Let’s get one thing clear
Patreon did a redesign. And it has sent me into a spiral of shame and self doubt.
The day it announced its new look, I made the mistake of volunteering for a tour of its new features. (I have no idea if exit interviews really are a new feature, it probably existed somewhere on the old site, but at least it had the decency to bury it somewhere it mostly couldn’t be stumbled upon). I especially don’t care to know why my former readers unsubscribed. But apparently it was very important to the good folks at Patreon that I know just why they thought my experiment was ‘failing’. Note to designers: it’s probably not such a good idea to direct your creators directly to their exit interviews when trying to whip up enthusiasm for the platform. #justsayin
These people have already unsubscribed. There’s no getting them back. I don’t want to know why they left! Why would I want to know that? What purpose does that serve except to make me feel shitty about my product and myself?
In any case, all but one of my (to be fair, small group) of former subscribers had perfectly legitimate reasons for departing. Mainly changes in lifestyle and the need to tighten their belts. One of them had a baby, (mazaltov!!). Some were polite enough to simply withhold their honesty. But one former subscriber… That one, niggling little exit interview, spent a lengthy amount of time expressing their disappointment with me:
“I expect you would have published more investigations by now,” they wrote derisively. “I signed up for investigative journalism, not opinion pieces.”