This is something that I was going to write about over the upcoming 12 Days of Blogmas, but I feel forced into discussing it now. I’ve already dropped a few preliminary thoughts, but I was going to wait to say more until I had a solid plan. Things have changed, and there is drama, so let’s talk about Patreon… again.
Some Ideas (Not Yet Plans)
I have been looking at overhauling my Patreon campaign in the new year. Dancing Lights Press has undergone a lot of changes over the past several months, in terms of product offerings and release schedules. My focus has been on bringing the company website up to speed first (still an ongoing project), and eventually bringing that Patreon into alignment with that.
In working on what I want this site to be, I have been looking at adding a Patreon element here as well. At present, I’m thinking of combining the site and the podcast into one entity, to increase the content offerings to patrons while cutting back on the number of elements I need to manage.
One very compelling option for these overhauled Patreon projects is to not use Patreon at all. I am seriously considering using Ko-Fi Gold. While I still need to do some more research, and have not made a final decision, it seems to do everything I want and need. It’s also a flat monthly fee, as opposed to taking a percentage of earnings, which scales better as it theoretically grows. It certainly would make bookkeeping easier.
My reasons for the potential switch come down to money and ease of use. Period.
In the past month or so, I’ve lost a few patrons on the Dancing Lights Press Patreon. My assumption has been that the erratic release schedule while I retooled and reorganized was off-putting for some folks. I understand that, didn’t worry about it, and focused on the new patrons I hope to gain when I relaunch.
Let’s Talk About Patreon Again
As it turns out, I’ve lost subscribers because Patreon is allegedly hemorrhaging patrons. There have been issues with payments not being processed correctly, or people getting charged for things they shouldn’t. While I haven’t done a deep dive into the topic, there was apparently an issue starting in August when they changed banks. Neither of those are the issues I’m worried about. The problem that I, personally, don’t want to get swept into is ideological.
Patreon has shut down, or is planning to shut down, a number of creator accounts based on ideological stances. Don’t start throwing facts at me; that’s not the point. Some people see this as Patreon taking a stand against hate speech. Some people see it as censorship. The bottom line is that right or wrong, Patreon can alter its terms of service as it sees fit. Corporations exist to generate profits for shareholders, not to provide platforms to creators out of the kindness of their hearts.
I want to make one thing clear. Should I decide to leave Patreon, it is not a show of solidarity with people getting kicked off the platform. If I go to another platform, it’s about money and ease of use. Should I decide to discontinue, it’s about lack return on investment for the work required. The timing of my leaving, if I do, has nothing to do with other controversial events.