Yesterday I wrote a little bit about the Cosmic Treadmill… After Dark series of podcasts, which were (and I suppose still sorta are… at least for the next few weeks) exclusive to our Patreon page. It started making me think of how and when we put together our little “exclusive” slice of the internet.
Also, yesterday… I decided I’m going to withdraw from most social media platforms. It’s not a healthy relationship for me… and, it hasn’t been in quite some time. Before switching off the lights on my Twitter for now (or forever, who knows… not like anyone’ll notice either way), I figured I should probably officially shut down the @cosmictmill account as well.
Truth is, neither Reggie nor myself have had access to that account in like a year (again, not that anyone noticed). We weren’t great at keeping passwords where we could find ’em. Also, we made Weird Comics History accounts wayyy back in the long ago… then, instead of changing them to Cosmic Treadmill accounts… we just made new accounts (probably because we lost the passwords to the originals!). So, anytime I’d try and reset these passwords, it’d always seem to be for the wrong account. A real mess… which, might tell you why I became so anxious to consolidate all of the output under one umbrella.
I get that this is very dry and boring… and not much of a story, but… I also get that I’m probably the only one who’s still paying attention. Anyhoo… yesterday I finally cracked the code. I was able to access the @cosmictmill account, and decided to scroll a bit… just a little walk down memory lane, I guess. Not like I necessarily needed to “sign-in” in order to read our old timeline… but, whattayagonnado?
I found myself scrolling down to our announcement of the Patreon launch… and a flood of memories came rushing to my head. Ya see, this was a topic Reggie and I didn’t quite see eye to eye on. Reggie was for it, and very excited to “test the waters”… I was a bit more conflicted.
First, I honestly didn’t think anyone would care. I’ve seen enough Patreon pages go up with high hopes and good intentions… only to just flop. I figure, I’ve got low enough self-esteem already… didn’t need any others reasons to doubt my worth round here, right?
Second, being raised Catholic… I feel like if there’s a situation wherein I’m profiting in any way, that I’m automatically “getting away” with something. I felt guilty asking people to pay us for our content. Like, who am I to do that? Ya know?
Third, and perhaps most important… I’ve seen shows change drastically after launching a Patreon. Shows/content lose their intrinsic feel… and it becomes clear it’s become all about the money, and making as much of it as possible. I’ve listened to half-hour long podcasts where they plugged their Patreon a half-dozen times. That’s too much, folks. That’s not every show, mind you… but enough of them to really sour me on the concept.
I do have a ton of respect for folks who can go the Patreon route… and actually make it work. Putting out exclusives with regularity… even (and especially) when their following is small. That tells me how serious they are. I’ve literally seen Patreon pages loaded with exclusive audio and video… with one Patron. That says a lot about the character and commitment of the creator(s).
But… don’t get me started on shows who launch their pay-tiers before even recording a single second of audio. I get 3-4 follows a week on social media from “coming soon” comics podcasts… zero minutes of audio recorded, zero words written… but, you can already give them all your monies! Ya know, those popular comics covers they went to Google Images and “right-click-saved” to post on their Twitter are probably worth your five-bucks a month!. That’s probably another reason why I’m leaving social media for a spell.
So yeah… I was conflicted when it came to launching a Patreon. Despite the fact that we had thousands of hours of audio, millions of words of text, tens of thousands of hours of research… and a regular schedule, I still felt like we (or I) hadn’t “earned it”.
Reggie really wanted to try… and figured if not then, when? And so, we did. I must say I was shocked at the reception. I literally lost sleep the night before it went “live”, fearing some sort of backlash (I’m a bit of a narcissist to even assume anyone would care… much less put forth the effort to “lash back”)… or, just the idea that we “sold out”. But… here’s the thing, people were excited to join! I was gobsmacked… and loved the idea that we were starting this little “community”. I’d have probably preferred it without any exchange of money… but, still… it was really cool, knowing that there were folks who believed in us, and our “product” enough to “back” us.
The reception was, honestly, wonderful… and my doubts started to fade away. My guilt, however? Well, that ain’t goin’ nowhere. We got to work on creating “exclusive” programs… and, overall… the entire experience was a lot of fun. For awhile there, we were just cranking out content… on both feeds.
Each month we were looking at:
- 4-5 episodes of Cosmic Treadmill
- 1-2 episode of Weird Comics History
- 2 episodes of Comix Tawk
- 1 episode Cosmic Treadmill… After Dark
- 2-3 episodes of Chris is on Infinite Earths
- 2-3 episodes of Reggie’s Comics Stories
- 4-5 episodes of the Young Animal Gatherum