The webcomics blog about webcomics

BOY Am I Glad I Checked Twitter Before Writing Today

I was going to point out all the Welp, still nothing from Patreon messages in the sosh-meeds, and then the word broke — Patreon, against all expectation, announced that they aren’t shifting the payment methods next week after all:

We still have to fix the problems that those changes addressed, but we’re going to fix them in a different way, and we’re going to work with you to come up with the specifics, as we should have done the first time around. Many of you lost patrons, and you lost income. No apology will make up for that, but nevertheless, I’m sorry. It is our core belief that you should own the relationships with your fans. These are your businesses, and they are your fans. [emphasis original]

Thoughts in no particular order:

  • Man, that last sentence says volumes, doesn’t it? It really looks like Patreon fundamentally misunderstood its own platform/business/service/relationship with its users.
  • Along with a lot of supporters. Here’s hoping that creators can win them back.
  • This: I’m relieved Patreon won’t go through with that devastating change but still PISSED at how much damage was done to the livelihoods of so many artists. I am in crunch at work today so I can’t say more rn, will need to address this later.

    Also this: Now that @Patreon has rolled back the new billing policy, I will maintain all my pledges. My offer to help creators move and/or set up secondary streams of income still stands.

    Taken together, watch for creators to continue their exploration of other funding channels. Patreon’s no longer the only game in town.

  • The Washington Post wrote about the whole brouhaha, and interviewed Jeph Jacques. He got the phrase extremely boned into a fancy exemplar of serious journalism.
  • While the changes were absolutely necessary to Patreon’s nearterm viability, I’m not sure that this fixes the problem. In EMS, we talk about dealing with immediate life threats in the field, so we can deliver a still-alive patient to definitive care at the Emergency Department; there are no promises they ever make it out of the trauma bay or leave the hospital.

    Right now, Patreon is getting wheeled in and the team is ready to start working; they’ve made it to the hospital, but longterm survival is still up in the air. A lot of trust has been lost.

    But, as Miracle Max told us, there’s a big difference between dead and mostly dead. In the last couple of hours, Patreon’s managed to drag itself back to the better of those two conditions.

  • If all this is good news for you, please consider reinstating pledges that you may have canceled for creators whose work you love. They’re the ones in even more immediate peril than the Big P.

Unrelated, but it’s specific to today: love you, Ro.

Spam of the day:

Bingo! Your FREE Sample of Starbucks is ready to be claimed!

I don’t drink coffee.

Yeah, I am glad that Patreon has listened to reason, and I think they will ultimately survive, but I am amazed at how much damage they did to their brand with this entire fiasco.

And in the end, regardless of whether this was the result of incompetence or greed, and regardless of whether they actually follow through on their promise to do better in the future, they have managed to completely destroy one of their biggest selling points to creators: stability.

No matter how they act from here on out, they have made everyone aware of how fragile their service is – that at any time, for any reason, they could completely revamp their entire structure (without any advance notice) in a way that is harmful to all of their users. Even if they never do so again, everyone knows it is possible. You can’t regain that faith, and I think that will haunt them for a long time to come.

watch for creators to continue their exploration of other funding channels. Patreon’s no longer the only game in town.

Yeah, but who/which/where are they? How does Flattr compare to Drip, etc. You could do a major service to fans and creators by doing a good roundup. Lots of research, sure, but it would be a big help!

RSS feed for comments on this post.