Etsy and Kickstarter and Patreon, oh my!
The Internet is probably the most important technological advancement of my lifetime. Its strength lies in its open architecture and its ability to allow a framework where all voices can be heard.
It’s also full of financial landmines. I have a love/hate relationship with Etsy. It has the best things I shouldn’t be spending money on. But at the same time, if I want something unique, knowing that the purchase goes to support a Real Live Human Being is pretty fucking sweet. There are also Real Live Human Beings on Amazon and Ebay, too, (I know, I am one of them, thank you random people with enough disposable income to purchase a fucking outdoor umbrella light, an object I didn’t know existed until two of them fell in my lap), but Etsy seems to have a higher percentage. Craigslist, too, although that’s more local, less crafty, and equally prone to horror.
I better avoid temptation with Kickstarter. Most of what’s on there is crap I’m not remotely interested in, but I do like the concept. People have ideas and need funding, and a mass of human beings votes yay or nay like judges watching gladiators. No suited execs with preconceived notions of “what people want” to muck shit up. The people have made their desires known, and they desire a card game about kittens accidentally exploding themselves. I have a hard time imagining a system more democratic than that.
Except someone did make a system more democratic than that and it’s called Patreon. I’m not funding anyone yet, as the monthly donation thing would irritate my need to have things over and done. Usually if I donate to a project or person I prefer a larger lump sum than a monthly hemorrhage. There is one guy out there who could get me onto the Patreon bandwagon despite that, though. But damn, it’s so much more than Kickstarter. Less emphasis on getting crap, and more people just saying “I like this and want it to continue and am willing to shell out to make this happen,” and that’s fucking amazing. The two Patreons I have looked at seem to be doing outstanding by my (admittedly low) standards, and it makes me happy to see people whose work I enjoy getting at least some of what they deserve.
It just blows my mind sometimes to see how game-changing the internet is. From making DIY more accessible to people too cheap to buy home improvement books to funding people ranting about video games, the internet makes possible things that probably would never have been possible otherwise.
((No, I have no intentions of starting a Patreon anytime soon. That sort of thing would require an actual fanbase. I happily accept donations (thank you!) via the Paypal link that should be somewhere on the side bar. Seriously, those of you who have donated, I love you guys.))