Here, let's start with a simple comparison to Kickstarter and where the two are diametrically opposed (which might be a stronger term than needed, but whatever.)
Kickstarter allows folks to fund a promise. Remember Wimpy from the Popeye cartoons? "I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today." It's a bit like that, except you are paying for the hamburger today with a promise that you'll get the hamburger on Tuesday. Perhaps with a side of fries if certain stretch goals are met, but maybe you won't get that burger for 2 more weeks - or ever. That promise you are funding is only as good as the one giving it and even then, the best of intentions often become crowdfunded nightmares. Feel free to read some of the Kickstarter posts here at The Tavern. I've covered all types - the good, the bad and the ugly.
Patreon allows you to support something that was already being done and offered to the masses for free. It's a crowdfunded "tip jar" if you will, and the power of crowdfunding can be pretty amazing. It can allow bands and music producers to up the quality of their videos (Scott Bradley and his Post Modern Jukebox Band has pledges of over $3,400 per video) and podcasters to cover hosting and production costs (Wild Games Productions is getting a hair over $50 a month to cover costs of hosting a whole bunch of podcasts, The Brainstorm included.) +Dyson Logos (here) and +matt jackson (here) were posting maps and adventures to their blogs before Patreon was "a thing."
Few if any of us can be a "patron of the arts" like in the Renaissance Period. We can, however, put aside a buck or two a month to support those that bring some joy to our lives (and if you have more than a buck or two to tip with, many creators offering little extras. WGP offers a monthly hangout with an assortment of podcasts hosts for those that put a bit more in the tip jar.)
I personally support 11 different creators on Patreon, three of which are music creators. The other eight are in the RPG hobby.
As I cut back on backing Kickstarter material, I see myself putting a few more pieces of gold into various projects on the Patreon side of things. I see the results. I can get feedback from project creators when I want and give them feedback when they want it. It is much more of a community than Kickstarter could ever be.
Do I see The Tavern putting a Patreon tip jar on the bar in the near future? Probably. More contests. More prizes. More fun ;)
Blogging has always been something I've enjoyed and my family has been very accommodating and understanding of the time and funds I put into it. It will need to pay for itself when I retire shortly.
So, this was going to be a post about which Patreon projects were worth backing and has become more of a post about what Patreon actually is.
I'll link to some worthy Patreon projects during the forthcoming week.