EDIT - Patreon's announced that they're backpedaling! I still have a lot of things to weigh in light of this whole fiasco and whether or not I'll proceed with launching a Patreon page, but if nothing else, I'm glad for the countless creators who risked losing so much more before this reaction.
I have a lot of thoughts swirling around based on a lot of things that happened really quickly this past week, but since they matter a ton to one of my more recent blogs and an announcement related to them, I wanted to get them out here in a straightforward and easily noticible blog post.
Late last month I wrote a blog post detailing, among other things, my intentions of creating a Patreon page to support my blogs here, at least until I manage to get some kind of dream job which would make crowdfunding my blogs unnecessary. But earlier this week, Patreon dropped the announcement that they're changing up how their payments and fees work. I'll spare you the nitty gritty details, there's a lot of more experienced content creators who have a lot more to say about this whole matter such as Jim Sterling.
Long story short, previously, if you give a creator $1 per month, you pay $1 per month and the creator receives like $0.85. With Patreon's newly announced fee model, you will pay your pledge + 2.9% + 0.35. So if you pledge $1, the creator gets $0.95 while you actually pay $1.38. While this doesn't hit wealthier pledges too much, it's a huge price hike for small pledges. And given that countless Patreon creators found their pledge tiers on small amounts, and that countless Patrons pledge small amounts to multiple creators, this is actually a really huge deal. My Patreon page still hasn't launched yet, but since my agenda can only use Patreon as a small tip jar on the side with small rewards, this is hitting me hard before I even step into the ring.
I've juggled a lot of ideas around in my head, and to be honest, I still am juggling them. Maybe I should keep my plans untouched, but add big and bold disclaimers mentioning what prices everyone will REALLY pay at each reward tier. Maybe I should knock down my $3 and $10 reward tiers to $2 and $9 to offset the hike. But neither of these change the problem at the foundation of this change; If you can only pledge $1, you're paying over 30% more than that much to Patreon. Charging less than $1 for a reward tier is not an option, and I know that $1 or $3 pledgers would make up the bulk of my Patreon support. This puts me at a bit of a personal crossroads, since I don't feel right channeling so much time and energy into these blogs without using that as a foundation for getting myself a job.
But it feels much, MUCH less right to ask the bulk of the people who would support me in such a way to pay so much more, especially since part of the reason why I'm continuing to blog is as my personal show of thanks to those who've advocated for my articles. And yes, I'm still crossing my fingers to become a Destructoid staff member so that I can nix all plans to personally crowdfund my articles, but that remains a long term goal, whereas I'm trying to secure at least some additional income sooner (which, quick tangent, is why you can expect me to produce fewer blogs for the rest of this month so I can do me some searching for paid work instead).
Thankfully, an alternative may be on the horizon; an upcoming platform called Drip, owned by Kickstarter. Yes, THAT Kickstarter.
Drip's still in a closed beta of sorts at the moment, and their gates are currently invite only, so I can't be 100% certain how it'll work nor could I join regardless. There are expectations for the platform to launch early next year, and rumors that it may open its gates even sooner, but that's nothing concrete. What I can guarantee at a gleam is that it's doing the generally same thing that Patreon does, but with more of an emphasis on small content creators. I don't know whether blogs about video games falls within their guidelines on content they'll support, their outlined terms make me think I may be outside of their scope, but those guidelines are also still in an early state.
More importantly, there's no bullcrap that forces people who only pay small pledges to pay a substantially higher relative price. Assuming that I'll fit within it and that it meets my current expectations, I can gladly migrate all of my current plans for Patreon over to Drip instead.
I'm still not entirely sure what I'm going to do about the whole Patreon debacle. I may still launch a creator page on Patreon on January 1st and keep it live, with the aforementioned adjustments. I may make that launch but close my Patreon page down as soon as I can set up an alternative like Drip. I may completely ignore Patreon now in favor of waiting for Drip to open up to the public.
What I can say for certain is that I'm disgusted by Patreon's new anti-micropledge policies and what they have said in defense of it, and I feel as if these worms through the woodwork are especially damning for how I intended to use it. For the sake of many creators who already have a previously firm foundation on the platform, I hope that Patreon will backpedal on these plans soon. But I don't expect that to happen. Should the situation deem it appropriate, expect me to migrate all of my plans for Patreon onto Drip instead, though I can't guarantee I'll do so just yet.
I reiterate that I'm listening to feedback on these plans I'm making to accept donations for my blogs, and if anyone has any objections or concerns or suggestions, I will gladly discuss them. One of the biggest reasons I joined this website is to share my passions with others, and the last thing I could bear to do is to apply those passions in a way that exploits or strains other people. Money is one of the other reasons I keep doing this, but I refuse to let that reason take priority over my relationship with the community here. Please let me know if you dislike any of my plans outlined here or in my previous blog for any reason.