Authors, and likely creatives of all sorts, constantly hear that we should ensure our ability to reach our audience doesn't rely on someone else. Most often these admonishments unsubtly refer to Facebook, which of course now also owns Instagram. And it's a fair point: platforms can change the rules on us at any time, booting us entirely, cutting us off from our audience, or forcing us to "pay to play."
Patreon, as it turns out, is not immune to this problem. Recently, they've decided to close comments—even on public posts—to anyone who isn't a patron. So while followers can continue to receive public posts in their emails (as far as I know; did you see this one?), they can no longer interact with creators. That contact is now behind a paywall.
Patreon has their reasons, of course. This decision was made ostensibly to prevent creators from being spammed, threatened, etc., by anyone who might come along. Perhaps this is indeed a serious problem for more popular creators, and it makes sense that Patreon would prioritize them, since Patreon's income is a portion of a creator's income.
Still, for the rest of us, it's annoying at best. The whole point of allowing followers and having public posts was to give people full access to certain posts without a paywall. Now, that's gone.
So, unless/until this is fixed (whether it's changed back or creators are given a choice about this setting), I will be simultaneously cross-posting public posts to my blog. This will be harder with posts that are released early for patrons, but I'm determined to ensure anyone can share their thoughts on public posts. Starting with this one!
While I'll try to share the corresponding blog post link in these posts, for those of you who are followers and not patrons, please also consider signing up for my newsletter or following my blog (or both!).
I do hope Patreon will come to their senses and fix this problem, but I'm glad to at least have my own site where you can comment without any problems. As with changes implemented by other platforms, the best I can do is try and adapt. I apologize for the associated inconvenience to all of you. But really, follow my blog instead, and I'll try to ensure you don't miss out on anything. 💕