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[DRAFT] - The Kicker is in the Details

A place to spoil daily issues for those who haven't had them yet, snigger at typos, and discuss ideas for new ones.
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Valentine Z
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[DRAFT] - The Kicker is in the Details

Postby Valentine Z » Tue Jan 05, 2021 8:15 am

Current Draft: 2

Title – The Kicker is in the Details

The Issue
Recently, several complaints from the citizens regarding a particular website reached your desk. It turns out that an insurmountable amount of money went into funding countless number of projects in Jump-Fund-Go – a site whereby users are allowed to propose a project to crowdfund and to distribute if successful. While these often delivered as promised, there was no guarantee that the donators would get their products, or even their money back if the project is unsuccessful. You decided to surf the internet for possible action to take, while engaging in the Jump-Fund-Go site through the forums and its live-chat.

The Talking Point

1. “The gall of it all!” cries a citizen using the alias “Michael”, who recently funded a project titled PocketDryer, "I am tired of these scammers. At first, it was an amazing place, isn’t it? People have a lot of ideas, and some of these ideas were genuinely good and with experience to back. Best of all, you get the product that you funded for! Isn't that magical? Nowadays, all we got were empty promises, years of waiting, and kissing our money goodbye. No more crowdfunding for @@DEMONYMPLURAL@@!"
[effect] the word "crowdfunding" nets one a lot of ire from the crowd around them

2. As you read through the comments, a user named @@RANDOMFIRSTNAME@@Khidami caught your attention. His profile, with a particularly stock-looking face, described himself as the founder of Proteus, a company dedicated to some unorthodox projects. The user has replied in return, “Oh, don’t be so foolish. You all know what you are funding at - that is your money, and your choice. I do apologise for the endless delays, and sure, there are bad apples here and there that never delivered, but I can assure you that my AI-enabled, Blockchain-supporting, and Machine Learning devices are those that big companies don’t want you to have. It’s a dryer that perpetually generates money, how does that not sound cool? @@LEADER@@, I bet you don’t even know half the potential of my projects! What do you say you encourage crowdfunding in this fine nation? I could even let you have the prototypes and funding perks for half the regular amount. All of these funds will stay domestically, of course. No chances of it being laundered, if you are wondering."
[effect] construction projects often went into an indefinite halt due to shortage of funds

3. By this point, you have been reading myriads of shorter messages – most of them supporting Michael, some supporting the fellow from Proteus. Eventually, there came another one, with a name that simply says, He wrote on the forum: "This is the kind of thing that we don’t need to be so black and white about. For every absurd and ridiculous cons, lies a diamond in the rough now and then. Don’t you suppose that you could, for example, limit the type of projects that are allowed on the site? We should let Jump-Fund-Go assign actual moderators and curators to assess the type of things that were being crowdfunded. I mean, there's no problem with fun and creative card games or a niche gadget that doesn't claim to do anything outrageous, but a replica of the Play of Crowns palace, really? Do you people really think that will get funded? Force people to not get overly ambitious!"
[effect] the recent most successful project on Jump-Fund-Go is "a notepad with locks"


Title – The Kicker is in the Details

The Issue
Recently, complaints from the citizens regarding a particular website has caught your attention. It turns out that an insurmountable amount of money went into funding a countless number of projects in Jump-Fund-Go – a site whereby users are allowed to propose a project to crowdfund and to distribute if successful. While most of these were delivered as promised, there was no guarantee that the donators would get their products, or even get their money back if the project is unsuccessful. You decided to surf the internet for possible action to take, while engaging in the Jump-Fund-Go site through a forum and live-chat.

The Talking Point
1. “The gall of it all!” cries a citizen using the alias “Michael”, who recently funded a project titled PocketDryer, “I bet no one is even reading this, but I am tired of these scammers. At first, it was an amazing place, isn’t it? People have a lot of ideas, and some of these ideas were genuinely good and with experience to back. But nope, all we got were empty promises and kissing our money goodbye. They ran off with it, these conmen. I am invoking the Jump-Fund-Go Policy to get my refund, or I would genuinely love to see this place shuttered.”
[effect] crowds of people with a lot of funding are considered suspect and subsequently disbanded

2. As you read through the comments, a user named @@RANDOMFIRSTNAME@@Khidami caught your attention. His profile, with a particularly stock-looking face, described himself as the founder of Proteus, a company dedicated to some unorthodox projects. The user has replied in return, “Oh, don’t be so foolish. Crowdfunding is the future and you know it. Sure, there might be some bad apples here and there along the way, but I can assure you that my AI-enabled, Blockchain-supporting, and Machine Learning devices are those that big companies don’t want you to have. It’s a dryer that perpetually generates money, how does that not sound cool? @@LEADER@@, I bet you don’t even know half the potential of my projects! What do you say you encourage crowdfunding in this fine nation? I could even let you have the prototypes and funding perks for half the regular amount. DM me your credit card number if you are interested…”
[effect] the @@DEMONYM@@ products now comes with a label of shame “Works only occasionally.”

3. By this point, you have been reading myriads of shorter messages – some supporting Michael, some supporting the fellow from Proteus. Eventually, there came another one, with a name that simply says, “New User”. The user later identified himself as your national affairs advisor through DMs. He wrote on the forum: “This is the kind of thing that we don’t need to be so black and white about. For every absurd and ridiculous cons, lies a diamond in the rough now and then. I funded for that card game, and it actually turned out to be pretty fun, and the perks are nice. Don’t you suppose that you could, for example, limit the type of projects that are allowed on the site? Let the people have their fun hobbyist things, while banning the “world-changing inventions” and obvious scams from the site. Also could you fund a board game I sent you to your inbox?”
[effect] the patent office sees an increasing number of proposals for perpetual motion machines, to potato salads with dressing infused into them
Last edited by Valentine Z on Thu Apr 15, 2021 10:05 am, edited 4 times in total.


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Valentine Z
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Postby Valentine Z » Tue Jan 05, 2021 8:16 am

I searched a little for "Crowdfunding", "Crowdsourcing", and "Kickstarter" on this sub-forum. At least, it showed me that there are no drafts or current issues that talked about the cons (hehe) of crowdfunding. I searched for "Kickstarter" only because I want to see if there are similar or clashing drafts people might have thought of, also because I know I can't use the name 1:1 in an issue.

Feedback welcome! ♥ Perhaps just not "Why would the leader even bother with this?" or "This is a petty thing for a leader." Unfortunately received many of these comments last time.
Last edited by Valentine Z on Tue Jan 05, 2021 8:27 am, edited 4 times in total.


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Trotterdam
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Postby Trotterdam » Tue Jan 05, 2021 3:57 pm

Valentine Z wrote:Feedback welcome! ♥ Perhaps just not "Why would the leader even bother with this?" or "This is a petty thing for a leader." Unfortunately received many of these comments last time.
Well, sorry, but...
Valentine Z wrote:"I am invoking the Jump-Fund-Go Policy to get my refund, or I would genuinely love to see this place shuttered.”
If the website already has their own refund policy, then why do you need to go through government channels? You'd only need to bother @@LEADER@@ about it if the website itself either couldn't or refused to offer you a refund.

Anyway, I can see three circumstances that can lead to a crowdfunded project failing:
1. Some people do pledge money, but not enough to actually meet the stated funding goals. In this case, it's reasonable to say that the people who pledged money shouldn't actually have to pay it - you only pay what you promised if the project proceeds.
2. The project owners are scammers who never planned on delivering anything. This is simple fraud and should be dealt with as such. The problem with many scammers is that they use fake names and then run off and hide their earnings in a Manamanan bank account, so it's hard to hold them accountable later. There's little conversy about that you should take scammers' money back if you can.
3. The project owners honestly overestimated their capabilities, and couldn't deliver what they thought they could. This is the hardest situation. Being forced to either complete the project (which probably costs even more money than originally anticipated) or pay back all their backers (with money that they probably don't have anymore because they frittered it on their failed project) would both be quite ruinous to the well-meaning project owners (no-one's perfect), but not doing so would understandably upset the backers who lost their money.

There are also cases where the project does get finished, but doesn't live up to the original hype.

I don't think limiting which kinds of projects can use crowdfunding (to "fun hobbyist things") is much of a solution. Would-be video game writers are just as capable of overestimating their skills as people manufacturing more practical products.

Ultimately, it's a balance between "caveat emptor" and letting backers think carefully which projects they trust enough to invest in, while still taking organized legal action against blatant abuse of the system.

(Speaking of investment, similar things already happen with conventional shareholder business models. Those typically have far fewer individual backers, with greater rewards for those backers if the project does succeeed since they get a share of the profits, but the project is just as capable of failing and turning out to be a waste of money.)

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Valentine Z
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Postby Valentine Z » Tue Jan 05, 2021 5:31 pm

Option 1 and the Talking Point might have went through a few prior changes beforehand. I'll see what else I can think of later at night.

Thanks for the feedback.

Edit: My plan later at night is to make sure that this is more of a bigger deal for the government to take note of. Perhaps say, maybe a cousin or your relative was using the funds to invest in some shady projects (would explain the idea of "What happened to our budget?). Or maybe even a money laundering scheme being exposed (which some of the IRL projects are suspected of).

I'll give it more time to think about today.
Last edited by Valentine Z on Tue Jan 05, 2021 5:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.


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Trotterdam
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Postby Trotterdam » Tue Jan 05, 2021 6:20 pm

Valentine Z wrote:Perhaps say, maybe a cousin or your relative was using the funds to invest in some shady projects
I don't like "@@LEADER@@'s relative" issues. At least, not unless it's only using it as a framing device for a wider issue that is also applicable to people who aren't @@LEADER@@'s relative. A relative of @@LEADER@@ being involved by itself doesn't make it any more of a government issue unless your government is corrupt.

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Valentine Z
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Postby Valentine Z » Tue Jan 05, 2021 6:28 pm

Trotterdam wrote:
Valentine Z wrote:Perhaps say, maybe a cousin or your relative was using the funds to invest in some shady projects
I don't like "@@LEADER@@'s relative" issues. At least, not unless it's only using it as a framing device for a wider issue that is also applicable to people who aren't @@LEADER@@'s relative. A relative of @@LEADER@@ being involved by itself doesn't make it any more of a government issue unless your government is corrupt.

Yeah, I can see why, no worries about that! I do think it's getting a bit tiring and cliche to see "Leader's relative", so.... Yeah, let's see what I can or might so with the second draft! ^^


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If you are reading my sig, I want you to have the best day ever ! You are worth it, do not let anyone get you down !
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Valentine Z
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Postby Valentine Z » Thu Apr 15, 2021 10:11 am

So this is a revisit of the old draft that I have been leaving it lying around for so long. Here's another shot at it! Sadly, there are not a lot of changes but I do took what Trotterdam in consideration and wrote about it.

As for Option 3, it's a reference to the actual crowdfunding project whereby a whopping 2,280 people pledged for a replica of Minas Tirith. The numbers are a bit different from what I have stated, because that was from another source. I could not find LOTR references in NS Issues, so Game of Thrones works, I suppose.


Again, feedback is welcome! I might write and refine it more because truth be told, I am still looking for the best direction I can take with this.


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If you are reading my sig, I want you to have the best day ever ! You are worth it, do not let anyone get you down !
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Daarwyrth
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Postby Daarwyrth » Thu Apr 15, 2021 12:50 pm

The premise of this issue draft seems quite promising and interesting to me. I think you have described the problem aptly, and you are onto something here, I feel. One thing that does spring to mind is how socialist countries would handle this. Would there be kickstarter initiatives in state-controlled economies? I do think that is something to consider for the premise.

As to the options, I think the first option is okay in length, but options 2 and 3 will need to be shortened significantly. What the options represent sounds fine to me, but in their current form the texts are a bit of a long read. My suggestion would be to bring options 2 & 3 down to the bare bones of what they'll do, and then add a little flavouring to it.

In general, I think this is issue draft has an interesting topic!
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Valentine Z
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Postby Valentine Z » Thu Apr 15, 2021 2:06 pm

Thanks for the feedback, and I will consider that for my next edit! Yeah, I thought of crowdfunding in socialist countries as well. I will think about something for that. ^^


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Postby Australian rePublic » Wed Apr 21, 2021 5:28 pm

If you agreed to give money knowing gatherers a chance you'll lose it, then why is it a leader problem?
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Valentine Z
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Postby Valentine Z » Wed Apr 21, 2021 9:20 pm

Australian rePublic wrote:If you agreed to give money knowing gatherers a chance you'll lose it, then why is it a leader problem?

Make enough of a fuss, and it will become a leader's problem.

On a more serious note, Kickstarter is certainly a difficult thing to pull off, and I am aware of needing further work and still am thinking of ways to approach it. The idea is to make Kickstarting a non-problem at first, but eventually it will become too much to be ignored, and yes, I want to also put in a statement or two about "Hey, you people backed us up, it's not our fault."

A good majority of the RL Kickstarting projects are fishy, but they are not always the fault of the backers. Some of these projects actually have merit or two, and even before COVID, countless delays and waiting has happened, or that people get something less desirable than they were promised.

In short, I am thinking of a rewrite again.
Last edited by Valentine Z on Wed Apr 21, 2021 9:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.


Photography Stuff.
Flag Bracket - 1st for Mk I! 2nd for Mk II!
Issues Thread 4th in Gen Sec

The Sixty! Opinions Deposit! Valentian Stories! Gwen's Adventures! Cat Anthem! Valentian News.
If you are reading my sig, I want you to have the best day ever ! You are worth it, do not let anyone get you down !
Glory to De Geweldige Sierlijke Katachtige Utopia en Zijne Autonome Machten ov Valentine Z !
Q & A Here! | Heights of NS! | F7 Etiquette

Clarissa mistaken for Smurf/Avatar: 14
Valentijn Misgendered: 57
Valentijn now a She!

• Never trouble trouble until trouble troubles you.
• As a wise man once said: 我等は砲兵 皇国の護り (We are Artillery Guardians of the Empire).
• World Map is a cat playing with Australia.

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Nooooooooooooooo
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Postby Nooooooooooooooo » Wed Apr 21, 2021 9:31 pm

I've got a question, how did the Proteus guy address @@LEADER@@? If this is a forum, how would they know that @@LEADER@@ is looking through the posts? Also I feel like you should put @@RANDOMMALEFIRSTNAME@@.

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Valentine Z
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Postby Valentine Z » Wed Apr 21, 2021 9:36 pm

Nooooooooooooooo wrote:I've got a question, how did the Proteus guy address @@LEADER@@? If this is a forum, how would they know that @@LEADER@@ is looking through the posts? Also I feel like you should put @@RANDOMMALEFIRSTNAME@@.

Ehh, could be gender-flexible.

As for that, I think I should have clarified about how there was a chat/forum specifically opened to talk to Leader about this. Again, I am aware of the holes and truth be told, I still have not got the best of ideas with this just yet, so... yeah, rewrite!


Photography Stuff.
Flag Bracket - 1st for Mk I! 2nd for Mk II!
Issues Thread 4th in Gen Sec

The Sixty! Opinions Deposit! Valentian Stories! Gwen's Adventures! Cat Anthem! Valentian News.
If you are reading my sig, I want you to have the best day ever ! You are worth it, do not let anyone get you down !
Glory to De Geweldige Sierlijke Katachtige Utopia en Zijne Autonome Machten ov Valentine Z !
Q & A Here! | Heights of NS! | F7 Etiquette

Clarissa mistaken for Smurf/Avatar: 14
Valentijn Misgendered: 57
Valentijn now a She!

• Never trouble trouble until trouble troubles you.
• As a wise man once said: 我等は砲兵 皇国の護り (We are Artillery Guardians of the Empire).
• World Map is a cat playing with Australia.


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