Kidblog CEO defends move to pay platform

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When the news that Kidblog is no longer completely free hit cyberspace, reactions poured in on this blog and on social media sites, like Twitter and Facebook.

Kidblog CEO Matt Hardy

Kidblog, arguably the most popular education blogging platform, recently, and rather covertly, rolled out a three-tier pricing program, which includes a premium option that costs $2.00 per student per year.

Granted, there is a middle tier that is just $60 per year (reasonable for a quality program like Kidblog), but even this is too much for many teachers, already bogged down with expenses that paltry budgets won’t cover.

With traffic to the original news-breaking post increasing exponentially, Kidblog CEO, Matt Hardy, decided to weigh in on the discussion. Here are excerpts of his comments, posted here.

“Making these adjustments involved tough decision-making. . . As I’m sure you can also understand, it costs a lot to provide a great free service like Kidblog. To ensure that we can continue to provide long term value for teachers and students, we rolled out premium features for those users who need extra resources. This will allow us to maintain a sustainable business that can grow and respond to our users’ needs.”

In his comment, Hardy also claims that Kidblog has received “overwhelmingly positive reactions to the premium plans,” although it’s not clear what this means.  

While I appreciate Hardy making his way to this blog to respond to upset users, and I understand that there may be a need to generate company-sustaining revenue, I’m still not happy that one minute all my Kidblog features were free, and the next minute some came with a fee.

I think an email or a post on Kidblog’s own blog page, explaining the move would have been appropriate. What about asking longterm loyal users which features were most important to them, so perhaps those could have remained free — like student choice of themes?

I have championed Kidblog as the hands-down best education blogging platform for years on my how-to video site, Learn it in 5, and at workshops. I’ll continue to do this, I’m sure.

Sadly, now I have to add a footnote. Kidblog is free. . . well, sort of.

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Mark Barnes is the Founder of Times 10 Publications, which produces the popular Hack Learning Series, The uNseries, and other books from some of education's most reputable teachers and leaders. Barnes presents internationally on assessment, connected education, and Hack Learning. Connect with @markbarnes19 on Twitter.

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