Pillowfort.io is a new blogging platform that aims to improve the current state of social media by providing better privacy and communication tools. We saw people on today's major social media networks complaining about the limitations and flaws of these sites, yet lamenting that there was nowhere better to go. We aim to be that better place to go: a user-friendly space on the web for creativity, communication and content-sharing. We’re creating Pillowfort.io because we are avid bloggers ourselves, and have long dreamed of a platform that would bring together all the best features of the various platforms we’ve used over the years, allowing each user to customize their own experience.
Pillowfort is currently in closed beta with over 10,000 users. Everyone who donates $5 or more will get a registration key (or keys) on September 1st to create an account on the site, so if you want to try out the site while it's still in beta and even help us decide on how to continue developing it, now is your chance!
The Site and Its Features
- User Control & Privacy
A lot of the problems in other social media sites come from a lack of control over one’s own content-- who can view it, share it, etc. Pillowfort aims to remedy these problems by giving users more control over how their content can be used by the community. Pillowfort’s users can choose whether or not a post can be reblogged by other users; whether it’s viewable to all users, or only users that are already following them; and more. This way, Pillowfort users can be as social as they want when they’re feeling extroverted and want to share their ideas, but also restrict their more private thoughts and feelings to a closer circle of confidantes. We also give users total control over their content: deleting one of your posts will delete all reblogs, and edits made to your post will be reflected in all reblogs. You can also delete any unwanted comments to your posts.
On Pillowfort you can create, and join, user-moderated ‘communities’ so that you can easily find other people who enjoy the same things you do, all in one place. Post pictures of your proud baking exploits to a community of bakers, discuss the new spoilers for your favorite TV show in a community forum full of other fans-- whatever you want! User moderation means that users can decide on custom rules for their community and enforce them (so long as they don't contradict the general site Terms of Service).
Nested comment threads for better dialogue between users
A private messaging feature that lets you build friendships one on one
- A built-in blacklisting feature, so you can hide posts containing certain keywords and tags
Budget & Goals
The bulk of our fundraising goal is to allow us to hire staff to work on the site long-term. Here is a detailed break-down of our fundraising goals and how your donations will be used:
A Business Plan for Pillowfort
Our main goals are to create sources of revenue for Pillowfort that can ensure the maintenance of the site as well as its growth. We also want our plan to reflect a mutual respect between the site and its users.
The Short Term: Staff at Pillowfort is hoping that a crowdfunding campaign will allow us more time to ready the site before it exits beta. This means fixing high-priority bugs; tightening site security; revising the Terms of Service to be more specific and address user concerns; and expanding our moderation system, including on-boarding more moderators. This short term plan incorporates the remainder of 2018 and the first two quarters of 2019.
The Long Term: In order to build sustainable revenue, Pillowfort cannot rely solely on crowdfunding. Staff at Pillowfort is also adverse to receiving funding from outside investors and sponsors because we want to maintain total creative control over the site. Because of this, we're drafting a business plan that looks at two sources of funding:
- Premium Account Features: Essential site features will remain free from a paywall, while users can pay for premium features. (For example: being able to upload larger file sizes, multiple user icons, uploading gifs to a library for easy access, etc.)
- Advertisement Opt-Ins: All Pillowfort users will not see advertising by default. Instead, users will have the choice to opt-in to advertising to help support the site. This means overall less ad revenue, but we believe it is important to respect our users' experience and not force advertising on anyone.
Rewards + Beta Testing
- Anyone who donates an amount of $5 or more will be given a key to create an account on Pillowfort! You will receive one beta key for every $5 you donate-- so if you donate $20, for example, you will receive 4 registration links. If you do purchase multiple keys, you can give them to any friends, family, etc. that you'd like!
- Laptop stickers:
- T-shirt and poster designed by Jennika Tia:
Risks and challenges
This is a one-time fundraiser to help us get off the ground.
The main obstacles that Pillowfort faces in the future are 1) preparing the site to exit beta and open registrations to the public, and 2) become financially independent. If we meet our fundraising goals, it will give us the necessary funds to hire more personnel to work on the site and meet these objectives as fast as possible.
For the first objective, exiting beta and opening the site to the public, we will need to develop a number of technologies for the site such as more efficient data handling and security measures. For the second, we are working on a business plan that will allow us to bring in revenue without exploiting our users or hindering their experience in using the site. For both of these things, having funding will allow us to hire talent to develop these technologies and the more people we are able to bring onto the project, the sooner we can meet these objectives.
As for liabilities and legalities, Pillowfort.io is incorporated under the Pillowfort Blogging LLC.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)