Patreon is a crowdfunding site based in San Francisco, California, very popular with content creators. By content creators you have to understand artists, musicians, writers, even bloggers, but the most prominent on Patreon are vloggers, the youtube videos’ creators.
This site has been founded by a musician, Jack Conte, together with a web developer, Sam Yam. The site helps creators in the world to achieve sustainable income. It is not a business per se, as it is a way to channel some donations to content creators in order to let them create beauty, instead of taking off the streets to find money on their own, for food and lodging. A lot of content creators don’t have a steady job, they are not employed to a corporation or to another rat race generating company.
Patreon’s business model is people supported (not ad supported), where “patrons” (fans) give money directly to their favorite creators, allowing them to continue doing what they love (and what fans value). A sort of Kickstarter or IndieGogo for individual pieces of creative digital content, a category of businesses that go around current systems, creating a way for people to share and support each other through peer-to-peer transactions, with the businesses taking a percent of each financial exchange. And you know that at Patreon, they take only 5%? I find this very decent.
I also know from experience that the content creators are profoundly despised by the “hard working people” who wait every day of the month (or the week, doesn’t matter the period) for the paycheck, the result of pushing millions or even billions of dollars in other people’s bank accounts, instead of pushing something in their own. They hardly are able to understand, to appreciate, or sponsor an artist. I think that all these not yet famous artists on Patreon are sponsored by relatives and other accomplished artists who started before, and struggled on their own – sometimes alone – to achieve stability and why not, a degree of success.
Unfortunately, these days, the website has been compromised, some sensitive data spilled out onto the web. Not the biggest deal ever, no credit or debit cards information, mostly because Patreon doesn’t store it. Accessed were also passwords, social security numbers and tax form information, but they remained securely encrypted. Otherwise, email addresses, private messages, disclosed anonymity of anonymous donors is all that you can find. Jack Conte publicly excused himself in front of his users with this message: “I sincerely apologize for this breach, and the team and I are making every effort to prevent something like this from happening in the future.”
Good, he also works with his Twitter’s staff buddies, to remove the accounts with Wikileaks tendencies who offer links to the spilled content. When the content from “Ashley Madison” has been leaked out, everybody was in joy, especially the tabloid press and the tabloid websites who live through those kind of “news”.
All is well when ends well. You, the users are advised by the security researchers and by Conte as well, to change your login password on your next login. Isn’t this nice?
I wonder if you are the kind people who support crowdfunding. Let me know, please!
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