As a professional blogger, I regularly amazed at how primitive Patreon’s email notifications are. If Patreon’s goal is to boost a sense of community between creatives and patrons, it would seem that there are a number of simple steps that could be taken. Here are the three most obvious ones:
- For email notifications, give creatives the option of sending out only the first few sentences of each new post. Patrons would read them, be intrigued, and have to click a link and be taken to the full Patreon post to read the rest of the article/announcement/etc. At present, the entire post is emailed to patrons, they read it, and they have no easy way of responding or seeing how others have responded. Yes, there is a “View full post” button at the bottom, but why would anyone click this when they’ve just read the full post? It’s a useless and confusing button.
(There is a workaround for this, but it’s labor intensive. You write the entire article or post, but before you click publish you swap the whole thing for a few lines of text. Patrons receive those few lines with the standard orange invitation to “View full post.” By the time the first patrons have clicked that button, you have hopefully put back your original article. It’s a horrible way to do this. It should be an option.)
Email notifications from creatives are conversational dead ends. They arrive in your in-tray, you read them and think, “That’s awesome.” But there is no opportunity to respond back to the creative without taking the counter intuitive step of clicking “View full post.” (I just did!) Why are there no like and comment buttons in email notifications? Patrons are itching to respond, creatives are desperate to hear their response, but there’s no opportunity to respond.
Taking this one step further, one can’t patrons have the opportunity to converse with other patrons within discussion threads? Why are there no opportunities to subscribe to comment threads? Why are reply buttons generate such tiny boxes?
I appreciate Patreon is not a blogging platform, but there is much to be done before it can legitimately be called a social platform. As a blogger I have learned that discussion threads under my articles not only foster community and promote engagement among readers, but they are gold mines of inspiration for me. Whenever I write on Patreon, however, I feel the same way bloggers must’ve felt in the mid-1990s - full of optimism at the unfulfilled potential.