Patreon Posts January 29, 2014 2:17 PM   Subscribe

Patreon is a way of crowdfunding creative workers in an ongoing way (i.e. you commit to paying, say, $5 per completed work). It's a great system, and I've backed a couple myself, but I'm curious how Metafilter will manage it as it becomes more widespread. Because, unlike Kickstarter there might never be an end point to the crowdfunding. Are there any issues with posts relating to Patreon-funded artists? Or are we okay as long as we don't mention the Patreon bit in the post?
posted by Sebmojo to Etiquette/Policy at 2:17 PM (23 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

I think the primary issue will be with posts that are sort of about or putting eyeballs on the Patreon-funding angle, vs. about something that happens in a way totally orthogonal to the post to have Patreon funding involved. Though I think ultimately this is going to be an issue we deal with as more test cases come along.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:20 PM on January 29, 2014

There's currently a post up on the Cara Ellison 'Embedded with...' project, which is Patreon funded.

My own feeling is that this will become very widespread and it may just become a reasonable assumption that an interesting creative project has some kind of crowdfunding vector attached to it; if so, then the way zabuni presented it (i.e. no mention of patreon) seems a reasonable template.
posted by Sebmojo at 2:30 PM on January 29, 2014 [2 favorites]

Linking to someone who happens to be supported through Patreon doesn't seem much different than linking to someone who sells prints of their comic strips or other merch, or gives incentives to donators. The difference with Kickstarter is that the "Best of the Web" thing hasn't even been made yet.
posted by muddgirl at 2:33 PM on January 29, 2014 [2 favorites]

Links to things that have a big FUND ME link way up top will still be problematic. The fact that a thing has a fundraising aspect to it, if it's minor and not the main point of the site/page/content shouldn't be a problem. But yeah as cortex says: case-by-case.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:55 PM on January 29, 2014

The difference with Kickstarter is that the "Best of the Web" thing hasn't even been made yet.

I think that's a great way of framing it.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 3:48 PM on January 29, 2014 [2 favorites]

Then again, a whole bunch of the webcomics I read now have pictures of their characters wearing tshirts with a Patreon "P" on them, but below the comic/below the fold... some have promised more frequent updates with some Patreon income behind them, and in a couple cases, this might push something I "kinda like" into "like enough to want to FPP". (And this also applies to podcasts, even some specialized blogs) If Patreon makes something better and more FPP-worthy (even though the fundraising involved never ends), would that likely be a safe post?
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:45 PM on January 29, 2014

The big deal is that the thing, on its own is a good thing and not mostly a request for money with a little big of the thing now and a lot more of the thing promised if funding is secured. Does that make sense? Feel free to hit us up on the contact form if you have questions about a specific thing.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:50 PM on January 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I wouldn't do anything until the "lot more of the thing" was actually delivered... and not the first week of it either. (See previous MetaTalk) :)
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:58 PM on January 29, 2014

(For people who clicked and wondered if the princess on Patreon is the same one we learned about in 2012, yes, it is!)
posted by Houstonian at 6:28 PM on January 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

Because, unlike Kickstarter there might never be an end point to the crowdfunding…

Yup. Crowdfunding is crowdfunding. It is asking for support, not discussion at its root level.
I like a lot of the KS projects, but if the CF world is allowed to march on MF, then it is a nail in the coffin for this site. This is a topics/discussion site, not a resource for empowering a project.
It is not that people disagree with the intent of the project, but that there are established norms for this venue.

Respect that, please.
posted by lampshade at 6:28 PM on January 29, 2014 [2 favorites]

i don't feel like linking to an artist or something who happens to be funded by Patreon would be any more Wrong And Bad And Not Appropriate For Metafilter than linking to any website that has a paypal link on the sidebar or google ads on the page or whatever, as long as the link isn't TO AND ABOUT the Patreon fundraising but is rather about THE ART. like, if a webcomic has "a picture of the characters with a P on their shirt below the fold" then making a thread about that artist and linking to their webcomic shouldn't be at all controversial simply because of the fact that you can click through the content and discover a way to send money to the person who created it - but making a thread about their patreon deal linking to their patreon page and explaining that you can send money to them would pretty clearly be Not On.
posted by titus n. owl at 6:48 PM on January 29, 2014

Yeah the big deal is it puts us in the awkward situation of looking at a post and saying "Did people post it to MeFi because it's awesome, or because they are looking for more funding?" which is the thing that the "no Kickstarter" blanket rule is there for. We're really not sure what will happen with more patron-funded stuff like this but we're definitely still firmly on the "Do not use MeFi to shill for stuff here, and if we are not sure if your post passes the smell test we'll axe it" side of the line.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:55 PM on January 29, 2014 [2 favorites]

So does $1 per MeFi comment seem fair?
posted by ODiV at 7:08 PM on January 29, 2014

while i do get the idea of "we don't want people posting it to look for more funding" i honestly don't understand how a patreon link on a site is different than the already-ubiquitous paypal tip jars in sidebars? i admit i have not seen them in the wild so for all i know they're really huge obnoxious links or something
posted by titus n. owl at 7:29 PM on January 29, 2014

oh, is it because the patreon thing is "if you do this i make more" therefore there might be (on a case by case basis as y'all have already mentioned) sort of "hostage content" situations or whatever?
posted by titus n. owl at 7:30 PM on January 29, 2014

Pretty much that, yeah. If the site had no Patreon link and was awesome enough to post anyway, then there's a good chance that an off-focus link isn't going to kill it any more than a tip jar would (or a merch store, or whatever.)
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 7:32 PM on January 29, 2014

I'm deeply skeptical of artists and writers rebadging themselves as the new charity cases, because I think it has the potential to dilute people's already stretched philanthropic budgets.

So yeah I'd be in favour of keeping video game bloggers rattling their begging bowls off the frontpage, especially since legitimate charities that actually do lifesaving work are also banned.
posted by dontjumplarry at 7:33 PM on January 29, 2014

This is a topics/discussion site, not a resource for empowering a project.

We have an empowering a project site.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 7:38 PM on January 29, 2014

I don't personally consider it charity when I pay an artist or writer for the work I'm getting from them.
posted by Andrhia at 8:01 PM on January 29, 2014 [7 favorites]

I think that avoiding Patreon will cause some cool stuff to go unposted, and if Patreon is successful, that proportion of forbidden cool stuff will increase. It's kind of a funny dynamic- kickstartered projects encourage you to wait before you post, but the existence of Patreon means you need to post before your subject starts using it. Otherwise, no party princess for you.
posted by a snickering nuthatch at 5:40 AM on January 30, 2014

Lots of things like webcomics have always had donations links on their pages and that's never impacted whether they were okay to post, you know? Okay, yes, maybe some people will see them and like them and decide to financially support, but you can still get the thing without the financial support. I agree that's a good distinction to make. I don't think that linking directly to someone's donation page, no matter who it's through, is ever a good thing to be doing, but linking to someone who happens to be taking donations is different.
posted by Sequence at 5:57 AM on January 30, 2014

There's a ton of big news sites where whenever you go there they throw up a big interstitial ad that asks you to pay them money to use their site. I'm having a hard time thinking of any substantive differences between that and Patreon sites.
posted by aubilenon at 5:34 PM on January 30, 2014 [1 favorite]

"As it becomes widespread" is a heck of an assumption.

I give it 18 months to belly up.
posted by spitbull at 3:59 AM on January 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

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