Stepping On Up
Dear Fellow Blippers.
It’s time for an update from the team running Blipfoto. Firstly, we recognise that many newer members may not know the recent history of the site since the community takeover, so we’ll do a quick recap.
In 2016 a small group of four volunteers got together to co-ordinate a rescue of Blipfoto on behalf of the community. This was successful thanks to the amazing support of the community, their financial contributions, and the efforts of that volunteer team.
Since then, Blipfoto has run pretty smoothly for the last 6+ years (or around 2430 blips, to you). Inevitably, there has been the odd interruption to the normal service, as happens to many much larger websites, but the overall service is stable. Income from membership fees cover operating costs, there is a healthy cash reserve, the company is financially sustainable, the platform is stable technically, and the community is thriving.
Life changes over the course of 6 years, and that is certainly the case for those of us who have been running the site. Whether it is work commitments, family commitments, personal circumstances or health, the volunteers running the site today feel no longer able to give Blipfoto the same attention they previously could, and importantly that Blipfoto needs and deserves. It's time for us to hand the running of this wonderful site on to a next generation of enthusiasts.
At the last board meeting it became clear to us that without new volunteers, with the availability and commitment to run the site, it is only a matter of time before some incident or new requirement (technical, community, legal, accounting or administrative) becomes one from which we don’t have time to help Blipfoto recover. If Blipfoto is to make it through the next 6 years and beyond, we need new volunteers to step up and take on responsibility for the running of Blipfoto.
We want to be clear that this is not an immediate threat to the operation of Blipfoto, as we’ll be here to support any handover and transition. We’re also happy to remain involved in the background if the new team would like our support longer term.
It’s a pretty simple message - BLIPFOTO NEEDS YOU!
We’ve got real personal benefit from this 6 year period running the site. We’d recommend it to you as an opportunity to meet new people, learn new skills, and continue to grow a platform that you, and thousands of others, love and use daily.
We need fresh faces, ideas and capacity to maintain the site, and to lead or perform tasks that include:
· Strategy & Governance
· Marketing, Comms & Community Engagement
· Accounting & Finance
· Site moderation
· Technical management (we have professional contractors for some of the hands-on stuff)
If you have the time and interest to help with any of these areas, please get in touch us, initially via email at firstname.lastname@example.org Let us have your name, Blipfoto username, e-mail address, phone number and some indication of your skills/experience/interests. We will then set up a group call for prospective volunteers to explore how we can transition the volunteer team to cover all of the above areas.
Historically the team started as four directors, but more recently has been three directors (forming the board) who between them have covered governance, accounting, compliance, technical management, the helpdesk, moderation etc, and additional volunteers supporting marketing and the Blip community. While this structure has worked, we’re entirely open to the idea it may be time to think differently about the size and shape of the team – that’s something we’d be happy to explore with the new volunteers.
We appreciate this message may have come as something of a surprise to members, and it doesn’t mean the site is in immediate danger. As we have said the company that runs the site is financially sustainable, there is a healthy cash reserve and the platform on which it runs is stable. The Board and volunteers are being proactive by raising this situation in plenty of time to find new volunteers to take on the roles of maintaining the site and continuing to allow it to flourish.
Please don’t offer your help via the comments below – we need your contact details and suggest you don’t share them in the public domain. Use the email@example.com email address to contact us.
Thank you from the Blipfoto Team