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Duckfeed State of the Union 2016

Hey there, this is a special announcement for a special time at the network. Because you, our audience, are so spread out across multiple different shows, this same announcement will appear on multiple feeds.

The goal of this message is to reiterate some policies, introduce new ones, and roll out some exciting changes to our Patreon campaign that we think you’re really going to like. Our intention is to be as transparent as possible, so you know what you’re getting if you decide to keep listening, participating, and maybe giving us your money.

These changes are borne out of wanting to make sure we’re spending our time and attention in ways that create more value for more people, and in ways that help make this entire network more scalable and manageable we grow it.

This written announcement is attached to an audio announcement that contains all of the same content. If you would like to comment on this, please do so on the Patreon post... or write us at our contact form. We will answer any questions you might have.



NON-ENGAGEMENT POLICY FOR DRIVE-BY FEEDBACK

As our audience has grown, the incidence of drive-by personal attacks and non-constructive feedback has grown with it. We’ve had a spotty history of seeing this, engaging with it, and being kind of vocal about it. The truth is, the number of bad interactions we get into is dwarfed by the positive ones, and it doesn’t make sense to spend any more time than necessary on things that might be considered “trolling”.

We’re beginning a policy of non-engagement when it comes to comments and input that are intended to hurt, not help. This means we will delete abusive comments on our Facebook. This means we’re disabling SoundCloud comments. This means we won’t take the bait if anyone tries to bait us.

That’s not to say that it’s not a conversation. We value feedback, especially when we get things wrong. Our biggest shows have Followup and Errata segments where we read corrections and elaborations on the air. This new policy is one of pushing helpful and constructive feedback into the avenues where it can contribute to our growth as commentators and broadcasters. Write in to the Contact Form for a given show if you have something to say, and please phrase it nice. This is a blanket reminder to Be Cool, which is good, because the surpassing majority of you are already cool.


BONUS SHOW BUNDLES

We’ve spent the last year or so building up a sizable stable of premium shows on our store (http://duckfeed.tv/store). As these episodes sit on the store, we want to make sure people have as many opportunities as possible to afford them. That’s why we’re going to begin bundling these premium shows into seasons of six (6) episodes. This will follow the Netflix model, where a season’s bundle release will come out after the entire following season is out. This will make sense when it starts happening.

These bundles will come at a substantial discount, because we want you all to hear these shows. The reason for the delay is so we don’t undercut the Patreon backers, who get immediate access to the episodes.


DUCKFEED.TV TWITTER

We never really promote this, but the best way to get announcements about the network is to follow the @DuckfeedTV Twitter account (https://twitter.com/duckfeedtv). That’s all, we only wanted you to know.


NEW SHOW RETENTION POLICY

We recently passed another Milestone Goal on our Patreon, and began releasing episodes of Days of Future Cast, Jeremy Greer and Gary Butterfield’s show about the X-Men Animated series. Some people have asked what happens if we dip below the Milestone Goal amount, which is bound to happen since the Patreon total is a living number.

If we dip two dollars below the milestone goal amount, the episodes aren’t deleted from your phone or anything.

Here are the conditions for stopping a show after the total dips: If the Patreon total stays $200 or more below the Milestone Goal amount for 45 days, we will suspend new shows until we get back up to the original Milestone Goal. It’s 45 days because that’s longer than a Patreon billing cycle, and it’s $200 because that sounds like a reasonable figure.


PATREON RESTRUCTURE RATIONALE

Yes, we’re messing with the Patreon reward tiers again. This section will the bulk of the announcement, and it will affect most of you reading this.

We realize we’re different from most other Patreon campaigns, which set their campaign up and let it ride. However, we also think we provide much more content than a lot of other podcast Patreons, which are usually set up to serve just one show. Being able to adjust our campaign is a feature, not a bug, and we think periodically revisiting our Reward Tiers helps us continue to grow in a more sustainable way.

The goal of this restructure was to align our reward tiers with what people like, and what we feel is providing the highest value related to the work we put in. In this revision, we’re focusing our efforts on making the kind of premium content that people respond to, while getting rid of things that required more input than the output could justify.

The upshot is: Our premium shows are becoming more affordable, as we reduce unpopular monthly commitments to free up time for working on the new shows we’ve promised with our Milestone Tiers.

This Patreon redesign was done with the following goals in mind: Nothing gets more expensive for folks. In fact, most things have gotten less expensive. If a reward moves up in cost, it gets revamped and improved to provide more value. If a reward goes away, it gets replaced with something better.

You can find the details about the new tiers below, along with notes about what has gone away or moved. We are announcing these changes early… specifically, we want to give you two weeks to think over the new structure. The changes will take effect November 1, 2016. The old reward structure will apply through October. Example: If you give $10 in October, you will get the final monthly postcard sometime in December.

This is the first time we will have gotten rid of certain reward tiers entirely. If you currently back at a tier that’s going away ($3, $6, $15, $20) you will need to go back into Patreon and re-select a new reward tier. You will not need to lower or change your amount to do this.


$1: THANKS!

You’re in the system! Your contribution makes a big difference. You get:

  • Occasional extras on our Patreon feed.
  • Access to our quarterly Watch Out for Fireballs! game selection polls.

NOTE: We’ve removed the promise of Backer Blogs from this tier. The old entries won’t go away, but new behind-the-scenes content can be found at the $10 tier.


$2: SLACK AND EARLY ACCESS

This is where it gets good. You’re in the community, and can hear our shows a day early. You get: 

  • Access to our community Slack channel (invitations sent out on Fridays).
  • Access to our Early Release feed (most episodes available 24 hours in advance).

NOTE: We made Early Access less expensive because it got confusing in the Slack channel when some people had access to a show, and others didn’t.


$5: EXQUISITE SUFFERING

They say content is king, and this is the tier where the king comes to visit. You get: 

  • You get an extra episode of Abject Suffering per month! Each episode will remain on the feed for one month before dropping to the public store.
  • You can also vote in a monthly poll to determine what the subject of that extra episode is (we call it Abject Suffrage).

NOTE: Duckfeed Live and WOFFTRAX are going away, but elements are being rolled into the $10 tier.


$10: MONTHLY PREMIUM SHOW

Is one extra thing per month not enough? Well, we’ve got what you need. And more. You get:

  • You get ONE premium show per month, which will either be an episode of Adaptation Decay or DuckTrax.
  • Adaptation Decay is our podcast about various attempts to adapt video games to movies, television, or other forms of media. Each episode will remain on the feed for two months before dropping to the public store.
  • DuckTrax will be released once a quarter (taking up that month’s slot). This special behind the scenes show combines what used to be Duckfeed Live and WOFFTRAX into a mega-show about the network itself. These will remain on the Patreon feed indefinitely.
  • The ability to submit questions and prompts for DuckTrax.
  • The ability to submit questions and prompts for Bonfireside Chat After Dark, a special quarterly extra episode about Soulsborne/FROMSoft miscellany.
  • A special thanks at the end of an episode of WOFF! and BSC (we will thank 3-5 people per episode).

NOTE: Try This is going away after the November episode, but the whole run will be bundled up in the store.

NOTE: Postcards are going away, because of scaling issues. Physical goods are being bumped up to the next tier.


$25: ABJECT SUFFERING SELECTION / MAILINGS

Ok, now you’re just being ridiculously generous.

  • You’ll get bi-annual mailings of Duckfeed-themed stuff (postcards, stickers, buttons, and other mailable doodads). Mailings will go out in January and July if you backed at least 3 months out of the previous half.
  • You will get the ability to dictate a game we cover for an episode of Abject Suffering. We will do two backer-demanded episodes per month. Access to these slots is first-come first-served (we will contact you and put your selection on a list, ordered by the time you started backing at this tier). Some conditions apply when selecting games, for availability and playability. People who have given $150 since April of 2016 are grandfathered into this list.

NOTE: T-shirt raffles and Abject Suffering raffles are going away. Raffles have made decreasing amounts of sense.


$50: WATCH OUT FOR FIREBALLS! EXECUTIVE PRODUCER (LIMIT 4)

Now you’re calling the shots.

  • After backing at this tier for 3 months (they don’t need to be consecutive), you can choose a game we cover for Watch Out for Fireballs! We will do one backer-dictated episode/extrasode pair per quarter.
  • This comes with some limitations: We will ask that you provide a couple of options for us to choose from. We will ask that the game suggested not be extravagantly long. It will be a conversation to make sure things work out well.
  • If you choose to remain at this tier, your next request will be dropped to the bottom of the list if new patrons pick up an empty slot.
  • This is limited to four patrons because we do four of these episodes per year.

$75: BONFIRESIDE CHAT EXECUTIVE PRODUCER (LIMIT 4)

Umbasa!

  • After backing at this tier for 3 months (they don’t need to be consecutive), you can guest on an episode of Bonfireside Chat After Dark, the quarterly special episode we’ll do to talk about SoulsBorne and FromSoft miscellany.
  • There will need to be flexibility from both sides about scheduling this recording session.
  • This will not stack with the WOFF! Executive Producer slot. By backing at this level, you forego the ability to choose a WOFF! game, unless you later fulfill the requirements of that tier separately.
  • This is limited to four patrons because we do four of these episodes per year.

AFTERWORD

Your ongoing support of this network has been life changing. A vanishingly small number of people can say they make any portion of their living by creating podcasts. Your generosity has made that possible for us. Not just that, but the community of backers that we've assembled has been one of the best things to come out of deciding to fire up the mics. So, from the bottom of our hearts, we want to reiterate our thanks.

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