Keith Parkins
Dec 9, 2017 · 2 min read
Patreon

Of the 65,000 people using Patreon to support themselves and their art, only 2% make more than the federal minimum wage.– Feral Williams

Patreon is an online platform where you can literally contribute pennies to support people.

When Medium started charging to read articles, a few writers put a Patreon button on each of their pages. Maybe it was not Patreon, maybe it was something else, but the concept was the same, to enable a reader to support a writer they liked.

Brian Williams writes Brian’s Coffee Spot, a blog about coffee. You cannot miss it, a huge button, please support me on Patreon, not exactly subtle. He asks people to support him to do what he likes, drinking coffee and not have to support himself with a day job.

As I write, he is in China, so the day job has some advantages.

He has on twitter 14.8k followers. How many his blog attracts I do not know.

On Patreon, he has four supporters contributing $3 per post.

This is not to single out Brian Williams, but to illustrate the point, the only one making money out of Patreon is Patreon.

Naomi Wu, a designer in Shenzhen, says patrons who support her with $1 are paying for a bag of screws, those who donate $5 are paying for her lunch.

Singer-songwriter Jewelia uses Patreon, she could equally use bandcamp where she releases her music. To raise funds for her new album, City of the Mind, she used crowdfunding.

Patreon is yet another platform that attracts Vulture Capitalists, hoping to inflate the value, then sell out at the peak.

We have been here before, Uber and Deliveroo, serfs working for an app, Vulture Capitalists the only ones who benefit.

Musicians release your music on bandcamp. No Vulture Capitalists demanding their pound of flesh. Bandcamp also has a mechanism to support musicians.

Writers take a look at LeanPub and Unbound.

Patreon clearly satisfies a need, what is required is an open source cooperative platform owned by the creators.

Introduce a Basic Income and the need for Patreon vanishes overnight.

Light on a Dark Mountain

The machine is stuttering and the engineers are in panic. They are wondering if perhaps they do not understand it as well as they imagined. They are wondering whether they are controlling it at all or whether, perhaps, it is controlling them.— The Dark Mountain Manifesto

Keith Parkins

Written by

Writer, thinker, deep ecologist, social commentator, activist, enjoys music, literature and good food.

Light on a Dark Mountain

The machine is stuttering and the engineers are in panic. They are wondering if perhaps they do not understand it as well as they imagined. They are wondering whether they are controlling it at all or whether, perhaps, it is controlling them.— The Dark Mountain Manifesto

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