Starting a new era

Let’s start by getting the obvious out of the way – I’m flying blind here.

This is what we’re here for today:

I’m launching a Patreon for the 2022 season, active March 1 to October 31.

First the cliff notes, followed by a longer explanation:

  • The normal North Melbourne morning after match reviews and Monday night Notebook posts won’t change and will still be free for all
  • There’ll be four different tiers, ranging from $2.50 per month up to $10 a month

OK. With that out of the way…

After a few years of The Shinboner, in 2021 I had to park it to the side for a few weeks when Olympics duty called. And as much fun as it was, the whole time I had one recurring thought:

I really want to do more with the blog.

If I’m to do that and carve out extra time for more posts and all that entails, obviously it has to be worth my while. Bills to pay, life to live, all those sorts of things.

While I’d imagine this will naturally evolve as the season progresses, here’s the starting point for each tier:

Tier 1: $2.50 per month – Debutant (get it? Because it’s the start? Anyway)

This is what I’ll label the ‘good human’ tier. There aren’t any extra benefits from this tier, it’s more a way to show appreciation for effort. Think of it like the Buy Me A Coffee website.

Tier 2: $5.00 per month – Rising Star

Here is where the benefits start, and there are two of them:

1. Priority access to Monday’s Notebook – you’ll get them at 8am (EST) rather than 8pm like everyone else.

2. Priority access to any extra North articles – like the Notebook, it’ll be 12 hours before everyone else.

Obviously the Notebook will be every Monday throughout the season – plus a couple of bonus pre-season editions – while the plan for extra non-match review North articles is an average of one per fortnight.

Sometimes there’ll be busier periods, other times it’ll be quieter, but to start with this is the aim.

Tier 3: $7.50 per month – All Australian

In addition to having the benefits from Tier 2, people in Tier 3 also get:

1. Exclusive access to What To Watch For – this will be a Friday morning preview piece where I’ll pick a handful of topics to keep an eye on over the weekend, things which have the potential to influence the league. To use an obvious example, if we’re in Round 23 and one match is 8th v 9th with the winner making finals, that’s a focus.

2. Exclusive access to the Stat Suite – don’t get too excited, we’re not talking Champion Data level of quantity, although I reckon I’d be a better judge of an elite player than their algorithm.

Regular readers will know there are a handful of key stats I use to judge teams. Those will all be on the page in allegedly ‘fancy’ graphics, in addition to rolling updates as the season goes on and we have more data to play with.

Over the course of the season, I’ll also add match-specific comparisons when the situation calls for it, and work on having it in nice and easy graphics so people can use it for their own devices. In other words, it’ll be a constantly evolving situation.

3. Exclusive access to the Stat Suite request line – anything you’d like to see implemented? Specific time periods you’re after for a particular stat mentioned on the page? There’ll be a direct line where you can submit your requests and I’ll hopefully get back to you directly with what you’re after.

Tier 4: $10 per month – Brownlow

In addition to all the previous benefits listed, the top dogs have:

1. Exclusive access to the List Management page – remember last year’s post with club by club contracts, list demographics, and minutes played by age?

That’s been spun out into its own constantly updating section, exclusively for people who are on this tier. There are a handful more items which will arrive during the season, the only issue being I can’t mention them at the moment.

If I do, there’s fair odds of someone taking those ideas to their place of work and implementing it before me. So there’s a level of trust I’m asking for here.

2. Exclusive access to the List Management request line – much like the Stat Suite section, if you have any queries about the info on the page, want to see something in particular, or even want a link to prove a specific player’s contract, submit the question and it will be sorted.

3. Priority access to any non-Notebook or NMFC articles for 24 hours – things like last year’s deep dive on Melbourne is exclusively the domain of this tier for 24 hours after publishing.

To call back to the $5 tier, the plan here is to average out at least one post per fortnight to make this benefit worth people’s time.

4. First access to any future projects – as an example, if the Finals Dossiers from 2019 and 2020 return this year, people in this tier get first dibs on it. When there’s extra pieces during trade period, people in this tier get first dibs on it.

So that is what’s on the table for 2022. As mentioned, it’s going to be a one-season trial, March to October, to see whether there’s enough interest for it to be viable long-term.

Do I have any idea if this will work? No.

Do I have anything to compare it to as a baseline for what to expect? Also no.

Do I know whether these tiers have been priced correctly with appropriate benefits? Another no.

But I’ll never know if I don’t try…

Patreon: The Shinboner

62 thoughts on “Starting a new era

  1. Good luck Ricky! I’ve really enjoyed your work, very happy to sign up if it means you can continue. I’d love to see something on the girls team.

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