First, and foremost, it amazes me that Patreon steadfastly refuses to use forums for those things which forums are particularly good for, instead shifting those functions into a format demonstrably terrible at those things.
In particular, what forums are really good at doing is keeping track of a conversation and maintaining an ongoing record of those conversations and then enabling specific discussion about that particular topic even as changes are implemented, in a way people can go back and refer to.
So, when I see this item:
2. We’re launching a new way for creators to submit feature requests directly on Patreon.com and will be regularly sharing updates summarizing what we hear from creators on the official Patreon creator community Discord server and in our Product Newsletter.
…and then read the full explanation of it later in the post, the first thing that comes to mind is that Patreon has gone out of it’s way to once again ensure that no one can follow back on the discussion and read any previous points, discussion, or decisions. A less charitable read than mine might lead one to suspect that what you really want to do is make sure there’s no paper trail that can be easily followed if something goes wrong. Which it frequently does around here.
Basically the process looks like this, to me:
- Submit your complaint, request, trouble ticket, or what have you into a closed system no one else can see.
- We’ll (Patreon) decide if it has any merit at all.
- At some future point, we’ll rephrase, restate, or summarize in a way we feel is okay, without actually allowing the person providing the feedback to make their own case and explain the problem in a way others can see and evaluate, and regurgitate it back to the community at large…
- …but only in a place and at a time where nothing we say about it can be tracked and discussed in any coherent, accessible, and consistent way and the community’s responses can be easily lost and forgotten.
- In conjunction with this, any forum posts that might come up with further discussion or suggestions about these topics or any new ones will, once Patreon notices them, be closed either because we want you to stop talking about them and believe we have taken them onboard, or because we have decided that your post is not adding to the discussion in a way we approve.
- Thus the forums will become the worst place to mention anything about anything and hope for a solution or some explanation of what is going on.
Frankly, it would not be unreasonable at this point to presume you intend to shut down the forums entirely as by this time next year they will be practically useless in terms of getting any information whatsoever from Patreon itself.
Now, I’m not saying this is what’s going on, but it sure looks like this is what Patreon’s intent is. And if it is, fine, but get on with it and let’s stop pretending the forums serve any function other than letting a few people desperate for help try to get it from each other. The blind leading the blind is always amusing to watch from the outside.
By all means, remind Patreon staffers that there are these forum things they should pay attention to once in a while and be involved with. But it really feels like A: This is too little too late and B: This isn’t where you want discussions happening and information flowing anyway, for whatever reason.
So, I don’t know. More power to you, Maybe this is what all your biggest creators want. Maybe this is what all your smallest creators want. Or maybe this is what everyone but me wants. I long ago stopped trying to guess why Patreon does what it does. And it has to be a guess, because it’s never been good at really explaining what’s going on in any satisfactory way.
So, I guess I just hope that in six moths or a years time, you haven’t shot yourself in the foot. Again. Patreon has got to be running out of feet by now.