I wrote a little while back, about why I believe we should support the content creators in our community. I don’t feel like one should write something like that without participating oneself, money where the mouth is and all that. So, I’ve been supporting DivKid (Ben) for a while now (I recently picked up Chris Meyer at Learning Modular as well.) Now, I fully believe it’s worth supporting these guys and others, because of what they add to our community on a regular basis. But they purport to offer “perks” if you will to their patrons, and I figured I’d let you know what that’s like.
I support DivKid at the $5 a month level. This is the “premium experience.” So, what’s it like?
Well, it is (to a degree) what it says on the tin, early access to all the videos, and free stickers. And in my time supporting him, that’s exactly what I’ve gotten. Early access and stickers. Sweet enough.
There’s more though, and it’s good stuff! You get some exclusive videos of patches and jams, which are pretty sweet. I’m listening to one now, while I type this up. (Nice grooves Ben!)
But wait, there’s more-er! There’s a nice little Facebook page for the DivKid Patreon supporters as well. It’s not hoppin’ like Muffwiggler, but it’s a chill place. Ben usually has some stuff to post up, relating to what’s going on. As patrons you’re welcome to respond, post, hang out, all that good stuff. And Ben has shown himself to be quite present, dropping some knowledge-bombs or encouraging words on us while we chat it up.
But wait, the most-est is yet to come! There are monthly live-chats. These are excellent in so many ways. For one, Ben pulls together great people for these, guys who are really into synthesis and very knowledgeable about it. They are inspiring and engaging. Honestly these by themselves are worth the price of admission. Oh, I forgot to mention, there’s a live discussion that goes on viewer side. Ben and at times those he’s talking with, are keeping an eye on the chat. You have opportunity to ask questions, put forth ideas, and discuss with one another, Ben and crew. This makes an already very cool experience something so much more. It’s a really awesome thing to view and just brilliant to participate in. If you miss it live, Ben keeps them archived so you can catch up later, or binge-watch.
So, stickers, early access, a facebook group, and the super-sweet live-chats. How do I feel about being a DivKid patron? Simply, awesome. I honestly believe it’s worth supporting Ben and his work, without the promise of added perks, because of what he brings to the community. But what you get for being a $5 supporter, yeah, it’s a premium experience and more than worth it for those live-chats.
Should you become a DivKid patron? Well, if you aren’t into eurorack synthesis, no you shouldn’t. If you’re struggling to provide for yourself or your family, no. But, if you have a bit of disposable income and eurorack is your jam, I heartily recommend getting in at $5 a month.
Support Divkid on Patreon
As a bonus, Ben was kind enough to do a little Q & A with us:
Moonlit: What made you start a Patreon?
Ben: My Patreon started with two separate people in different parts of the world saying very similar things to me, around 2 or 3 months apart. The first conversation was, “hey, I want to support your work, where can I do that?” to which my response was, “just keep commenting, sharing and liking the videos, as I really appreciate that and it’s helping things keep growing.” The conversation went on and Patreon came up before ending with, “well if I worked with you, or lived near by you’d let me buy you a coffee or a beer right?” A few weeks passed and I had a very similar conversation, where someone went straight into suggesting Patreon and just saying, “what can you do with a dollar or two, nothing! You can’t buy much with one dollar and one dollar or two a month is nothing per person, so start one and see what happens. You’ve nothing to loose.” That second conversation rang home (what is there to loose?) and I started one, still feeling uncertain at the time, and it went from there. Since then (remove comma) I’ve really bought into the idea, not just because it’s a side income stream for me, but the whole thing of supporting creators is vastly important. I’ve worked in a lot of sectors of the music industry (and still do) and seeing incomes decline all round, I think crowd funding and ongoing sources of income like this are really important.
Moonlit: How do you feel about the level of interaction you have with your Patreon supports?
Ben: That’s a good question with an easy ‘non-answer’ which is … that’s always something I’m looking to improve and build upon. I don’t think Patreon has all the right tools, to fully integrate engagement and conversation perfectly yet, but it’s a great starting place. I give messages and comments on Patreon priority over anything else, in terms of my time, effort and thoughts/replies etc. Everyone on Patreon is funding your efforts, whether you make a few dollars a month from them, or that’s your whole income and also they’re the kind of ‘super fan’ you should be engaging with, it’s that simple. So, everyone on Patreon is more important in my mind. Going back to your question though, I would like more interaction. I reply to all comments on my Patreon posts but I’ve also set up a private Facebook group, which is possibly a better way to interact for some people too.
Moonlit: What inspired the monthly live chats
Ben: The very first live chat thing I did (and will have more of in 2018) was Modular Podcast. That came about because we’d all seen and enjoyed a few more general music tech and synth style chat shows online, but none of them felt totally curated and focused on modular synthesis, which is what me, Matthew Shaw and Greg Gibbons wanted. I really enjoy doing those shows, but rounding up 3 busy people and guests in different time zones is proving difficult at times, so I set about doing some on my own. I now have the ‘Rig Rundown’ series (that will move to a monthly show in 2018) and there’s also another new public series starting soon. Now you know where the live streams came from, the specific Patreon exclusive live chats is just another way of giving back. I enjoy doing it, chatting to a friend or two on video and having friends and supporters active in the live chat is fantastic! I try to keep them based around a topic, as I think that helps people focus questions a little bit, and that engages more of the community and encourages interaction. The live chats are getting more active and those chats are archived privately, for Patreon users to refer back to should they wish. I’m also taking suggestions and treating it a bit like a general Q&A, for those that just want to ask me or the guests any questions.
Moonlit: What do you see coming for patrons in 2018
Ben: Hopefully, more exclusive content, possibly more support tiers (maybe a $10 a month with added benefits) and more content suggested and curated by the Patreon supporters themselves. I aim to serve them as a focus group more, so any suggestions are welcome. I have a couple of new things to explore and release that I’m preparing for 2018, including music and audio samples (my background before the modular ventures took over), that I’d like to be exclusive and/or much more beneficial in terms of payment method for my supporters. For example if I choose to sell an EP on Bandcamp for $5 I could make that free for all $5+ a month supporters on Patreon. Which is good for them as for that ‘price of entry,’ they also get access to a lot more on there too. I hope everyone on there can feel like they’re involved and glad to be part, knowing, that at the very base level, they’re responsible for me continuing to do what I do, regardless of the exclusives and new things for 2018 too.
Moonlit: For non-Britons, what is a cracker joke, and what is your favourite cracker joke?
Ben: Rubbish jokes in crackers are such a part of Christmas for many Brits, that I had to include them in the 12 days of DivMas giveaway I ran for the end of the year. It’s a tradition to have a cracker at each place at the table, for people to pull with people on the table and that cracker usually contains a little gift (equally as bad as the jokes, a little toy, mini screwdriver or something), a paper party hat and a little joke. Those jokes have always been terrible, so I found a load of bad jokes for the 12 days of DivMas. I don’t think I have a favourite but, out of the ones I’ve used for DivMas, I did quite like “Why couldn’t the skeleton go to the Christmas party? Because he had no body to go with.”
Ben: I’d just like to say thank you to Adam of Moonlit Journey for 1. wanting to do a little interview 2. your support on Patreon and 3. your promotion of not only my videos but the idea of pushing others to support me on Patreon too. While my Patreon page doesn’t pay the bills yet, it has potential to as it grows and that’s pretty life changing, for me and my family, so thank you, to you and everyone else that supports what I’m doing. Big love!