March 25, 2016
Supporting creators on the web with Patreon
I like to support artists, writers, musicians, and all types of creative people. Of course, like most people, I'm not in the financial position of creating an endowment fund. But I would like to do more than just click a thumbs up.
I first heard of Patreon while watching SciShow on YouTube. Like most people, I expect all YouTube videos to be free, but at the end of each SciShow episode, the host thanked the people who supported the show through something called Patreon. So I looked into it.
I created a Patreon account, and set it up so that people can help support my History Adventuring blog. But I don't mean that I want people to have to pay for it. This is support, not a charge. No one is investing in me, they're simply showing their appreciation, the same way that someone throws some change into a hat for a street performer.
And that's exactly what I am on the web - a street performer. And there are a lot of people like me. They create stuff, throw it out there, and see if anyone likes it. Of course, the vast majority of it is garbage, but every once in a while there's something kind'a cool that people like. In the past, it's meant that successful creators end up by stopping their free performance, and suddenly they were charging for their work, and there was less good free stuff on the web. And that's kind of sad.
I've seen a lot of ideas to "monetize" your creations on the web. There are those awful Google ads, which infect everything, and I've even seen concepts that ask you to log in, and want you to pay like at a toll booth. Boo!
As far as I can tell so far (and I've only been on Patreon for a little while), Patreon can be used to give people a chance to throw a few coins every month. Yeah, there are other ways of setting up Patreon, like charging for each creation, but I really don't like that idea, I prefer the monthly thing. Patreon has been around for three years, and it looks like it's working. I appreciate SciShow, so I pledged.
By the way, the name "Patreon" is a combination of "Patron" (which is a supporter of the arts) and Eon, which means a long time. And I like the idea of pledging, not being charged. I am glad to help.
Become a Patron!
Posted by Brad Hall