For many of us that are paying members you will have received a notification that your membership is due for renewal. If you’ve already done so many thanks for continuing to support Blipfoto.
As a community owned company, we’re sure you already know that Blipfoto is reliant on the income from memberships to keep going. As we were able to announce recently in the 2017 annual report (https://www.blipfoto.com/entry/2485799334054988308) Blipfuture CIC, which runs Blipfoto on behalf of the membership, continued to be financially stable and sustainable. That was in no small part down to those of you who renewed their memberships at this time last year. Each year this period in November is important to the continued financial health of Blipfoto. That’s because the majority of paying members bought their first memberships since the acquisition of Blipfoto in the first few days of November 2016, when they were reintroduced.
That’s not to say that those of you who bought their memberships at a different time of year aren’t important, it is just that we know from our budget sheets that a significant proportion of our income is received in November each year.
If you’re already a paying member we hope you will renew to ensure that you don't lose any of the benefits of membership. You can do this anytime by going to the membership page. Any discounts you are entitled to from the crowd funding will still apply. If you’re still within the existing period the new membership will be added on to the end of this year, whenever you pay. Monthly paying members don’t need to do anything as payments will continue automatically. We’ve retained the facility to make an additional donation, and we'd like to offer thanks in advance to anyone who feels able to offer extra help in this way.
For those of you who only use the apps, please be aware that they don’t support the purchase of memberships; you will need to go to the website, which has been designed to be viewed from your phone should you not have access to a computer.
If you don’t currently have a full membership, we'd very much like you to consider taking one out, not just in respect to the extra features you'll get, but for the wider contribution you will be making to Blipfoto. We encourage you to join us and help make sure that Blipfoto has a bright future. In return, you will gain all the benefits of membership:
-a beautiful gallery view
-a customisable thumbnail view
-the ability to download the original images from your journal
-an option to give up to five favourites a day
-the capacity of an extra 100 photos a year
as well as the knowledge that you are helping to support the Blipfoto community and be giving the best possible chance for the site to be improved for everyone.
On that point we haven’t done as much as hoped this year. It’s not to say we haven’t continued to work behind the scenes, we are on the site everyday keeping it running smoothly, dealing with support requests and moderating accounts that don’t meet our rules. More importantly we’ve been focused on maintenance and improvements to the functionality of the site.
For some time we’ve had reports that tags weren’t always working properly. Thanks to the hard work of our technical experts and the help of members reporting problems they were experiencing, this is largely resolved.
We’ve also created a new landing page for non-members that visit the site. We felt it was important that their experience was more informative. And you helped by creating much of the content including a new banner and various blip quotes for use on the page. If you haven’t already had a look you can do so by signing out and visiting www.blipfoto.com(or opening a private/incognito window in your browser). Let us know what you think, we’re always open to constructive criticism.
On a more mundane note we also had to grapple with the new GDPR regulations. While it wasn’t exactly exciting, it was important to address these new regulations and keep us on the right side of the law.
Finally, we made some changes to the links on the Browse page, including a new browse ability to view members’ milestone blips.
The Community Blog has gone from strength to strength under the guidance of Michele and now she has a Blip Posse from volunteers to help in creating content.
Other work streams prompted by the second members’ survey are ongoing but are not yet ready for
role roll out. We’ll be reporting them as and when they are complete.
Every additional journal owner that buys a membership improves the chances of further developments taking place. Our overheads in keeping the site running are taking up most of the income at the moment, and that is despite the Directors and Community Co-ordinator (and volunteers) continuing to work on an unpaid voluntary basis. A monthly membership costs no more than a large coffee at a café and much less than most magazines you buy from a newsagent. When you consider the pleasure and time you spend on the site, is it really asking too much?
It’s over to you now. We really hope you’ll click on membership in your menu and renew (or join us for the first time).