Managing negative Kickstarter Comments & Backers

Sadly as a Kickstarter Creator you will experience negativity at some point in your campaign.

Even the best among us will always encounter disgruntled people no matter how well we run a campaign – the key is how you react, respond and resolve…

It has famously been written:

“You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time”.
John Lydgate

To rephrase for the modern world..

h8rs gunna h8
Urban Dictionary

If you are considering taking on a Kickstarter Campaign then you have to face the reality that it is a meeting place of passionate creative people. As such offense can easily be taken if a project that is so special to you is considered in a negative light.

Kickstarter acknowledges this directly when it reminds those leaving comments that there’s a human behind the project

Unfortunately the Internet is home to a wonderful and wide community and some come without filters and will use it as a forum for their opinion no matter what the rules may be.

With that in mind, it’s important not to react in a defensive way, but equally do not ignore the problem – a problematic commentor can hound you and their commentary can disuade backers who read your comment area.

The key is to engage them; consider their perspective, read their feedback a few times over and importantly look around the comments and see if there are like minded people agreeing with them.

It might be that their opinion is relevant, it may help your project find a new audience or improve it to gain more backers.

If so then embrace it and acknowledge their contribution – everyone likes to feel special and rewarded so you can turn a harsh critic into a fierce advocate.

On the other hand what if their contribution is wrong, unpopular and creating a negative space?

Well management techniques show that you should always acknowledge an idea even one that you aren’t willing to take onboard; a simple response of: Hey that’s a great idea thanks a lot – we’ll look into that! Can often deter a negative reaction and allows that person to feel validated and not humiliated.

But what if the community is negative toward the commentor?

Well you are responsible for your community so you should be monitoring your comments before it gets any where near a volatile situation – that said you can always step in and say: “Hey Guys its an open forum and everyones allowed to provide ideas – what are your ideas? Lets get some positivity going and drive some ideas – we can always make them a stretch goal…”

If all else fails and there are negative comments on the board give some idea on how to drive the feedback out of sight; stirring up the community with an update on the main forum can help push the negative comments down the list and out of site – human nature shows that we scan the latest area and not historical information so “out of sight, out of mind” is a perfect example of cleansing your negative forum.

Great ideas can include:
  • A competition where people must think of a new character name
  • Asking for new stretch goal ideas
  • Setting up Social Goals
  • Asking for feedback on a rule book

There’s a lot of techniques but the greatest tool you have is being responsive to comments – don’t let them stack up and fester.

But remember that there is a dark side to Kickstarter… The DOLLAR Comment

Typically you can only comment on projects that you back and unfortunately there’s a trick some people use in order to cause issues in a campaign; they simply donate a Dollar which allows them free space to cause negativity. They then retract that dollar and move on…

It is an issue that Kickstarter needs to resolve in their platform as it’s open to abuse and one solution would be to ban Users who retract their pledges in this pattern… but that’s for another article.