The story so far
When we launched Staffrm back in 2014 we wanted to make it much easier for teachers to get started with blogging and help them quickly find an audience. Platforms like WordPress can be off-putting for newbies and it is difficult to build an audience when you're starting out. So we focused on designing an easy-to-use web app just for teachers, with features that encourage community engagement. We've achieved some big successes. Staffrm members have published more than 10,000 posts and over 40,000 comments. Influential new movements have emerged as members have connected around shared interests.
Making Staffrm better
This has all been very exciting but I know that Staffrm can do so much more. In order to have a bigger impact, Staffrm needs to evolve. I want to offer a range of compelling new features that will make Staffrm the ideal home for all teacher-bloggers, enabling you to reach the widest possible audience.
- Make it much easier to find the content you're most interested in
- Promote the best content, so it gets the audience it deserves
- A brand-new post editor with all the features you need to create great posts
- Much better support for special interest groups so that many more of these flourish and have their own impact
- Options that enable individuals and groups to really stand out
- Allow the community to better regulate itself to protect the friendly, respectful ethos we all value
I also want to make many smaller changes so that you have a great experience every time you use Staffrm.
We managed to run Staffrm as a side project for 3 years by keeping costs low and funding it from our own pockets. However, if Staffrm is going to evolve and secure a long-term future, something needs to change. I've been listening to user feedback and quietly designing some major new features for you but I need the funds to be able to build and ship them. Longer term, Staffrm needs to pay its own way.
In order to deliver the short-term improvements I've outlined above, I'm proposing a crowdfunding campaign that will enable Staffrm supporters to collectively raise the necessary funds. If we hit the funding target then I’ll get straight to work on implementing those improvements. If we surpass the target, building native mobile apps would be the next big thing on my list. If the campaign fails, Staffrm will have to close its doors.
Help build support
To hit the funding goal we’ll need to work together to build big support. We need to tell as many teachers as possible how great the new Staffrm can be. Here are five things you can do right now:
- Join Staffrm (it’s free!)
- Post a supportive comment below and/or hit ‘Recommend’
- Share this post with your followers/friends (you can use the Twitter and Facebook buttons below to do this)
- Tweet your support for Staffrm (hashtag #backStaffrm)
- Follow @staffrm on Twitter and/or like our new Facebook page
Access to Staffrm's core features will always be free to all users (provided we can keep it running). That is a pledge we made when we first launched. Other platforms are funded by advertising or job boards but I think these could compromise the integrity of Staffrm. Instead, I plan to introduce subscription-only premium features that help groups and individuals boost their audience: providing the revenue to fund longer-term developments as well as covering day-to-day running costs.
When will the crowdfunding campaign launch?
Soon. But right now we need to focus on building up support for a Staffrm reboot so that when the campaign launches it’ll get off to a flying start. I’ll be posting regular updates on Staffrm, Twitter and our Facebook page.
You can make this happen
Without its community of users, Staffrm would be nothing at all. If you want to see it survive and thrive then it's time to #backStaffrm!