on paying people

i pulled off patreon a while ago, for reasons that they have since walked back; i never felt particularly compelled to return. i've since tried out liberapay, which was a wonderful feeling until their problems with their payment processor turned their whole infrastructure upside-down; they're hooking up payment through stripe and paypal now, which seems functional, but lost several things that i had previously found appealing.

primarily, what i want in a crowdfunding platform is for money other people give me to go into a pool, some of which i can use to redistribute to others on the platform, and some of which i can choose to withdraw at certain increments (either automatically based on amount, time, or manually). this was one of my background uses for patreon; people would give me money from outside of that ecosystem, i would spread some of it around, and keep some of it for myself. i did this more explicitly with my liberapay account; in my head, i kept a list of projects/teams/individuals that i'd like to chip in to, and when other people funded me, i would fund those accounts. this is stated on my liberapay page.

as of now, this is not something liberapay can offer, because their current payment system no longer maintains a balance per user; payments to any account immediately gets disbursed to the deposit method the receiver has hooked up.

of course, what i actually do in practice is that i have a list of all the different people and projects that i want to regularly chip in to, and once in a while i'll go down the line and see what my current personal pool is across all the different ways people have chipped in to me, and then redistribute. this goes to patreon, ko-fi, checks in the mail, paypal, liberapay, venmo, etc.; perhaps the variety of money distribution systems is not necessarily a bad thing, since it's robust against a particular platform suddenly revealing exploitative practices. mostly, i try to pay people based on the way they individually prefer to receive money, in the sense that i would like people to do for me*.

i suppose this means that what i stated above for my want in a crowdfunding platform is just a closer reflection to what money actually, basically, is: each of us individually has access to some amount of it, which we want to be able to choose to redistribute to other people in a way that reflects our ethics, expectations, and desires, and to not have the mechanism we use for that redistribution to intrude on the highly personal process of figuring out how much money to give whom.

the more i think about it, the less i want a "platform" to solve this problem for me. i'm just going to double down on keeping my own notes and shuffling around the shoebox of cash under my desk.

(* i favor cash, in us dollars, wrapped in a junk catalog page, and mailed to my po box)

26 September 2018 18:14

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