2013: The Year of the Patron
One of my 2012 resolutions was to support local, small and independent businesses - a resolution which I admit I readily and consistently undermined by continuing to give my money to Amazon. Damn you, Subscribe & Save.
But on reviewing my accounts for the year, I realized I’d still spent more money with the kinds of businesses I’d pledged to support than with the retail behemoth.
On Kickstarter I backed a range of projects, from Narrative.ly - a digital publication which does in-depth, original reporting about New York, edited by Noah Rosenberg - to the Kaffeologie S Filter, a steel filter for the Aeropress.
I signed up for The Magazine; paid for premium subscriptions to Simplenote and Workflowy; renewed my subscription to Pinboard; bought Tweetbot on iPhone, iPad and OS X; converted friends, colleagues and complete strangers to the joys of Fantastical and Drafts; joined the neighbourhood CSA.
And in 2012 I spent quite a lot of something more valuable than money - time. I spent time on projects and causes I care about, time with people I believe in.
Because modern patronage is about support, and not the kind of support that imposes conditions and caveats upon the patronized. To patronize in this context is to never, ever condescend.
So to all the people, projects and businesses I had the privilege of engaging with in 2012 - thank you for making and doing amazing things.
Now to see about reducing my Amazon footprint.