Supporting MickMake without Patreon

If you’re one of my Patrons, then you will have noticed an email sent from Patreon that places a new “charge” on to everyone who pledges, effective from the 18th December.

If you don’t have time to read through this and want an alternative way of supporting me, then go here.

What’s up Patreon?

In a blog post from Patreon, they stated what was going to happen from the 18th December onwards. The change is essentially like this…

Before: If you were pledging $10/month, then you were charged $10/month, Patreon would take a cut and somewhere between $8.55 to $9.31 would go to the creator.

After: If you pledge $10/month, Patreon will charge you 2.9% PLUS an additional 0.35c, effectively making it $10.64.

It may not seem like a huge hike and Patreon’s reasoning is that it pushes a consistent amount back to the creator. However, if you look at a $1/month Patron, things get a little sour.

Before: $1/month pledged by a Patron =$1/month paid by a Patron = $0.85 to $0.93/month sent to creators.

After: $1/month pledged by a Patron = $1.38/month paid by a Patron = $1.31/month sent to creators.

What’s wrong with that?

Well, there’s several reasons why it’s wrong. 1. No warning - A week or so warning sent out to creators isn’t enough. 2. Timing - Just before Christmas. Yeah. OK. Right. 3. No alternative - Like it or leave it attitude. The is no “grandfathered contract” for existing Patrons. 4. No consultation - Had Patreon consulted the creators, many of us would have said “no thanks”. 5. Cost - Stops people from pledging lots of small amounts to multiple creators. 6. The issue - It doesn’t really fix the problem.

What’s right with it?

Well, in theory it works… for new pledges it’s pretty clear up front what the costs are, but it’s a smack in the face for everyone concerned and smaller pledges are the ones that’ll get hit hard.

If they had only just allowed the current pledges to run without any change and any new pledges convert to the new charges, everyone would be happy… Maybe…

They could have done better.

The first issue with Patreon is the vast number of micro-payments they have to process. Every transaction costs, so many smaller transactions cost a whole lot more than fewer, larger transactions.

They originally had payments going out on the 1st of every month. This was great! Lower the transaction fees!

However, people join midway through the month and so what do you do with those transactions?

The best way to have solved this would be to have a one-off pro-rated charge for people joining midway through the month and then continue on the 1st of every month.

The second issue is that some creators were complaining about the variable return every month due to changes in transaction fees.

This really isn’t an issue that Patreon should solve. It’s a fact of life that there’s good and bad months. We are, after all, being supported by people who like our content. It is inevitable that people will come and go and it’s inevitable that things like exchange rates fluctuate.

How does it affect MickMake?

I’ve lost 20% of my pledges from Patreon in 3 days.

I’m not the only one. Across the entire board of creators on Patreon there’s losses.

I don’t have any issues with people withdrawing their pledges, but with the way in which Patreon has handled this whole thing. It’s a big loss to me and it’s all on Patreon.

It’s a sad day when a company such as Patreon starts to look like an evil enterprise.

As a supporter, what can you do?

You can continue to use Patreon if you like. It’s still a great system. I’ll still post to Patreon, but I don’t want to force people to use something they have issues with.

If you’ve watched any of my videos, you’ll know that if I encounter any roadblocks I quickly navigate around them and use something else.

So, I’ve done just that.

I’ve setup on this website the same system that exists on Patreon. So now you can pledge a monthly recurring amount using PayPal. You have similar levels that exist on Patreon and you can even login using Patreon, (for those people happy to stay there).

So the choice is yours. You can cancel your pledge on Patreon and continue with a more direct way of supporting me

or continue using Patreon and use that to login to my website.

And this is what you’ll see once you’ve setup a monthly pledge or logged in via Patreon.

Once again. Thanks to all my supporters who have kept me running this last year. Here’s to a continued 2018 of MickMake videos!


Mick Hellstrom avatar
About Mick Hellstrom
Hacker. Maker. YouTuber.

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