current than the projects in the database. It only crawls for new projects every few hours, so once in a while a failed or funded project will show up.

arsey: Thanks! It is literally the first real thing I've ever written in Javascript, so let me know when it breaks!
posted by ecmendenhall at 7:19 AM on June 13, 2012

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