[AniFemTalk] What exclusive content shall we give our patrons?

This week Team AniFem is thinking a lot about how to give back to our readers, and particularly our patrons. Response to our trial podcast episode has been so positive we’ve already recorded two more. We’ve also been considering ideas for panels to host at anime conventions, and asking for your ideas. Whether our panel ideas go ahead or not, we are planning to have an AniFem presence at some conventions this year, hopefully with live podcast recordings and/or meet-ups.

The more we progress with activities like this, the more feasible it is for us to offer a good mix of exclusive content for patrons. We wrote our patron tiers before we had any patrons, have at times struggled to meet those obligations, and it’s about time we revised them to reflect a) what we can really offer, and b) what our patrons – and would-be patrons – really want from us. Today we would like your help to refine what we offer to make it as rewarding as possible for our supporters.

  • If you are not a patron, what would persuade you to become one ?
  • If you are a patron, what would persuade you to go up a patronage tier? (e.g. from $1 to $5)
  • If you are a $20+ patron, what will convince you to stay there?
  • What perks do other Patreons offer that you think we could adopt?

Our initial ideas include: patron-only meet-ups at cons we attend, Q&A sessions through Google Hangouts or similar, mini podcast episodes, full season reviews of the anime or manga of your choice, the opportunity to listen to our podcast as we record it and ask us questions afterwards. We’re open to other ideas too though, please give your suggestions below!


Comments are open! Please read our comments policy before joining the conversation and contact us if you have any problems.

Thanks to our generous patrons we are now able to pay all writers! Next we need to be able to pay members of the team for their work behind the scenes, especially their time spent editing the work of paid contributors. If you appreciate our work, believe in paying people fairly and can spare just $1 a month please become a patron today

  • Liz Welch

    When I act as a patron for someone I want them simply to continue doing what they’re doing. I don’t expect – or even want – the person or group to have to scrabble around offering lots of extras. I want my patronage used for core business (like paying writers, or paying rent).

  • Anna

    I’m not a patron, so I can’t speak for what they would like or why they support you, but Liz is probably right and they just want you to run a website called AnimeFeminist, first and foremost.

    Speaking as an occasional reader, I don’t think you should take on more responsibilities at this point in the website’s life. You should just focus on finding a reliable posting schedule that works for you (long term). Once you’ve settled into a rhythm, and are sure that you have the time and manpower to pull it off, then you can add extra work. I think the website would really profit from a more regular posting schedule of “X posts a week”.

  • Tim M

    I’m not a patron yet, but I would think about becoming one if this site had more manga coverage. Here there seems to be a focus on current season anime (though maybe that has changed in the past few weeks judging by the articles posted?). I enjoy reading the one episode reviews of new shows and seeing the feminist critiques, but my ingestion of anime stuff is mostly through manga and past years anime. Current season anime isn’t really my thing, though I appreciate your coverage of the shows. Thanks for being an awesome site!

    • Anna

      Yes, I would like there to be more manga articles, too! Wasn’t the plan to cover anime and manga equally? Maybe I’m misremembering. It’d be useful to have reviews of newly released manga (and interesting older ones), with an eye on feminist themes.

  • I’m going to agree with both of you—I’m the sort of person who feels uncomfortable sometimes accepting Kickstarter rewards and the like, because I’m really not contributing to get a reward, and I feel the creators’ time would be better spent on creating.

    However… I also want to see AniFem be able to have stable and adequate funding for the long term, so I have an interest in whatever would bring in new patrons or get current patrons to contribute more. Here’s one thought I have:

    Why not have some sort of matching donations program by which current patrons could sign up to match contributions by new patrons? For example, if someone is willing to take the leap and become a $1 per month patron I’d consider increasing my contribution to match that 1-for-1 or even 2-for-1 for as long as they remain a patron.

    • sweejen

      That’s a really good idea!

  • Alex Erde

    I started off as a twenty dollar patron, because of the promise of a review choice, but had go down to a dollar due to financial reasons and not having a job for a period of time. Currently I feel that there is a lack of regular meaningful articles, most of what I see each week has been [Links], [AniFemTalk], and [Discourse]. And while community outreach is great and I love the other commenters, the most recent [Feature] I found was published Feb 1st. I remember on the patreon there would be a promise of articles from writers every week. Don’t get me wrong, I love the site, but I would like more.

    • Caitlin

      I’m not sure I understand what you consider “meaningful articles” that wouldn’t include the posts tagged as “discourse”. Our discourse articles are full-length posts, and many of them are written by contributors. They present fully-formed and thought out opinions and arguments, while features are more interpretations of texts, though the division is somewhat of a grey area.

      What expectations do you have that the discourse posts aren’t meeting?

    • Hey, thanks for getting in touch, I’ve been wondering where you’ve been lately! I’m sorry to hear your finances are a bit rocky right now, I hope your situation improves. For what it’s worth, we appreciate the $1 patronage every bit as much as higher amounts, it’s steady income that matters most to us so I’m seriously grateful for your continued support.

      We’re just now turning a corner in terms of content and scheduling, and I think you’ll like the direction we’re going in. The posting schedule we’ve been moving to is:

      MONDAY: Talk
      TUESDAY: Links
      WEDNESDAY: Feature/Discourse
      THURSDAY: Throwback
      FRIDAY: Feature/Discourse
      SATURDAY: Podcast (fortnightly for now, weekly once we hit $900 in pledges and can pay for weekly editing)

      Caitlin has mentioned that Feature and Discourse articles are similar in terms of substance, I just want to clarify that the sole difference between them is whether we actively invite discussion or not. It’s a distinction that dates from when I reluctantly decided to open comments but only on as few posts as possible because I was so worried about potential harassment. This thankfully hasn’t happened so we’ve had comments open on everything for some time now, but the different categories remain.

      Features will tend to be more descriptive, perhaps an in-depth review of a single text (http://www.animefeminist.com/feature-cat-story/) or a single person’s work (http://www.animefeminist.com/feature-beyond-yuri-ice-themes-motifs-sayo-yamamoto/) or a more historical overview, while Discourse posts will make some kind of point or argument and invite readers to weigh in with a list of suggested prompts. Recent examples are our pieces on why moe can be a source of positive feminist messages (http://www.animefeminist.com/discourse-strong-girls-strong-things-moe-femininity-hero/), on Rei’s role in Evangelion and anime fandom (http://www.animefeminist.com/discourse-not-doll-rei-ayanami-escapism-objectified-images-desire/) or on why major distributors leave problematic translations unedited (http://www.animefeminist.com/discourse-arent-problematic-translations-fixed/). As an editor I tend to prefer articles which make a strong point of some kind, as it encourages discussion which builds community plus makes the article itself more meaningful with our readers’ insights, comments and critiques appended to it. We are likely to have more Discourse than Feature articles for this reason, but I promise you they are no less thoughtful.

      However, from our previous conversations I suspect what you meant was that you were hoping for more in-depth analysis of specific texts, such as Shirobako. The team can confirm that I have brought up Shirobako repeatedly behind the scenes, I haven’t forgotten and am just as committed to producing content around it! What I would really like to do with it is a watch-along podcast, i.e. I watch (and tweet about) six episodes then record a podcast where I discuss those six episodes in depth with a couple of other people who HAVE seen the show, then watch the next six episodes and do the same, and so on until the end of the series. Once I’ve finished watching it I would then put together a write-up post summarising the most significant points raised throughout the entire podcast series and putting all my thoughts on it in one place. I’m trying not to write as many posts at the moment, it turns me into a bottleneck plus I’d rather pay other marginalised people for their work, but it’s a priority to me to honour my commitment to you and other $20 patrons (at the time I made that commitment), even if it takes me longer than intended. I think we need to test the format first, most likely with a shorter show, but once that’s done Shirobako is next on the list as far as I’m concerned.

      Anyway, that’s the kind of treatment I would like to give individual shows, et me know if that’s not what you would want or if I’ve misunderstood you in some way! At the very least we are in a position to provide two articles by writers each week, I hope you enjoy some of those we have coming up.

      • Alex Erde

        Sorry to once again ghost on you guys until now, but the lack of activity was due to planning my move to Japan which I have now done and I just finished my first day of teaching school in my new town (I’m active socially honestly just look at my Insta!). Once I actually get payed after the first two months I can work on upping the patreon. I listened to the first episode a few weeks ago (did not know you had an accent, quite the surprise) and absolutely loved the show and all 4 of you, I haven’t listened to the rest because I listen to podcasts via a podcast app and soundcloud is absolutely horrible for on the go listening with starts and stops, it lost my place three times when I was trying to listen on my phone. Thanks for explaining the difference between feature and discourse, now that you stated it, I clearly see what you were going for, I was just honestly confused by the two (Sorry Caitlin!). That awesome that your pushing Shirobako so hard, and I have enjoyed the stuff you guys have been putting out, and all the shade being thrown by you and the rest of the staff during season premieres, Hilarious!