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When you visit the "Discover" section of KickStarter, you can browse projects by category. However, within a category, projects are only listed under the following headings: "Staff Picks", "Popular This Week", "Recently Successful", and "Most Funded", each of which lists a few projects and has a "more" link.

Is there any way to see an unfiltered list?

More generally: how can you ever find out about less-popular not-yet-funded projects not selected by the staff? Is there an unfiltered list somewhere, or a way to search with custom filtering criteria? An "All [Technology > Open Hardware] Projects" page would be a start, but beyond that it would be good to also then filter or sort that list by other criteria like time to end, popularity, total or funded amounts, or keyword searches in arbitrary combinations.

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5 Answers 5

I have the same problem and unfortunately advanced search/filters seems not available at the moment. It could be a good idea contact them and ask to implement such features, especially now that Kickstarter seems to grown a lot in popularity after Double Fine Adventure success and have a lot of new projects.

Anyway, back to your question, the only unfiltered lists I found were the Recently Launched and the Ending Soon lists. You can scroll them and find interesting projects you want to found.

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It appears that "Kickstarer is hiding failures" and your issue may also be an intentended design choice.

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FWIW, the linked article also indicates that it is at least probably-possible by scraping the "Discover" pages to get at every active project on the site. –  Walter Mundt Oct 2 '12 at 6:39
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Is there any way to see an unfiltered list? Not natively using HTTP tools provided by Kickstarter.com. The closest you can get from HTTP is using the filtered lists provided and creating an unsortable list by automatically listing all pages via 3rd party tools. These would scrape the HTML for xpath data using regex and append the resultant next X pages to the current page (Search your browser's addon/extension repository for "autopage" to get this functionality). This is also possible using their undocumented API. See API investigation below.

Is there an unfiltered list somewhere, or a way to search with custom filtering criteria?

Yes, third party. KickSpy.com They have used web scraping and the undocumented API to create a more interactive database of projects.

How can you ever find out about less-popular not-yet-funded projects not selected by the staff?

The reason why it is difficult to find the less popular may be because of a person's response to exposure; a larger group of people will pique the interest of a greater % of people regardless of product. Broadcasting success generates hype and buying activity. Broadcasting failure may slow hype and buying activity. Determining the success of a project may be indicated by the initial support. A large initial support may be indicative of a well-coordinated marketing campaign.

Kickstarter gets paid a % of the final amount raised, but only if it receives the minimum funding by the project creator. It could be argued that exposure to non-backed projects could create a greater number of successful projects. Understanding Kickstarter makes money only on successful projects regardless of whether the project even delivers a product to the buyers, they probably use analytics similar to what can be seen on KickSpy.com to forecast the likelihood of success for a specific project. Promoting projects that are moderately to very successful is probably far more lucrative to them then trying to get "almost" projects funded. It should be clearly seen, Kickstarter.com, from a money-making standpoint, has zero interest in promoting low interest projects.


HTTP investigation

(conducted 2013 Aug 18)

Using category technology as an example (I have not checked this for all categories), I am only able to determine the following, filtered sort-lists.

       /discover/categories/technology

Current projects - Recommended by KS Staff and Popular

  • /discover/categories/technology/recommended
  • /discover/categories/technology/popular

Past projects - Successful and Most Funded

  • /discover/categories/technology/successful
  • /discover/categories/technology/most-funded

All (not sortable)

  • /discover/recently-launched
  • /discover/ending-soon
  • /discover/small-projects
  • /discover/curated-pages

The statistics page will return three tables by categories http://www.kickstarter.com/help/stats
Projects and Dollars, Successful Projects, Unsuccessful Projects

Projects and Dollars columns

  1. Category
  2. Total launched projects, successful and unsuccessful
  3. Total dollars pledged (all money converted to $ based on conversion rate at end of project)
  4. Successful project dollars pledged
  5. Unsuccessful project dollars pledged
  6. Current pledge dollars
  7. Current # of Live projects
  8. Success Rate %

From column 7, we can see there are 159 projects for Tech as of 2:56pm EDT August 18 2013.

This would mean there should be 9 projects listed on page 11 of the Tech category.

/discover/categories/16/popular#p11

However only 8 were listed when I checked at 4:52pm EDT. So a project ended in the last 2 hours.

But it is enough to figure how many pages there are. And by web scraping that value you can use it to figure out how many pages are in that category and grab them all with for i in {1..x}; do wget www.kickstarter.com/discover/categories/16/popular#p$i; done

Note: Kickspy.com does something like this. Tech category, hardware and software, is
http://www.kickspy.com/projects/find?Keywords=&Settings.ExpandStatus=true&Status=0&Settings.ExpandCategories=true&Categories=12&Categories=49&Categories=50&Settings.ExpandSortBy=true&SortBy=1

Kickspy listed 162, therefore 4 of those 162 projects have ended and are actually no longer live.

As of 2013.08.18, the tech category (16) has 11 pages of projects. Each full page is 15 projects. So tech has 150 projects + (projects on pg11).

A subjective summary with my impressions follow:
Page 6

  • 1 successful project w/ 10 days to go
  • Several 0% funded projects with anywhere from 5-40 days to go

Page 7

  • 1 successful project w/ 11 days to go
  • Several with 50-75% and about 1-2 weeks to go
  • pg7: 126% 11d
  • pg7: 72% 9d
  • pg7: 66% 10d

Page 8-11

  • Mostly hopeless projects not likely to reach funding
  • pg8: 49% 6d
  • pg8: 85% 7d
  • pg9: 28% 4d
  • pg10: 81% 10d
  • pg11: 41% 5d

All projects Ending Soon

  • /discover/ending-soon?ref=sidebar
    Category Ending Soon - DOES NOT EXIST
  • /discover/categories/16/ending-soon

Reference: Google search "inurl:www.kickstarter.com/discover/categories/technology/"

API investigation

Mark Olson has done work on the subject

Original investigatory post on Olson's website
http://syntaxi.net/2013/03/24/let-s-explore-kickstarter-s-api/

Resultant github library
https://github.com/markolson/kickscraper

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This might be a bit late but I had the same problem so I wrote an app to do this back in October 2012. I just got around to wrapping it in a website (Kickspy.com).

For Example:

Here are the latest Technology projects sorted by newest first

I've also added personal project recommendations based on your Kickstarter profile. So if you have a Kickstarter Profile (mine for example - http://www.kickstarter.com/profile/wal7er), just replace kickstarter.com with kickspy.com (like this - http://www.kickspy.com/profile/wal7er) and you'll get a list of projects that people similar to you have also backed.

There are a few things I still want to add like "Email me this list" (Edit: now done) and "Save this search". Otherwise hope that helps and let me know if you have any suggestions or feedback

Update

Kickspy.com now lets you view statistics on your searches, so you can get a feel for backers and $ raised for the projects you've selected (http://www.kickspy.com/stats).

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Cool site. It wasn't clear though, how did you manage to get all of the projects? Was it by traversing the discover list? I didnt thnk it goes that deep. –  Steve Jun 3 '13 at 5:23
    
The projects mainly come from the discover list (about 25,000 since October 2012). But to get the earlier projects I had to search for backlinks to www.kickstarter.com/projects and then add those to my list explicitly. From what I can tell there are still some smaller projects that don't pop up on the discover list since I'll still find the occasional backlink to a project not yet in Kickspy –  Walter Jun 6 '13 at 3:06
    
Ah ok, glad I wasnt just clueless, since I couldnt figure out a way to do it off of kickstarters site... I had to look for backlinsk as well ;) Thanks for the response! –  Steve Jun 8 '13 at 6:13
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For anyone stumbling over this page in search of the same answer, it's worth noting that clicking "more" for the "Popular This Week" heading takes you to the "Popular" page, which actually lists all projects under the category. You can verify this both by the great number of projects you can find, and by projects showing up that were 7% funded with 3 days to go and similar. Though I'm unsure what actual order the projects are listed by.

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