POSTER presentation -- The Language that gets People to Give - Phrases that Predict Success on Kickstarter

Eric Gilbert
Tanushree Mitra

Crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter-where entrepreneurs and artists look to the internet for funding-have quickly risen to prominence. However, we know very little about the factors driving the “crowd” to take projects to their funding goal. In this paper we explore the factors which lead to successfully funding a crowdfunding project. We study a corpus of 45K crowdfunded projects, analyzing 9M phrases and 59 other variables commonly present on crowdfunding sites. The language used in the project has surprising predictive power- accounting for 58.56% of the variance around successful funding. A closer look at the phrases shows they exhibit general persuasion principles. For example, also receive two reflects the principle of Reciprocity and is one of the top predictors of successful funding. We conclude this paper by announcing the release of the predictive phrases along with the control variables as a public dataset, hoping that our work can enable new features on crowdfunding sites-tools to help both backers and project creators make the best use of their time and money.

Eric Gilbert

The lab focuses on the design and analysis of social media. According to their website they "like puppies, mixed methods and new students (particularly MS)."