As many others have said already, this has nothing to do with the the integrity or good will of the staff at Patreon. It has everything to do with those good intentions not connecting with their ability to enact any kind of significant change OR for that change to be relevant to the end user.
We have indeed gone through changes, but very few of them have had a positive impact on our workload. The front page changed, and it forced many of us to redo all the work we’d put into our tier banners. It also made it so that we had to lead people to other sites to find out what we were about, because Patreon now hides that information under three scrolls and a “read more” button.
Then the relationship manager changed, and all it did was remove or hide features that we’d been relying on, while introducing other features that were obsolete by the sheer nature of the platform (i.e, marking patrons as “complete” for rewards, while not having a reliable system to deliver these rewards and depending on third party pages to deliver).
Recently there was this topic talking about all these great tools for content delivery - except they’re not just offsite, but you actually have to pay for those services separately. Crowdcast in particular is an especially obtuse choice, given that if you have more than 100 patrons, you’ll be shelling out 90 to 160$ a month to invite them all to your streams. If that doesn’t scream “we don’t know our audience” I don’t know what does.
Meanwhile, we have this thread from Sept 2018 that has so far accumulated over 200 responses - many of them requesting the same core fixes or features: galleries, a functional API, a better notification system, public pinned posts - things that would be expected of a minimal viable product pre-launch, let alone a platform that has been around for 8 years. In this thread, we have 3 posts by Mindy acknowledging “what great feedback this is” and how it’s been passed onto the team, and one by Reyna solving a single particular enquiry without further ado.
As for Jack coming onto Discord, that’s great. But seeing a picture of Jack eating a salad, having him tell me I’m a rockstar and then getting a collage of our comments to pin to the fridge as a trophy does not really ease any of the sentiments I highlighted in my original post. Especially when all of that comes garnished with not one, but TWO disclaimers of “no promises”. If anything, it makes me feel more put off towards the platform and the staff for treating us like children gathering around a campfire to sing kumbaya and pretend we’re all in this together.
Except we’re not. According to this site, “the average Patreon executive compensation is $245,889 a year. The median estimated compensation for executives at Patreon including base salary and bonus is $243,145, or $116 per hour. At Patreon, the most compensated executive makes $790,000, annually, and the lowest compensated makes $34,000.”
If you need a comparative of why we’re not the same and why these “we see you” responses don’t cut it, let it be this: That’s regular income that the staff make because many of us dedicate our entire time to make the platform work. How many of us make that kind of paycheck every year off a platform that hardly does any of the work for us?
Our demands are not irrational. We’re the builders who are more than happy and grateful to work onsite, but need tools that aren’t rusty and a harness in case we slip off the wall. What is irrational, is Patreon responding to that with a thumbs up while they sit inside the building, watching us dangle off the scaffolding.
I will always hope for improvement and I’ll hold onto a healthy amount of optimism for Reyna and Jack’s comments about a better roadmap and communication to be true. I’d love to sit here next year, writing another post to say “Damn, you guys really pulled through!”. But I will also say that if this was the start of that intent, then I am already disappointed and highly sceptical of what shape this is going to take going forward.