Creator Spotlight AKA Creators Circle


Creators Circle

Michael Gray


  • Grew My Beard
  • My Dog Loves me
  • Helped Build Recurrency
  • Pay attention to my Fans and Followers

Creators Links

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Mr. Gray was chosen for the Ceators Circle due to his outstanding performance and ability to get people to cast their vote for him.Anyway you get the idea. Now as for how these individuals would be chosen for Creators Circle. I dont like the idea of a creator being able to buy a spot in the creators circle. The reason is we creators work really hard to build our content for our audiences and lets say some Joe comes along, and has a little to no content developed under his or her belt then all of a sudden they are in the Creators Circle just because they have the money to buy a slot in there. I think creators including myself would feel incredibly demeaned by such an act.

Now that thats off my chest, shew thought I was going to meldown lol.

So the question becomes how are creators chosen for the Creators Circle? I have a couple ideas just one is mehhhh and the other could work but... could still belittle some creators so Im not one hundred percent with that one any way but here we go.

Creators Circle - Must be an active participant on your social networks including being responsive to your audiance. (Which by the way Mike Great JOB).

                         - Must have been registered with Recurrency for no less than 30 Days as a creator

                         - Must have recieved X amount in Gifts in the last 30 Days. (this is the one Im not so sure about. Because take a creator like me. Ive only been in business for myself for a month and Mike can attest that I have been all over the place working hard to make things happen including trying to secure crowd funding, since my business does not have a specific product to sell at this time to generate a revenue. And at this point nearly every dime thats gone into my business has been out of my own pocket!) Now guys like me versus guys or gals that have been around for years and built a name for themselves as well as the oddities like Blizzard Watch which entirely funded by crowd source funds and reached an astonishe 12K per month in funds in less than 3 months! Here is the kicker though each one of the content developers there have been in the same busines for years and made names for themselves. My point is the little people would be left out and there are more little people than big people.

                          - I feel like maybe a panel should be considered for the Creators circle nominees. Id say 3 to 5 people the review the creators and ultimately cast a secret vote for each individual based on their merits as a creator, their content, their nominations and their presence online. Lets face it with out a strong presence online content cant be distributed and its kind of like having a big neon sign in the middle of the ocean. 

                          - A creator would have to be nominated by his peers first! Then at the end of X time period the nominations would be tallied up and out of all the nominees only say 30 people are selected for the Creators Circle. Each one to be featured for a 24 hr period.  Nominations would be reset at the end of each period, but those that were in the creators cricle during the last cycle would not be eligable for nomination for a period of X amount of time.

That is about how id handle such a feature. But Id love to hear your feedback and thoughts.



First of all -- wow, I love this!! Especially the real life example content found in Michael Gray's Accomplishments section! ;) #GrowThatBeard

Have been cogitating on some sort of "Creator Carousel" or featured highlight section for some time but hadn't ever thought to add a voting component to it -- great idea. Some initial feedback:

  • agree re: "no pay to play" -- this feels gross 
  • i like the idea of having to be a creator for 30 days before being eligible -- rewards the more invested members vs. potential "Johnny Come Lately"s
  • interesting question on the "$X in gifts" requirement -- maybe this is really about creating some different "tiers" for spotlighting different kinds of folks: it would be cool to recognize things like "most engaged" creators (maybe by # of comments, # of Messages created, etc.), "fastest growing," "best local organizer," etc. in addition to more traditional kind of "leaderboard metrics"
  • love the idea of peer nominations and panel review process -- this is really cool
  • also love the "set a time limit" idea so creators know what kind of window they have to take advantage of the extra promotion opportunity, and there is always fresh talent on deck to be recognized.

It's worth mentioning that this Creator promotion / carousel / highlight concept is itself a part of a larger goalset around creator discovery and making ourselves more useful in terms of directing prospective supporters your way -- and I see the solution overall as a mix of

1. editorial curation -- the Creators Team and other Recurrency staff identify top creators to feature for a broad variety of reasons
2. peer voting / ranking -- a la many of your ideas above
3. automation -- letting exceptional creators bubble to the surface based on activity, attention, funds raised, and other metrics we can measure and algorithms we can come up with
4. directory creation -- via tagging and other mechanisms, give supporters a way to search and browse for creators in specific roles, genres, locations, etc.

To move this forward -- first of all, completely welcome feedback and ideas from anyone else if the spirit moves you along the way -- I will noodle a bit on the nominations and panel process on the hunch that it may fit in with another area I'm working on speccing out already which is "Groups" (i.e. ability to self-assemble into projects managed by multiple creators). Richard -- I would ask you specifically about where exactly you would want to see the results of the Creators Circle process: is it a big featured block on the home page that cycles through a set of creators and links you off to individual URLs? Is it a whole section to itself where we're actually tracking and keeping all the historical versions of the winners from each round? Ooh -- it would be super cool to have some kind of badge or other icon you could add to your profile that denotes "was chosen as a Top Featured Creator" in June 2015 or similar. If we do the peer voting / panel thing, does the panel want a space to add some comments on why they voted for this particular creator? And/or what does the URL that the carousel links to point to: just the Creator profile page? Or a special page that maybe has some additional bells and whistles that only featured winners can take advantage of? Food for thought...

Thanks huge for putting these thoughts together. Really helps us build a product people actually want to use (imagine that!) :)



I want to say thanks for the feedback and the questions on this creators Circle idea. And I will start by saying when I envision the creators circle I see it as spot on the home page for Recurrency. For the sake of being noriced by fellow creators and donors it should be above the fold and prominent, standing out! I also believe that it should function like this example for the sake of the example Ill use myself..

WarCraft Press was chosen to be among the creator circle for the month of June. But so was 29 other creators. So, the way I see it in my head is each day of the month there is a new creator circle creator each day my day might fall on the 17th or maybe the 3rd, either way a creator would hold the coveted spot for a day. I think limiting the features slot to 30 people will help motivate creators to do more. After all with the way I envision this feature its a reward not a right or an expectation.

To answer your question yes I think there should be a link on the featured creator to their direct Recurrency profile as well as to some of their social media profiles and if they have a website it should certainly be added. I also have to say I agree there should be a badge of honor of some sort to the creators that helps them to stand out above the rest. I also think that the panel should in fact disclose why the selected creator was chosen in the Creators circle section. Doing this will encourage other creators to replicate them, thus bringing better and more creator content to the world!

Yes in order to keep previously selected winners from getting one of the coveted 30 spots there should be a way for tracking that and preventing someone from being in the circle fro 2 months in a row or even 2 times in a year. Based on that alone there would be 365 coveted spots available each year. so if you were to write an algorithm or equation it would look something like this. if x represents the creator chosen. Please note I'm not a mathematician but here goes if x is = J, or F, or M, or A, or M, or J, or J, or A, or S, or O, or N, or D then x X=0; 0 meaning unavailable for a period of 365 days from the date of selection.

As for a link from the Creators Circle feature on the home page there should be links in that section to social media venues such those I described in the original post about the Creators circle. I also think that there should be a link on the menu of the site that takes people to the "Creators Circle" that shows a list of previously chosen creators. I think they should be added to this page as they are featured on the home page. In a list kind of format that shows their name, their niche or field of expertise, as well as the date they were featured and a link to their Recurrency profile.

I hope this helps! And your more than welcome to contact me directly via phone or email.

Richard Bishop




More great feedback -- thanks!!

I agree this should be something on the front page & above the fold. We have a new UX designer starting with us and I'm hoping to rope her in to some ideas for how that would work. I will also see about creating some sort of seal or badge to represent this. In the meantime, in the interest of having a place to start -- I jiggered up a prototype of the landing page format here:

It's pretty janky as this is also a new experiment publishing right out of Evernote, so just playing around with layouts and such... but hey, the "handcrafted" feel has a certain charm of its own :) Let me know if you have any thoughts/suggestions & I'll keep noodling on formats and figure out how to get the support badge in there...!


Awe thank you for the kind suggestion that I might make the Creators Circle some day! lol Also your kind words in the testimonial are humbling thank you.

Seriously as a first draft and getting the concept in place it looks good. In terms of a nadge or something how do you feel about a miss USA type of thing from the bottom left corner to the top right corner of the users image? Not sure how well it will work with some images it could cover the user up, any way was just a thought.  I also feel like the creators brand if the have one should be represented as in the case of the example you used the WarCraft Press logo should be there somewhere.

I absolutely love the peer testimonials! Id say for that keep it to the most recent 3 submitted. However that means when a creator is selected we will need an algorithm that will pull those from their standard profile.

Another thing I thought was Awwwwsome was the Creator Q & A. And while I like the email asking questions, who decides what to ask? Are questions determined by the selection panel? What happens if someone don't submit their responses in a timely manner? I'm not trying to rain on your parade Im just think out loud, kind of more like thinking on the keyboard, lol. But the idea is faaabulooouuss!

In order for it to fit on the home page I think we might have to scale it back not only in what is content included but sizing as well. Which brings the question have you decided to keep a section of the site for creators circle members? Perhaps a place where all of this content is available for all creators circle members? I like the idea of that and I also like the idea of doing it in such a way that it looks like a timeline. I'm not sure how other we would keep the page scrolling into infinite space but a thought might be to do something like Facebook where each month collapses to the month as the month passes then as the year passes it collapses like an accordion styling maybe. Just a thought.

As for the images your talking about I host all mine on Imgur just to save server resources. 

All in all Id say this project is well on its way! I'm so excited i feel like a little kid waiting for Santa Clause to show up! I would like to thanks you all again for welcoming me into your family of creators. Im truly having a blast.


Just thinking out loud, a banner/award badge is a great idea. It provides the recipient a piece of marketing collateral they can use to support their own work. 

For example, many self-propelled industries (real estate agents, writers, photographers, etc.) struggle with a concept of "legitimacy." What separates Uncle Bob With A DSLR from A Professional Photographer? That's "legitimacy." It's the universe of work, talent, equipment, and effort that accrues around a professional creator/agent, and is often represented by awards and certificates... kind of like what we're creating here!

This is a great time for feedback on this topic. How about you podcasters and entrepeneurs on the group? Any additional thoughts on this conversation?



Ok I have to admit I had not thought about a Badge or a Banner as an award that the creator could put on their own websites or social account. But man I wish I had thought of that. It would certainly add a sense of legitimacy for the creator. GREAT IDEA!

If I am understanding you correctly it would work something like this. A creator would be chosen for the creators circle then in addition to having their profile in the spot light on the home page and on the creators circle timeline they would be given an exclusive badge that they can use on their social media and websites as a method of validation and legitimacy to what they do?


Following up on this front much belatedly:

Not to put words in Mr. Gray's mouth, but to your question Richard I believe that's exactly the intent (offer the badge to display not just on one's Recurrency profile but beyond / wherever good creations are being made and promoted -- for the purpose of adding legitimacy / validation). That's a piece in progress along with the special "Featured" profile as chicken scratched out earlier in this thread -- but what's further along as to be actually launched is a v.1 of a "Creator Discovery" page:

Right now the logic that orders this page isn't quite the way we'd like it -- so I'm holding off on posting this explicitly to the #newfeatures hashtag until I can get it updated by "all recent activity." There's also still some work being done on completing the "Featured Creator" / Creator's Corner slot that my team can use for the purposes of the O.P. -- basically we will have a way to add a "Featured" banner to the first slot and send visitors over to the special profile with Q&A. I am a little bit torn on whether to go with a sort of franchise approach where we always ask the same 5 standard questions (so there's a basis for interesting comparison across a wide range of genres and mediums, etc.) vs. mixing it up / tailoring a set of short questions for individually selected creators. Richard and anyone else who has any thoughts on this front -- any preferences? Also tossing in a few draft questions that could fit the bill on the franchise version of this, would love any feedback / alt suggestions / additional ideas here too...

  1. What inspires you to create?
  2. How did you cultivate your craft: professional study? Self-taught? Fell down an unexpected rabbit hole somewhere along the path to Other Things? All of the above?
  3. Who are some of your greatest influences?
  4. How do you tune out distractions and get into the "Creative Zone"?
  5. What advice would you give to someone on the fence about choosing to pursue the Creative Life?



Hello, Barb! Always nice to see your creative juices flowing. Okay so if I understand right you basically are wanting to create ad banner of sorts that creators like me or anyone can post on there social networks and websites and such to essentially just show their status on Recurrncey, correct? If that's the case code wise it would look something like

 <a href=""><img src="YOUR IMAGE HERE" height="300" width="600" alt="recurrency badge of honor" target="_blank">

or am I mistaken on what the goal here is?

Okay so initially I like the discovery page as a whole. But I guess Im not sure how people will be chosen for a spot on this page. I know you stated previously there are some logic issues, perhaps I can help if you fill me in. Id sure give it all I got to try anyway.

In regards to the Questions no I don't think they should be a set or standard set of questions. I mean if you were an interviewer for say a potential employee you wouldn't always stick to a script. Sure there are a few questions that might always come up like availability and so on but a lot of times as your speaking with a person you get a sense of them and decide or ask questions that you feel are important based off your instinct of the individual. That in Mind I believe and feel the board should be the ones to decide what questions to ask based on the person(s) being reviewed and voted for by their peers, and contributors.

Please I mean no offense by any of what is about to come next so please do not take it as being rude or aggressive because that is in no way my intent,  I just want to make a point.

No one individual creators or not are not the same and to group them into a category for the same questions is kind of demeaning as a creator myself. I am not like anyone else and I totally have started my business on less that $100.00 and an idea of my own money and have now a team of 10 in my employ which none of are paid a dime as of yet. That takes a certain degree of charisma and the ability to inspire others to greatness. Any one of the people in this group can look at my website or Recurrency page and see we are growing and the fact that we only currently have 3 donations coming in at the moment and are still seeing the successes we have. If anyone else did that Id have very specific questions for them and even those that have not yet done that Id still have very specific questions for them but they would certainly be different from a guy that say invested 10K to start.

Moving on in regards the the Creator's Circle I did not see anything about a board being established to evaluate nominees or how people will be nominated for a spot on the creators circle. Also based on the discovery page I kind of feel like there are way too many, creators being listed there. These slots should be coveted and held as a kind of a grand prize for winning the Kentucky Derby or the Indy 500. Also I was under the impression that a person would be featured on the home page for a day then the next person chosen by the board would be the person featured on the home page and so and so on. Am I wrong in my thinking? I mean that is how I proposed it and envisioned so I'm not sure where I went askew.

As always its been a blast working with you all and you all motivate me so much. Thanks for the honor of being a part of this amazing group!


Thanks Richard!!

You're right about the badge and the related goal -- as opposed to the main Recurrency badges that can be used to promote your profile & fundraising in general, the Creators' Corner / Featured Creator badges would be more like the equivalent of the "JD Power" seal of approval / signature of quality type of thing. Probably a static graphic we'd provide vs. an embed code (but good arguments for either way).

And to your point about the Discover page as it currently stands -- I am in 100% agreement that it needs some work both to clarify what the logic *is* that both gets you onto this page and in what order, as well as some better methods of carving out a "Even Moar Special" area for creators being editorially featured (right now we have one slot but it's still in QA). This page right now represents a "Minimum Viable Product" that will evolve and improve over time -- for now, it gives us at least a quick and dirty way to show off some of the best stuff happening. I will follow up here when I can share some more clarity on how we're changing the logic of the order and inclusion on the page.

As for selecting who the Featured / Spotlight creators are -- here again for reasons of bandwidth I think we need to start with an "MVP" that is predominantly an "editorial" selection by the Creators Team, that will eventually afford to get more egalitarian / democratic with community nominations and voting. But imo better to start somewhere more quickly and then build into what we need.

Lastly -- no offense taken re: "standard 5 Q&A" vs. "individually tailored" question! We welcome the feedback and hope everyone will consider this a "safe space" where it's not out of line to state a contrarian opinion or even tell us what we're doing wrong / in just how many ways our emperors have no clothes ;) We've gotta be humble and make a lot of mistakes on the way to getting things right, so we also appreciate your (and everyone's) patience with our scrappy startuppy ways :) And I agree with you that it's hard to shake the appeal of individually-tailored questions -- maybe it's more like 1-2 of the questions are standard/global b/c we really are curious about what everyone's inspiration is and how they got into their nutshells, but beyond that it's more specific to each individual Featured Creator, their genre, history, accomplishments, etc.

Thanks again for your feedback and we'll keep on pushing all these boulders up their respective hills!! Excelsior!! :D