Who do you think can talk about all this in an excellent way?
Only the masters can do it, those who first started the sponsorship of the floorball and its actors on the pages of its website.
It was 2015, when www.floorballtoday.com was born from Holland to the world web panorama.
They were the pioneers and today they are the most popular, floorball Today is a point of reference for all lovers of this discipline.
We at Floorballmaniatv are happy to introduce you to the founder of all this, Anne-Jan Hempenius, with whom we have had some questions.
Let's find out more about Floorball Today.
1) Hi Anne-Jan Hempenius, first of all how are you in this particular period for the whole world? Introduce yourself to our readers, who are you and what do you do in life?
Hi Dario, thanks for asking! It has been a rollercoaster but I think that goes for everyone but it's surprising how quickly you adapt to things. I was fortunate that I could keep still working and right now things are going slowly back to normal.
As my "regular job" I do translating which is quite a detour after graduating in Religion & Violence but I more or less stumbled into it. I like it a lot and, even better, it offers the flexibility to work on FloorballToday so all in all, I could say it's a dream job.
2) Let's talk about your intuition, why do you decide to found Floorball Today one day in 2015?
During my bachelor in Educational Sciences I was given the opportunity to study abroad. I played a lot of Starcraft II at the time and met (online) some amazing folks from Sweden.
When I heard that I could study in the city they live in, I didn't hesitate for one second and registered myself (one day after the deadline but luckily they were quite relaxed about it) for the Erasmus.
It was truly an amazing time and floorball played a huge part of that. Mind you, this is around 2012 and I had just started playing floorball for half a year. In Uppsala, I was slowly introduced more and more to floorball and at one point I was playing 5-6 times a week. Small field, big field, it didn't matter! I even watched some professional floorball by a club called Storvreta.
When I returned home I saw with my own eyes how amazing it is when floorball is part of a country's culture. I decided to return to Sweden to start a master there, I think this was in 2013.
I didn't finish the master at the university but surely I received a master in floorball! I watched every game of Storvreta, played with a low division club, organized the floorball of my student nation and played almost every day. It was perhaps not the best time for my knees but I loved it!
But all good things come to an end and when I came back to the Netherlands I really missed the floorball scene and I was very surprised that there was not a single international news platform.
So I, together with my best buddy Daniël started to write, started a small blog site where we wrote about the floorball news.
This was in Summer 2015 and by the end of the year we went to Tampere to watch the WFC2015. And from there it kinda evolved!
3) Communication is fundamental for this sport and many websites have been born over the years, what advice would you give to these young people?
I think everything starts with a passion for the sport.
Floorball is a team game but I also think the whole floorball community is a team game. If your team has the best sharpshooter in the league but doesn't have good defenders, there is only so much that he or she can do.
We want to be an integral part in the floorball community, not to stand on top but to help bring floorball (the team) forward.
5) Do you manage FT, with Daniël Nicolai you are two great fans and friends, how much time do you spend during the day at FT? Do you have specific tasks? Or do you work together on each news? How many people are there working in FT?
This may come to a shock to many but it's just us two working one day a week on FloorballToday.
In 2015 we had this idea of becoming a big floorball news platform where we could work full-time but that was too much of a goal in hindsight. Floorball doesn't have the numbers of bigger sports so ad revenue is very meager. There were years where we were paying from our own pockets and right now we are just barely hovering above that area.
That's why we stopped with news altogether since last year and decided to focus on quality content. This also meant that we trimmed down our working hours since we have to earn money (since we're not students anymore and have to make a living too).
So from working a 1-3 hours every day we moved from working one day a week writing longer evergreen content. Quality over quantity. To cover the costs we decided to make these articles available exclusively for those who support us with a low monthly donation on Patreon.com/floorballtoday.
Apart from that, we have a couple of guest writers, most notably Kimmo, who has written in the past season about the German floorball scene. If you like to write in English, about floorball, then I definitely welcome everyone to fill in the contact form on our website because we are always looking for guest bloggers and writers.
We are also starting a FloorballToday Podcast which is just basically Daniël and me talking about floorball.
Regarding the specific tasks, I write more about the Swedish floorball league and related to that, and Daniël is taking a deep dive into floorball tactics and how to improve yourself as a player, coach or goalkeeper! There is something in it for everybody!
6) Not much communication has changed recently, not only the website, but also Instagram, Facebook, Tic-Toc, etc. So has the way of communicating to young people changed, how have you aligned yourself with the new way?
Social media are a blessing and a curse. They are for the most part a blessing because it allows us to connect with our readers and viewers. However, as a "company" things can change from one second to the other.
For example, we had a very lively Facebook page drawing in many visitors until Facebook changed their algorithm a couple of years back giving more priority to Facebook groups.
That meant our articles ended up much less frequently in the timeline of our readers which dealt us a big blow in terms of visitors. On the other hand there are many opportunities with newer platforms but if you rely on just one platform it's very risky!
We are not as active on Instagram as we were. This is one area where we had to "cut" our time.
There are many excellent floorball Instagram account delivering amazing content but it takes a lot of time to do so and we chose to dedicate it to making other types of content.
7) You have recently changed the way you manage Floorball Today's information too, why? You have also started a project with Patreon, what is it?
Yes, that's true! Basically, we realized that we couldn't afford to write news anymore. It cost too much time because you have to work on it every day and as we're getting older, it's more important to have a stable income.
Let's be clear: FloorballToday is not a project we do for the money (because if we did we would have quit after one year) but because we love the sport and want to bring it forward!
On the other hand, we at least want(ed) to break even and ideally get paid a normal wage for the time we spent on FloorballToday.
That is the biggest reason why we decided to ask the community for help with a low monthly donation. Even though almost everyone is used to reading everything on the internet for free, we have been very fortunate with the 50+ that are supporting us so far.
They are our "patrons" and we are very grateful for their donations. It helps to cover the server and other costs and as the group keeps growing it will give us more resources to expand our work, etc.
To summarize: you can become a patron by signing up on Patreon.com/FloorballToday and donate every month the small sum of $6. In return, you will receive all the Patron-only articles we have written so far and the ones we are writing. And of course, you receive our gratefulness! <3
8) Floorball Worldwide is born on Facebook, a page very popular with lovers of our sport. Why did you feel the need to make this page?
I think Floorball Worldwide was very much needed.
Of course, we have our big Facebook page but here it's very hard for people to write their own messages, start a discussion and write about their events.
So that's why we made this group to start a big happy floorball family. It also gives us the opportunity to ask more directly for feedback and see what lives in the floorball community.
9) let's talk about numbers, in your opinion how many articles have you published in the last 5 years? How many users viewed your pages? Where does Floorball Today want to go? Are you looking for collaborations? Without an answer, yes, which type?
Right now we have written 5,408 articles since our start (although there are even more since we deleted the first year of our existence) and we almost had 3 million page views.
Our biggest day was December 2 2018 when 6,780 people found our website! Before Daniël and I take all the credit for these thousands of articles I do want to mention that for the biggest part of our history our team consisted of three members (Daniël, I and William Garnett) but we unfortunately had to split last year. He is still very active in the floorball world so definitely check out Falk & Garnett Floorball for a follow!
Direction-wise we are going to focus on the coming season soon.
I will write mostly about the big leagues and I think Daniël will keep focusing on the guides and other areas where you can improve as a player/coach. We are also going to start a podcast which will be super much fun.
This way we can discuss the floorball news without having to write about it which is kinda cool I think.
We are ALWAYS looking for collaborations. Anyone who wants to contribute to our site is more than welcome to.
Just go to FloorballToday.com/contact and write us! Besides that, we really aim to increase our patron community so we are financially stronger and can keep writing also in 2021.
Due to corona we took quite a hit in our numbers as people understandably are not very active with floorball at this moment, but we hope this will change as the new season draws near.
Remember: a small donation makes a huge difference for us so if you love what we do we are 100% grateful for your support.
10) the next confirmed event is men's under-19 qualifying in November, will you be there? Or are you going to the finals in Brno in the Czech Republic?
The site looks very cool and I really love it! If you have a clear goal with your website, that helps! Also if you want to have some of your articles published on our website in English, that may be an option too!
Thank you very much, I was very pleased to interview you, for me you are a point of reference, you have my utmost respect.