CNET's Jeff Bakalar Joins Us on Waypoint Radio

Ok did the ad kick in just as Rob said “the more we learn about advertising efficacy the less impressive it gets-” for everyone? Because I’d like to congratulate whoever’s responsible for that choice

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I have to believe that it was intentional–I refuse to believe that random chance could select the most perfect moment in the episode to drop the Google Home ad read.

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It’s super disconcerting when Austin is like “here’s an ad for, idk, Google Home or something” and then the ad doesn’t play and I’m like… was that the ad?

The ad stuff is really starting to bother me. It just starts to feel unprofessional at this point, and I can’t imagine an advertiser would be happy with it either.

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i love you Jeff!

I couldn’t stop laughing when that happened and I think I concerned some people who were walking past. That was brilliant.

I don’t know which is funnier: the ad placement being intentional or being an accident.

Watching the Google Home ads change slowly has been interesting. I remember when they were talking about the dissonance of gun violence and supporting video games with that violence after the Vegas shooting, and then an ad saying “Start listening without missing a shot!”

I wonder if there’s a reason they can’t/don’t do ads for other products or services.

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too bad nothing on TGA lived up to your standards. I guess we all start shitting on it from now on.

It was excellent. The fact that Waypoints Radio’s ads have always felt particularly ineffective to me only made it funnier.

Also I’m convinced the placement was intentional as Austin had set up a spot for an ad break just minutes before and they didn’t use it.

I wondered if it was just me, because I (I assume because I’m in the UK) don’t get the Google home ads, and get other generic ads. (Usually for cars)

They’ve mentioned it before I think but the service they use is meant to insert the ads for them, that way it can do things like as you’ve noticed do targeted ads based on region. Unfortunately it looks to have issues.

Nah, I actually loved Persona 5! It’s the first Persona game I’ve ever actually finished myself, the previous ones I’ve burned out on due to bad dungeon design. Even besides the dungeons being built out places rather than boring Windows 95 Screensaver Mazes, just about every other aspect of the game has been improved over its predecessors. The Confidant System in particular is amazing taking the Social Link system from previous games and adding tons of incredible perks to it. Suddenly you can progress social links without spending time, switch out party members in battle, even do something other than sleep after doing a dungeon day. Huge upgrades that change the game and have never been done before! Plus the style, plus the city is really really great, plus the music, plus the basic combat changes, everything is just on point.

Anyway, Persona 5 is great. I’ve been doing New Game Plus recently to try to figure out where it stands on my list and its stock has only risen as I’ve played. I had forgotten how easy it is to sink into for hours. It’s deffo top 3, higher than that even.

I think if you cut any game from their GOTY list it’s Horizon.

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As a Patreon creator and Patron, I hate this change. Just about all of my Patreon creator friends dislike it as well, and wish we could absorb the processing costs the way we have been. Patreon has changed their PR framing on this several times, giving more information each time and changing what they say the change is about and for. Only the latest version talks at all, IIRC, about anniversary charges - as in charging a patron immediately and on the subscription anniversary in the month instead of the 1st of the month.

Folks are saying that Patreon is going to put out a new statement this week, but I don’t have much faith that it will be anything beyond “We’re sorry you don’t like it, but this is the thing we’re going to do so you have to deal.”

Here’s hoping that Ko-Fi, Drip, Steady, Flattr, and/or some other systems step up and provide good alternatives.

The conversation about ads reminded me of this blog post I read a few years ago, “Maybe the Web Should Die”.

http://pauljmiller.com/posts/maybe-the-web-should-die.html

Reminded me of Jarrett Kobek’s i hate the internet:
“…You have taken the last true good thing, the initial utopian vision of the internet, and you have perverted it into a series of interlocking fiefdoms with no purpose other than serving advertisements.”

Every day I become less and less certain as to whether Jeff Bakalar’s abandonment issues are a bit.

As for Patrick saying Persona fans didn’t even like P5: most people are out of that phase at this point. Many fans were repelled from the game at first because it didn’t match up to their memories of P3/4, but at this point the fan base is at peace with what the game is and recognize that it’s pretty damn good in most ways. See for reference: Griffin McElroy speaks on the April episodes of the “Besties” podcast as if he actively dislikes the game. Months later, when reflecting on what they chose as the best game of April, he is convinced that they chose Persona. He’s the perfect picture of the reaction to this game. Actually pretty great (especially in retrospect), but it left a bad taste in a lot of people’s mouths at first.

Supporting someone on Patreon has never been about skirting capitalism–it is capitalism. There is nothing more capitalist than taking your money (your capital) and giving it to who you choose, that atomic self-determining way of distributing resources is the very essence of capitalism. I think that’s what has people upset about the changes to Patreon; it disrupted the illusion that what people were doing was anti-capitalist, when at best, it was anti-corporate. So, instead of knocking your donation down to account for the extra percentage of overhead that Patreon is taking, people are recoiling with disgust at the realisation that they were taking part in capitalism this whole time.

Incredible ad break this week (as others have said, kind of scared of AIs now) and I’m happy Jeff found a podcast home this week. I’m not in the internet ad business but I can’t shake the feeling that its all a big lie businesses maintain so they can keep paying creators. I’m sure the IGN personalities have created infinitely more sales and revenues in the industry than banner ads ever will but the IGNs of the world can’t exist without ads. The flip side of the patreon future the podcast discussed is businesses just dropping the charade and sponsoring websites and streamers directly.

So the thing about Patreon that I don’t think anyone’s answered yet is whether or not any other service can do what they did, and not run into legal hot water.

Patreon’s actual reason for existence, at least in the eyes of patrons, is that they were a hack around the current, fee-hungry payment processing system. The idea that you can roll up lots of small pledges into one big monthly pledge, and only apply a fee to the one transaction, is the thing that makes microtransactions practical under current fee structures.

It’s also something that might concern the credit card companies and payment processors you’re affecting. Depending on how you implement it, it may also be a regulatory problem:

Once you understand that Patreon was a hack to make micropayments possible, you understand that the reverse is also true: the way payment processors structure their fees makes micropayments too expensive to be practical, and none of those companies have an incentive to change this. Unless you have a way to batch transactions that passes legal muster and doesn’t annoy those interests, nobody can make a true Patreon alternative.

As near as I can tell (and I’m not an expert), the only existing service that comes close is Liberapay – but they’re not the same. They batch by default, because you’re manually paying into a wallet that your donations come out of. The more you pay in, the less the fees bite. (Also, they’re based in France, which means you’re eating conversion fees when you pay in – but you might still come out ahead when doing comparing fees to Patreon’s changes.) I can’t speak to how French or EU regulations play into this, or what the tax implications are of money crossing national jurisdictions, because I have no idea.

There’s a separate argument to be had around how aware patrons were of what fees creators have to live with. Again: our current payment processing system makes micropayments very expensive – but given the choice between having a fraction of $1, or having zero dollars, creators will obviously take the former. So it’s in the interest of most creators to make those fees as invisible as possible to patrons, so as to avoid scaring or pissing them off. Patreon’s real mistake was rubbing everyone’s face in it, so that patrons had no choice but to cut donations on a limited budget.

Anyway, I suspect that once the dust settles, there will end up being a competing service that looks like Patreon, but charges creators a similar amount of fees. Micropayments will still be expensive because payment processors are expensive, but it’ll all be invisible to the patron – and if the new service has any sense at all they’ll keep it that way. If you’re feeling wildly optimistic, maybe there’ll be a replacement that does ACH only to keep fees down … but I’d bet that the checking account requirement would be enough to put everyone off (and that’s without getting into a conversation about bank fees for just having a checking account, monthly minimum balances, etc.)

So Patreon stopped the new fee rollout.

But they also said this:

“We still have to fix the problems that those changes addressed, but we’re going to fix them in a different way, and we’re going to work with you to come up with the specifics, as we should have done the first time around.”

Note that they say absolutely nothing about which problems, specifically, they want to address. Their official excuse for the fee change (besides the completely disingenuous 95% to creators line) was they were trying to fix the the partial month charge issue on initial signup – which has a bunch of easy fixes that don’t require the nonsense they tried to push through.

If, in fact, the problem was actually batching payments all along, then expect Patreon to hide those new fees on the creator’s side. Creators would still get less, but patrons would be unaware of it.

In any case, I think the damage to creators and to Patreon has already been done. Everyone now knows exactly how incompetent Patreon is as a service. The real question is what, if anything, can anyone do about it, when everyone is stuck in a system that incentivizes breaking platforms for profit.

EDIT: There’s a new thread for the topic, so I’m moving my follow up posts there.