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Crowdfunding websites such as Kickstarter 7 Ways To Discover Cool Kickstarter Projects Before Anyone Else 7 Ways To Discover Cool Kickstarter Projects Before Anyone Else It's easier to search for interesting projects on the site. We've come up with a list of seven ways to discover interesting and new projects on Kickstarter before anyone else does. Read More and Indiegogo 5 Crowdfunding Sites Where You Can Raise Money For Your Next Book 5 Crowdfunding Sites Where You Can Raise Money For Your Next Book If you're looking to write a book – either fiction or non-fiction – there are various routes you can take for initial funding. One of these routes is to harness the power of the crowd. Read More offer entrepreneurial individuals and established business alike an opportunity to raise money from the public. This week’s MakeUseOf Poll is all about your experiences of using crowdfunding websites, AKA giving your money to complete and utter strangers.

Bargain-Free Black Friday

To answer this week’s question please scroll down the page until you see the poll staring back at you. But first, we need to look at the results from last week, when we asked, “What Bargain Did You Buy On Black Friday?

Out of a total of 437 votes, 52.4% chose I Didn’t Buy Anything On Black Friday, 21.3% chose Other, 6.4% chose A New Tablet, 4.4% chose A New TV, 3.9% chose A New Speaker or Headphones, 3.7% chose A New Computer, 2.8% chose A New Smartphone, 2.8% chose A New Games Console, 1.4% chose A New Printer, and 1.1% chose A New Camera.

This is an interesting result, as it suggests an almost-50/50 split between those who went shopping for a bargain on Black Friday and those who instead chose to stay home. The main reason given for not going out on Black Friday Five Ways To Protect Yourself And Not Get Scammed On Black Friday Five Ways To Protect Yourself And Not Get Scammed On Black Friday Read More was the distinct lack of bargains on offer.

Among those who did grab a bargain on Black Friday, tablets and TVs were popular choices, while printers and cameras were less popular choices. This shouldn’t come as any great surprise, with tablets hot right now, and TVs being the traditional big-ticket item bought on Black Friday.

black-friday-bargains-poll

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Comment Of The Week

We received a lot of great comments, including those from dragonmouth What Bargain Did You Buy On Black Friday? [MakeUseOf Poll] What Bargain Did You Buy On Black Friday? [MakeUseOf Poll] In this week's MakeUseOf Poll, we want to know what, if anything, you bought on Black Friday 2014. The bigger the bargain, the better. Read More , jamieg What Bargain Did You Buy On Black Friday? [MakeUseOf Poll] What Bargain Did You Buy On Black Friday? [MakeUseOf Poll] In this week's MakeUseOf Poll, we want to know what, if anything, you bought on Black Friday 2014. The bigger the bargain, the better. Read More , and pete What Bargain Did You Buy On Black Friday? [MakeUseOf Poll] What Bargain Did You Buy On Black Friday? [MakeUseOf Poll] In this week's MakeUseOf Poll, we want to know what, if anything, you bought on Black Friday 2014. The bigger the bargain, the better. Read More . Comment Of The Week goes to Double, who earns our admiration and affection for this comment What Bargain Did You Buy On Black Friday? [MakeUseOf Poll] What Bargain Did You Buy On Black Friday? [MakeUseOf Poll] In this week's MakeUseOf Poll, we want to know what, if anything, you bought on Black Friday 2014. The bigger the bargain, the better. Read More :

Ever since they destroyed the family holiday with opening on Thanksgiving afternoon, I avoid spending my money on that weekend. There are things money can’t buy.

We chose this comment because it says it all, really. While we all like getting a good bargain from time to time, and most of us covet the latest and greatest gadgets, if shopping over the Thanksgiving weekend means spending less time with your family and friends you have to ask yourself what’s more important.

Crowdfunding Capers

Crowdfunding Forget Kickstarter: How To Crowdfund From Your Own Website Forget Kickstarter: How To Crowdfund From Your Own Website Crowdfunding has taken off in a big way in the past few years. But you don't need to use a service like Kickstarter if you're already running your own popular website. Read More is becoming an increasingly popular method for raising funds for new products or creative ventures. It isn’t just individual inventors using crowdfunding to reach into people’s pockets either, with established companies also seeing the potential.

As an example of this increasing popularity, Sony recently admitted to determining the level of interest for a new e-paper watch by anonymously bunging it onto a Japanese crowdfunding site.

Regardless of who and what you funded, or whether you found the experience a positive or a negative one, we want to know all about your crowdfunding capers. Simply choose the most appropriate answer in the poll below before taking to the comments section to fill us in on the details.

Please vote in the poll above, and then explain in the comments why you voted that way. Either recount your personal experience of using a crowdfunding site — whether good or bad — or tell us why you haven’t yet contributed to a creative project. The best Comment Of The Week will win our everlasting admiration and affection. Well, at least until we meet back here again this time next week.

Image Credit: TaxCredits.net via Flickr

  1. likefunbutnot
    December 9, 2014 at 8:07 pm

    I actually do a lot of this stuff. I've contributed to a number of Kickstarter, Gofundme and IndieGogo projects, and I also use services like Patreon and Bandcamp to directly offer support to artists. In some cases, it's more a case of just supporting an idea than hope of getting something out of it. As far as I'm concerned, this is the best way to support artists and media. That I wound up with a cheap Matchstick means a lot less to me than being able to say that I helped launch a fun game or bought a pizza for the guys who run my favorite podcast.

    • Dave Parrack
      December 14, 2014 at 11:11 am

      Patreon and Bandcamp are more good examples of this trend. If they take off then we could take the middle-man out of the equation, which would be good for everybody involved!

      Can I get a pizza for being a MakeUseOf writer?

  2. Ron
    December 8, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    I've funded over ten projects w/ Kickstarter. Half were huge disappointments, one never made it off the ground. Choosing wisely is important.

    The obvious benefit is low cost backing for a product in return you truly want, and at the "better-backer" price.

    • Dave Parrack
      December 14, 2014 at 11:12 am

      From what I have seen, the discounts for getting in early can be impressive. You have only backed things you actually wanted then?

  3. eric jay
    December 8, 2014 at 1:11 am

    I haven't yet, but I might do in the future. If there's a good reason or that might interest me I'd do it. There are a lot of successful and noteworthy products brought by crowdfunding and also a handful of those in crowdfunding are scam. If its a scam there a lot of red flags to tell you anyway.

    • Dave Parrack
      December 14, 2014 at 11:14 am

      There are some obvious scams, but the campaigns where everything looks legit have also often ended in disappointment, so it's a tricky thing sorting the wheat from the chaff.

  4. Hildy J
    December 8, 2014 at 12:47 am

    I crowdfunded a woman's attempt to popularize micro satellite projects. Her particular satellite hasn't got off the ground yet but she's published various guides and helped other projects. I got nothing out of it besides satisfaction.

    I also funded an artist's attempt to make a clock which measured the seasons and year. The single hand makes one revolution per year. It was way late but I've had it on my wall for a couple of years now and I love it.

    OTOH, I've bought into two technology products. The first eventually shipped a monstrosity that in no way resembled the images and the second, SmartyRing, while raising a Ferrari's worth of money, has never even come up with a prototype they shared.

    My advice - fund artists, not technology. Leonardo's Last Supper was a much better investment than his orinthopter.

    • Dave Parrack
      December 14, 2014 at 11:18 am

      That sounds like good advice, actually. Even investing in people rather than products is more sound. The people who backed the Oculus Rift got a product, but the people who backed the company got a lot more when Facebook entered the equation.

      That clock sounds fantastic. Is it available to buy online anywhere?

  5. John J
    December 8, 2014 at 12:01 am

    Huge fan of crowdfunding. I think it's a brilliant development of the internet to further remove middle-men that attempt to represent our desires and choices in the free market by allowing users to drive/guide product development ourselves. I think in the end it will evolve the internet marketplace into a more diverse market with more creators. And let's be truthful, the more creators society has the better off we all are. Hopefully someday (in a utopia?) we can all be vast creators of our own gadgets,widgets, art, music, ... AND consumers rather than just the majority of us (myself included) being primarily consumers.

    • Dave Parrack
      December 14, 2014 at 11:19 am

      I certainly think that's possible. The middle-men (and women) are going to fight tooth and nail to retain their positions though. Just look at the attitude of the record companies to artists who try to go it alone.

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