Finding the right platforms online can be tricky. There are so many options that aim to make striking out on your own and creating a business online manageable. One type is subscription-managment platforms, that collect monthly payments from subscribers to support a video creator on an ongoing basis.
The problem with this is, while platforms like Patreon are easy to use, they are private companies you don't have any control over, meaning the terms of your subscription base are subject to change without any thought to the members of the community. This is the gap that Comradery, a democratically-owned payment processor, is trying to fill.
Let's take a look at how they do it.
How to Co-Own the Subscription Platform With Comradery
Comradery is different than a traditional company: They operate with a co-op model, meaning that all members have a say in terms how how the platform evolves and grows. Sounds pretty cool, right? Most co-ops have an application process and Comradely is no different. The goal here isn't to be exclusive or to judge your credentials, it's really more about making sure your goals are good match and to provide you all the resources you need to get going.
Starting Your Application
Comradery has a three step application process.
Step 1: Creating a Supporter account.
When you create a Supporter account and you submit an application to become a Creator, you're letting them know the standard basic info, like name, date of birth, etc., the goals you have for the platform are and a couple of questions regarding accessibility. A volunteer Moderator will then confirm the information and sign off that your goals fit with the platforms rules.
Step 2: A One-on-One (It's not a test)
This might sound a lot, but it's pretty interesting and the people at Comradery say it's the best part! The applicant has chat with a trained Creator who knows the in's and out's, over Discord, or another app.
The whole point of this part is to have you questions answered, suggest ideas, and have the Creator explain how to navigate the community, like how to vote and participate. Because of the personal and human touch, it may seem intense, but it's not a test.
Step 3: Becoming a Creator
Now a Moderator will finish up your verification and your account will be upgraded to Creator status. You'll gain access to the Discord chat server. If you have any more questions this is good time to ask. You're all set up!
Setting Up Your Creator Account
Now that you're a Creator you can build your project pages, write posts, create tiers, and chat directly with supporters on the platform. All payments are handled through Stripe for a secure banking experience.
Creating a Project
A project is a creator-run page. What's cool is that one creator can work on one project, or many projects as they'd like. You also have the opportunity to collaborate with other members.
As a Creator, you have the option to create paid tiers for supporters. A tier allows you to create different entry-levels of support that corresponds to the content you release. Comradery doesn't require that the content/work you produce happens solely on the platform, either. And as another plus, depending on your project you may decided that subscriptions shouldn't be transactional - and that's OK!
Somethings To Know About Comradery
Comradery has a mission statement and they make it clear what the intention of the platform is and what it isn't. Below is the general what's what and if you want the full rundown, you can check this out.
Who Comradery Is For:
- Mutual Aid Programs
- Labour Organizations
- Cooperative Organizations
- Plus more!
Who Comradery Isn't For:
- Non-cooperatively owner businesses
- Police officers or other forms of law enforcement
- Those who are unwilling to follow community rules
Comradery is an interesting platform for creatives who want to do things differently. They offer an opportunity to be a part of a community of like-minded people who create a huge collection of diverse offerings. It's different, it's thoughtful and goes against the hyper-growth based model found so often in tech. If you are someone looking for a platform you can truly be a part of, I'd say check them out.
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