Gauging THiNC. Patreon Interest…

*** UPDATE – at the bottom I have posted some of the initial results. But keep voting! Definitely need to hear from all of you. ***

Alright, let’s talk. I really honestly think that there might be an opportunity here to help move THiNC. into an interesting new space.

When I created THiNC. over 10 years ago, I had recently left Facebook, and I was looking for a cool place to find out about indie movies that make the viewer think. You know, the kind of place where friends could chat after they’ve just walked out of the movie theater and share that buzz together. But also, a place where we could sit and talk about that confusing ending, suss it out together, and see if we could tie up all the loose ends. You know? And not finding that, I created my own little spot on the interwebs that would allow us to do that.

I’ve sort of come to the conclusion that this site needs more of my time. As it stands though, I have a full time job, I do web development as a side gig… AND, coming in third, is this site – and still I manage to find time to post 2-4 times a week. With patreon support, it might make it possible for me to ditch the side gig work, which in turn would make it possible to create a cool sub-community here on THiNC. for us to create more content and more interesting stuff for our readers.

So this survey will help. Like a lot. If you hate the idea. Nuke it. If you love the idea, let me know why, or what rewards are most intriguing to you. If you cannot see the survey – or you aren’t able to edit it, please fill it out right here.

Thanks a bunch for helping me think this through. I’d love to be able to create more cool content, and be on the site more. If this makes that possible, then awesome. If not, fine, no worries. Just thought I’d feel you guys out and determine what the best approach could be for the site going forward. (Already comments and thoughts are coming in, and it is amazing how helpful it is already. You are so sweet. Very kind. And your constructive criticism and compliments are a breath of fresh air. Keep them coming!!)

You guys are the best. Literally. Superior even. And that is even more supported now that some of the data has come in. Let’s take a look at what we are seeing so far:

Look at the data – 59% of people that completed the survey said Yes or Heck ya! 41% said no, or hell no. Which, is interesting to me in that I would love to provide value to those people that are interested, but I also don’t want decrease the value provided to those that don’t want to pay. Hrmmm. Ok. That’s the first datapoint.

54.5% of people surveyed said they’d pay either 5$ or 10$ for some sort of added value thing. The vast majority said 5$ sounds about right. Hrmm. Ok. So, I wonder if there is a way to create two tiers of value for 5$ and 10$ without disrupting the entire flow of the site. And some of you made some pretty amazing, and impassioned please… I’m a student, I’m retired, I love you site, don’t leave me out! And I won’t. I promise. (And I may even find ways to give out scholarships to people who care enough to ask politely for one. Right? If you are that full tilt about getting all the content, that you’ll ask for it… I may just hook you up. And I highly doubt that those paying for it would mind. No? Comment below if you disagree.)

Patreon Reward Interest:

The #1 reward requested (40+% of you) was that you were interested in just sharing your love for the site. Which, is really kind, and very humbling.

The 2nd most requested reward (just behind #1 with 36%) was “A reward level that provides you with a monthly bespoke movie recommendation list?” Which, now that think about it, I wonder what you guys thought that I might have meant. I basically meant that I would provide a list of cool movies to check out once a month for all of you that are subscribed could check out. But maybe you thought it was something different? I don’t know. Comment if you thought it was something different than that.

Tied for #3, #4, & #5 at 25% of respondents were these three rewards: 1) A reward level that allows early access to recommendations and walkthroughs? 2) A reward level that guarantees I’ll review your movie? 3) A reward level that provides access to added theories and explanations to open posts?

Ok, so we have early access, review guarantees, and added theories and ideas. The one in this list that could most dramatically change THiNC. from the ground up is the reward that will guarantee I review your film. The reason is because I work really really hard to provide movies that I like to the THiNC. community. I look for a very rare blend of Indie strangeness, and innovation, but also good acting, and really good quality in spite of the low budget nature of this type of movie genre. And I’ll be honest, about 30 to 40% of the recommendations that I get are just awful. No offense. YES MOST ARE AMAZING. But if by paying $10 a month you’ll be able to change what goes on the site? Hrm. I don’t know. Not to mention the fact that I really can only hit 3 movies a week. Sometimes 4, sometimes 2. And if a large portion of that available time becomes filled with required reviews? The more I think about it the more reticent I am. (Just thinking out loud here. Don’t get mad!)

Side comments you made: I will also say that you guys took a moment out and sent in some really great ideas besides the patreon questions I posed. Probably my favorite was putting the recommendations to a vote. That I could pick 5, put it to everyone to vote on, and then go with the top vote getters. That was clever. Someone commented that they’d like to see a recap of the comments in the post. (A POX on you and your family!) Do you realize how hard that would be?!? hahaha. But if one of you wants to tackle this, and hand me a couple paragraphs to post at the end of each movie, I’d be happy to post them. But there’s no way I have the time for something like that! hahah.

But check out this comment, this literally made my decade. So cool: “I love your site and get all my movie recommendations from you. I read your analysis, theories and explanations. It reminds me of old school chat rooms or clubs. I personally don’t get involved. I’m on the viewer side just sit back enjoy what I read. I compare your site to a mom and pop sub shop who has the best local food and local people hanging out. Feels real not like going to the big chain restaurant that’s all business and feels impersonal. I appreciate you Taylor.” WHAT?!? I literally almost threw this idea of Patreon in the trash after hearing this one post. I mean, why do I need money to make this site run when I can run on comments like this for millenia! woah. Literally brought tears to my eyes. Pretty cool.

What I’m Currently Thinking: So, I love all of my readers, and don’t want to handicap any of them. Especially you – you are my favorite reader, and don’t let anyone tell you differently.

I am reviewing technology that will allow me to connect Patreon in to the site. But I’m also looking at wordpress plugin solutions that will let me do that as well. Some are upwards of $500. And Patreon charges a pretty hefty fee to you guys as well. But if I could find a wordpress plugin that would let me create a post just for subscribers, I could do Movie Recommendation lists there. I’ve also seen solutions that would let me hide the last two paragraphs of a post. Maybe I could provide 3 more theories to help explain the movie beyond the standard theory. And only subscribers would get access to that content. Could frustrate some readers though. Hrm. I don’t know. I’d build a page for giving credit to the donors – and shout out to them regularly. Which some of you thought would be cool.

Unfortunately, I’ll probably be limited by the tech that I can afford. So we’ll see what the venn diagram of tech features, and desires is, and maybe we can find a happy middle ground.