Friday, 23 October 2015

Thinking about the future.

The last few months have been... let's call them hectic. At the moment, I'm trying to figure out how they could have gotten so hectic, and trying to make sure things will be more under control in the future. There's also been developments business-wise - the online shop is growing (and a big thank you to everybody who has ordered from there - I hope you have a lot of fun, and are happy, with the things you bought); I've been doing a few workshops, and I've been doing the blog tours, and I have started shifting my appearances from Living History fairs more to wool markets and other kinds of fairs.

So there's been quite a bit of change, and quite a bit of kinds of work that have taken away time from this blog, and from research. There are a few projects that have gotten shoved to the back for ages now, even though they are things I'd love to work on (such as the never-ending project of getting my thesis translated into English, or researching all kinds of smaller and not-so-small questions, or a totally crazy knitting pattern that has been in development for months now), but I just can't find the time, it seems.

I'd like that to change. I'd like to be able to sit down and make a video tutorial for how to make hair nets, or how to spin with a hand-spindle. I'd like to sit down and research female headcloths in the twelfth century, and possible reconstructions for them. But, as I have learned with the embroidery book, these things take a lot of time, and mean quite a bit of an investment of money in some cases, which has to come back in before I can tackle the next project. It's also not such a big deal to work on something for a while hoping that it will eventually bring in a little income, but if projects like that come along again and again, it can sap your energy away bit by bit. And that is, to be frank, happening to me as well. If I spend three weeks of work time on planning, making and cutting a video tutorial (and that is a relatively realistic estimate), then burn it on a DVD and offer it via the shop, but I'm only selling ten or twelve of the discs... it just eats away on me, regardless of how good I think the results are, and regardless of how much fun I had making it.

So... I was thinking of how to get you more content, and how to make it possible for me to create these things, and Patreon popped into my head. Again. (In case you have never heard of Patreon before, it's sort of like an ongoing kickstarter where you can pledge recurring small payments to an artist or a creator of some kind to support their work.) Getting support like that would make it possible for me to start spending more time on research, and sharing that research with my supporters. I'm not entirely sure yet whether that would work at all, or about what to offer, and still very much thinking about this whole thing, so if you have any input at all, please use the comments - would you consider joining in?  Or do you like the idea, but would prefer some other way instead of Patreon? What would you like to see - tutorials about textile crafts? My thesis translated, bit by bit? Things exclusively published for patrons, or would you prefer to support things that are then free for everyone to see?

Just to make things clear - I'm not planning to stop this blog, and I'm not planning to stick it behind a paywall. I would, though, absolutely consider adding extra content only available to supporters - such as the occasional video, copies of my academic articles, or even installments of the book translation. I'd also be happy to take suggestions from the supporters about topics to research.

So... do let me know what you think, per comments, or per email, or with whatever means you prefer!


Cathy Raymond said...

I think a Patreon account could be very useful. Since you have particular projects in mind, though, you might like GoFundMe better--it's project-oriented, and a friend of mine tells me it's very easy to set up. Here's GoFundMe's video on how their site works:

a stitch in time said...

Thank you for your feedback, Cathy! I might have projects in mind, but they are not defined enough yet to do a GoFundMe or a similar project-based funding method. Monthly patreon funding would allow me to scale the activity to the funding levels and not do all the upfront calculating, budgeting and planning for a project to do a project campaign...