Your forum. Your voice

Happy Monday everyone!

I’m starting to think about how we ensure this forum is giving you what you want and need. My vision for the forum is that it provides these things.

For Patreon:

  • Sharing Patreon product releases as early as we can
  • Gathering feedback
  • Collecting new ideas
  • Creating a bridge between creators and company

For Creators:

  • To share learnings for running their a successful creative business
  • Facilitating creator to creator collaborations and support
  • Fun and friendships!

It’s not really the place for:

  • Support or account help
  • Anything that could be answered with a quick Google
  • Hatred, bigotry, racism, personal attacks and the like

How does this sound? What am I missing? What would you like to see in the forum? Would you like some competitions or monthly challenges?

PS. Hope you like the small layout changes I made! Feel free to give feedback about design stuff too.

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Regarding the layout changes, I would like if hitting the “Patreon|Community” logo at the top left returned me to the “Latest” view. I don’t find the “Categories” view useful (way too visually busy, but also just not how I want to interact with the content), yet that’s always what it goes to, so getting out of a thread has become a two-action operation.

As for this not being the place for support or help, the reality is, it’s much easier to get a real person here than by sending e-mail to support. If your support team responded as quickly as you do, then there would be no need to use a forum like this for support issues. But my experience e-mailing support has been that you’re lucky to get a response within a day, and the first response isn’t always very useful. By the time you’ve gone a couple round trips, a lot of time has passed. Plus, for bugs with the site, they’re never going to say “OK I’ve passed that on to the appropriate people” or “I checked and it’s being worked on now” or things like that, so you’re just plain doing a better job than they do. (Why does it have to be that way? A question for the ages, I guess.)

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To clarify, as I recall from the guidelines we were asked to read upon joining, this forum is not actually for customer support, it’s just that everyone’s using it for that instead of waiting for the response of the proper support team, or even dealing with them at all. I’m all for discouraging that, returning the forum to its intended purpose of site feedback and features discussion (NOT individual support), and consolidating important info in one place as you suggest.

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I do: Don’t allow users to use this forum as a shortcut to the helpdesk. I don’t see why you need to play the redundant role of phone operator when everyone has a direct line to the relevant team in the first place, and the only posts that seem to be made here these days are competing “Help ME, NOW!” posts. General discussions of what works and doesn’t work, yes; personal complaints that the rest of us don’t need to see, no. There’s a difference between “I’m having this issue and I wonder if anyone else is having the same” and “the help desk isn’t responding I need someone to look at my account at once”. A line needs to be drawn if you want these forums to serve some sort of purpose other than overflow basin for the help desk.

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Thank you for sharing that! I just merged your thoughts into this thread to continue the topic as your thoughts inspired me to ask others.

Thanks for the feedback @ammulder! Let me respond to some of the ideas you raised.

I can guarantee there is a real person on the other end of every email you write into the support team, but I appreciate the point that this is certainly more of a human-to-human interaction. Have you had any experiences where you felt like you were talking to a robot?

My hope for this forum is for it to be a community forum, not a support forum. Also, it’s important to note that some days I will be running an event, or in meetings, or writing a blog, or meeting creators in San Francisco and won’t be as available as I have been in my first few weeks here. The forum is part of my job, not all of it, unlike the support team.

I am but one person who works 5 days a week (or tries to!), whereas the support team is an army that works 7 days a week :slight_smile:

I do think that for serious bugs, flagging them in here is a good idea so we can understand how much frustration it’s causing creators and I can pass that on to the product team.


I’d love to hear from others about changing the default view as I’d like to try it for a short while, but I know change can be jarring at first.

Yes, more votes on the new design would be good. :slight_smile:

One thing that makes me feel like support is coming from a robot is when I send a detailed support request in, with like five paragraphs of explanation, and then I get an immediate response saying (paraphrasing) “we got your request and we’ll answer it when we get around to it. Meanwhile, have you read these three support articles that we basically picked by throwing darts at a board?” Not only are the suggestions not related to my issue (which a human could instantly establish), the suggested articles are actually aimed at patrons not creators, and to put icing on the cake, they all have a “close my request” button next to them.

The subsequent responses from the team were friendly, and they may understand the nuts and bolts of the system, but I don’t always feel they really understand the creator-patron relationship, how and when I want to contact my patrons, and so on. I think you get more of that insight here, by observing and participating in discussions, as opposed to people we interact with solely through a ticketing system.

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I agree with all you listed @mindy. It should be a creative place of inspiration and mutual learning so that the community as a whole (site-side and creator-side) can constantly improve. After all, this is the community, as the main site is not set up for creators to interact.

I wonder if it would be a good idea to have one section in the forum that’s relatively public, where patrons can sign up and participate (without having access to the creator section). Would it be a way to create more engagement with keen patrons? I’m just thinking out loud: it could very well be a terrible idea.

Regarding the layout change, I’m not a fan of the colourful rectangular badges, they are far too eye-catching and distracting; when I load the “latest threads” page which is my default forum home page, it’s overwhelming. The forum categories were visible enough when they were non-intrusive. I do think the emojis are a good idea, they are great little visual cues, but not the chunks of bright colours.

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I completely agree with the want for it to be less support tickets and more community. I have met some very good people through here and have made friends and i’ve gotta say that’s amazing!

However, good points have been brought up about the fact that we seem to get more responses here than the support team gives in an acceptable amount of time (especially with money on the line), even with their full team of people. While its reasonable to expect a delay because they have to deal with so many requests in a day, including not-suspension requests, I think the entire staff team on patreon needs to try to take on things with more forethought about expectations and realistic delivery of said expectations. The recent suspensions being a good example. From a user perspective it looks like they took on much more than they could chew for their team size, to get back to people in an acceptable time frame. (It looks like they’ve gone gung ho with doing continuous suspensions instead of batches that suit the team size.) It’s why people have come here to ask for help because waiting days to hear back where your account is now limited and some unable to get paid, is not an okay way to work on such a problem. People have come here for other issues too and feeling ignored when they’ve sent in multiple requests, spaced out in a month to get help from the support team and have heard nothing but the initial automated email, but when they come here, they hear back within a day or two almost guaranteed and things get settled. There is a reason people come here for help, because they know that they will actually have someones real and undivided attention for long enough to get the thing fixed or answered. This space is smaller so its easier to have a problem seen and be addressed when things get lost in the chaos that is answering support tickets. While i personally have not had an issue with getting things answered and have been happy with the service i have received, i have seen what others have gone through and so people are going to find a way to get things answered (especially when their payments are on the line, its the primary reason people use patreon…) one way or another until the service improves to have them not need to reach out elsewhere. So until that happens i doooooon’t think this place is going to stop being partially a support forum as well.

One of the things that most certainly has improved but could still be worked on, is the fact that this forum has seemed to be missed in updates about certain beta’s and features that we could be providing feedback for. (Heck i still keep learning about features i never even knew existed or work had even started on them and I’m attached to my phone, get all the updates from this forum, patreon blog posts, etc. I read them all as best i can. I assume maybe some have been in the works a while before you guys made the promises to do better here and actually keep us in the loop about features and use us for feedback but who knows.) I want to see more features and beta’s being posted here. More Topics started here for people to sign up to help test features you guys are working on. That’s one of the primary reasons this forum was even created if memory serves: To have a direct line to creators and get feedback -before- features go out with seemingly little real person feedback from your users. I know I’m not the only one here (but i wont speak for all) that has felt pretty much in the dark about a lot of things you guys have sprung on us in the past and it makes using patreon increasingly worrisome when stuff starts happening without even a courtesy call to let us know whats going on. Next thing you know something has been released or changed and it is negatively impacting users, FAQ are not updated or clear to include the update before it goes live so everyone is confused. This isn’t to say that improvement hasn’t happened. @carla 's presence here has been an amazing help and while it got off to a rocky start, i think we’ve all learned from eachother during some rough patches and are able to communicate better here. It’s still not at a level i’d like to see but it is much much better than it was and i thank all the staff here for that.

Interactive monthly things would be cool but i feel like they might just distract from the issues that still need to be worked on here. Communication, honesty, actually getting feedback on new features/changes (not just us complaining about our day to day issues and screaming about features that still have not received any changes even though they’ve been requested for an embarrassing amount of years) etc. If this suspension thing had been brought up here we could have given feedback on how to carry it out in a way that might have had less of a negative impact or freaking all the users out. Same with the fee debacle last year. There could have been better feedback before Lens came out because there was a flury of error and bug reports the moment it came out and many people not able to use it at all who did want to use it. I still feel like this forum is underutilized. Many of us are here because we want to talk with you guys, other creators and also help make Patreon a better place for all with feedback and help. We are invested in this platform but have very limited ways to actually help. Support tickets for sending in suggestions really don’t get answered which is fair, but here we have one on one with you guys for the purpose for suggestions and feedback and while i see you guys saying our stuff has been sent to staff for review, which is GREAT (this is one of the improvements that Carla started and is much appreciated) it just seems like our opportunities to actually help with specific features you guys are developing is very low priority and sometimes forgotten. There’s been a couple of good threads asking for people interested in testing a feature/give feedback but for how often features and updates come out it feels like we only get to give feedback on very few and of course when new things come out you guys get crazy amounts of feedback on it here but usually in a less productive manner than it could have been.

My 2 cents anyways. As for the layout changes i’m in agreement with Joumana, the coloured banners are a little strong but the emotes are good. :slight_smile:

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Everything ammulder said! Categories view too visually busy and makes it harder to quickly scan for new posts. And I find it very helpful to see what problems other creators are having. Easier to chime in and say I’m having the same problem, or allows me to be aware of problems. And it can be very difficult to get helpful answers from emailing support!

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I definitely agree with Temrin that changes do seem to keep being made without any warning or trying to get feedback on them first. When these changes are for the worse (in our opinion) it can be frustrating to have them sprung on us like that without the chance to say beforehand why they might be problematic. Latest case in point: changing the subject line for the emails announcing we have a new patron. My husband (who gets all the Patreon email) gets loads of email and he has been searching for the phrase “just pledged” to be sure not to miss these emails. Only that phrase disappeared from the subject line. Also, we archive all such email and search for the phrase “just pledged” when checking on something related to new pledges. Now that system is shot. We would have liked to have been able to give this kind of feedback before such a change was made . . .

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There is SO much great insight here, thank you for taking the time to write your thoughts and share them @Temrin. I agree with a lot of what you wrote — getting product betas or early releases in here to gather feedback is my first priority for this forum. In the meantime, I will certainly share any major product updates or changes as soon as I know them.

For me, hearing this is hard but important. The fact we have a wiling group of people who want to help beta test and give feedback is such a wonderful thing and it pains me to hear we aren’t doing that! I really want to help build a much deeper connection between Patreon and our creators – I will always want to hear your honest opinion about how we can do that and where we can improve.

Keep your feedback and thoughts coming, I want to hear as much as I can from everyone.

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I’m heartened to hear that you are interested in hearing our feedback and comments. With some of the changes that Patreon makes it appears that the people making the changes may not be aware of how they might impact creators, they might not be thinking through the different use case scenarios. I am hoping you saw my reply to Temrin as a recent case in point? Thanks so much for trying to find out what creators actually want and need!

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I absolutely saw your reply and read it - when I <3 something that’s to show I read it. I think you’re right that we could improve our awareness about how even small changes like that can impact creators in ways we might now have imagined. Change is always hard but it’s heightened when it’s affecting your business and ability to efficiently work. I would like to be completely transparent though and say that those kinds of changes are probably too small for me to be informed about in advance. However! We did just hire a brand new email marketer who is going to own that entire area and help us clean it up. I happen to sit next to her :slight_smile: This is only her 3rd day today so once she has settled, I’d love to get her on the forum so she can hear directly from you all how we can improve all our emails at the moment.

Keep the ideas coming! and happy Friday :raised_hands:

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Thanks, Mindy. I saw that 2 people “liked” the reply I wrote but I didn’t see how to see who those people were, so I didn’t know that one of them was you. :slight_smile:

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Totally on board with the consensus of “don’t spring stuff on us without warning.” That said, I’m not a mobile-centric person, and a notification whenever there’s something new in a thread I’m following would be awesome - not everyone would like that, so maybe a choice. I am binging on community tonight 'cuz it’s hotter than Satan’s bollocks in L.A. and I’m not going outside as long as I have something productive like this to do.

Also, unless I specifically get my weekly email, I can’t even find the community link. We should have a dashboard for that stuff separate from our connection to our patrons.

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I wanted to pop in here and make sure everyone saw my post about our pricing survey:
https://www.patreoncommunity.com/t/we-want-to-hear-from-you-patreon-pricing-survey/