To better understand the factors affecting campaign outcomes, this paper targets the content and usage patterns of project updates–communications intended to keep potential funders aware of a campaign’s progress. The authors analyzed the content and usage patterns of a large corpus of project updates on Kickstarter, one of the largest crowdfunding platforms. Using semantic analysis techniques, they derived a taxonomy of the types of project updates created during campaigns, and found discrepancies between the design intent of a project update and the various uses in practice (e.g. social promotion). The analysis also showed that specific uses of updates had stronger associations with campaign success than the project’s description. Design implications were formulated from the results to help designers better support various uses of updates in crowdfunding campaigns.
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