The future of Staffrm: restart or shutdown?

#backstaffrm

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.

Key priorities:

  • 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.

Funding challenges

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.

Crowdfunding Staffrm

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:

  1. Join Staffrm (it’s free!)
  2. Post a supportive comment below and/or hit ‘Recommend’
  3. Share this post with your followers/friends (you can use the Twitter and Facebook buttons below to do this)
  4. Tweet your support for Staffrm (hashtag #backStaffrm)
  5. Follow @staffrm on Twitter and/or like our new Facebook page

Longer-term funding

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!

Jeremy
Staffrm

Author Profile

Staffrm Team

Staffrm Team

Help and enthusiasm from the Staffrm team // Contact us hello@staffrm.io

23 stories

Comments

Lisa Pettifer Lisa Pettifer @lisa7pettifer 3 months ago
It would be really sad to see staffrm fold. Like many people, I'm sure, I've gained an enormous amount of insight, advice, warmth and camaraderie from posters who have been free with their wisdom and support. Let's all have a think about this...
5
Sarah Ashton Sarah Ashton @mrsashton 3 months ago
I need to start visiting staffrm again.... sorry it's been a while
4
Lena Carter Lena Carter @lenabellina 3 months ago
@staffrm has been and still is hugely important to me.
5
Stephen Lockyer Stephen Lockyer @mrlockyer 3 months ago
I've been a keen supporter of Staffrm since the first post (literally) and although I don't use it much now, I remain so.
2
Helena Marsh Helena Marsh @helenamarsh 3 months ago
I have so much to be to be grateful to Staffrm for. Without it's crisp and easy functionality, there is no way that I would have become a keen blogger and connected with so many other great educationalists. Without Staffrm, there would be no WomenEd. There's no way that I would have used another platform to have been so prolific. I hope that it gets the support that it needs and deserves to continue and go from strength to strength. The new features would certainly help to encourage a greater number of teachers to engage with blogs. Thank you.
5
Staffrm Team Staffrm Team @staffrm 3 months ago
Thank you for your support, @lisa7pettifer. It is lovely to hear your positive feedback.
Christine Couser Christine Couser @cacouser 3 months ago
I enjoy the simplicity of Staffrm. A great, safe space to share
3
Staffrm Team Staffrm Team @staffrm 3 months ago
It is so great to read comments like the one above from @helenamarsh. Staffrm was created to help teachers start blogging and find an audience and I'm always delighted to hear when it has achieved that goal. Knowing that Staffrm has helped support the formation of communities like #womenEd, #bameEd and #LGBTed is a great source of pride. A rebooted Staffrm would offer much better support for communities like these. Thanks, Helena, for your passionate support.
3
Susan Baumgartner Susan Baumgartner @sbaumgartner94 3 months ago
Hannah Wilson cued me in on Staffrm and it's been a pleasure experiencing it. A looser, more relaxed feel that I have appreciated. Coming from the US, I have loved seeing real stories from real individuals on the ground. I can then compare/contrast with my own exp for a better view.
2
Sandra Kpodar Sandra Kpodar @sandra 3 months ago
I love Staffrm, and I'd be happy to spread the word about it and support its evolution.
2
Emma Owen Davies Emma Owen Davies @emdavies 3 months ago
I have learned so much by sharing and reading from others' posts on @staffrm - need to get back into to it as @mrsashton said earlier. Be such a shame to lose this community. It is where I learned of #womened and expanded my world view as a teacher.
2
B Yusuf B Yusuf @byusuf 3 months ago
Staffrm MUST keep running!!!

As someone who had wanted to write blogs yet struggled with platforms like WordPress, staffrm is a God send as it is so incredibly easy and intuitive to use. This is why I frequently use it to share my posts. It is also the reason I direct educators new to blogging to this site.

As @helenamarsh has already mentioned, staffrm has helped many communities including #WomenEd and #BameEd to share their experiences and inspire others.

I will make a concerted effort to encourage more educators to use this platform and support however I can.
5
Andy Knill Andy Knill @andyknill 3 months ago
Staffrm I see one of those key vehicles for teachers to share ideas with a wider audience.like teachmeets, pedagoo events it helped me when Iwas teaching to access enthusisamI could not necessarily access in the schools Iwas working in.
1
Shirley Drummond Shirley Drummond @sdrummond 3 months ago
I agree wholeheartedly with so many comments...Staffrm MUST keep running. I have connected with so many amazing people, learnt so much from those connections. `#WomenEd. Ideal platform for us beginner bloggers and such a supportive and safe environment to share ideas, celebrate and challenge the educational arena. Thank you!
3
Hannah Wilson Hannah Wilson @misswilsey 2 months ago
Staffrm is where it all began!

The #womened community of 13k would not exist if it wasn't for StaffRm.

The connections & friendships I have made would not have been developed.

The reflection & camaraderie - a positive voice, a safe space for many - would be really missed.

I have loved finding & using my blogging voice, connecting with others & collaborating on numerous #digimeet

Save StaffRm!
3
Jay Rixon Jay Rixon @jayrixon 2 months ago
I have so benefited from using this platform, its help me find a voice to write and given me a platform to share my thoughts and ideas. More importantly its helped me join an educational community to find like minded individuals, or share different points of view and helped me expand my view of education - it has been so valuable and I am totally willing to back staffrm all the way!
Sarah Cook Sarah Cook @madyline 2 months ago
Every term I try to commit to staffrm more - yes, time is a problem, and having to second guess what I type because of where I am is a problem, but reading isn't, and sharing what I believe to be good practice isn't. Thankyou for staffrm, and long may it continue!
Jill Berry Jill Berry @jillberry 2 months ago
Sorry I have managed to miss this. I am hugely supportive of @staffrm too (and always recommend it when I do any kind of staff training, including with trainee teachers. I don't need it to be any more sophisticated, but I do accept that it needs to pay its way.
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