A Request from TFP, and a few updates

Leebo

Admin
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 21, 2011
9,686
Eastern Ohio
An old married couple were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary with friends and family. At this party the wife stood up and started speaking of her youth and her old dating habits. She spoke of guy after guy who she'd bring home to meet her parents. Never did her father approve of her choice. Wanting to find a special one who his father would approve of she went out and found a guy who looked just like her father, sounded just like her father, and walked just like her father. After a few months of dating she brought him home to meet her family........and her mother hated him. :confused:

We all make decisions that often don't go exactly how we planned, and last year TFP made a decision that didn't go completely as planned. The decision to migrate to new software cost the website several thousand dollars plus a fair amount of work. The end result, we had a horrid year membership wise. ? Between some behind the scene technical issues plus weather that totally stunk up the place the website saw a decline in new members, posts, hits to the server, and just about every other item we tend to look at to measure our progress. Long story short........I cried alot last year.?:cry:

That said, this winter we went to work and have really started to fine tune things, and we're asking for your help. For starters TFP has published roughly 5 new Pool School articles, several new Wiki Articles, and have completed about 10 new YouTube videos. When Spring hits this year we plan on really starting to push this new content to our users. We plan on doing multiple email campaigns this Spring/Summer highlighting new content and bringing our teachings to our users. Lastly we've been working on the Homepage and have brought some more "bling" to that page to help us highlight important content to our users once the season really kicks off. Everything we've really done this Summer has been focused on creating new content for our users and figuring out new ways for us to deliver it to our users...........just as it should be.

Now, a few requests from me to you......
First is the obvious one......we need to continue to Support TFP. Your donations are key to allowing us to continue to make upgrades to the website and allow us to continue to create new content to help teach Pool Care. Each year our expenses increases as we bring more and more users to the website. To date our supporters have done an AMAZING job allowing us to keep the site free of advertising. Even though we've had requests from some major companies you'll notice there's NO affiliate links or Ad banners on the site. We work hard to keep our advice focused on our members and keeping things free of financial incentives is vital. If a user gives you advice you can rest assure they truly do believe what they're saying and that there's NO money involved.

Now, I fully understand not everybody can dish out money, but many still want to help. I've got a few other options that can GREATLY help TFP out. Many of these can be done even if you do donate to the website as the payoff is HUGE for the website.
  • Please visit the App stores you've used to download PoolMath on and rate our App. A five star rating and a positive review goes very far to get our App out there for new users.
  • Next, Please visit YouTube and Subscribe to our channel. Take a few minutes and watch all the old videos and give them positive ratings. These small steps help improve our rank on YouTube and increases the chances our videos will be shown in the future.
  • Lastly, tell your friends about the website and how much we've helped you this swim season. By far the best advertising we've got in the past is that from our users. Next time your neighbor is drooling over your sparkling water, let them know it was TFP that taught you how to maintain your pool. The more we can get our name out there, the better!

Even though the weather is cold outside and most pools are closed, I still wish to thank each and every one of you here. The support you give us is nothing short of amazing, and it's a HUGE pleasure to continue to work to improve Pool Care thanks to each of you.
Lee
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
17,924
Northern NJ
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RMcGirr83

Gold Supporter
Nov 19, 2018
809
Tuscola, TX
It should be pretty simple to add an affiliate link to links that are from amazon.


PS @Leebo "Joshyphp", which is the authors nom de plume, is a very, very helpful guy and would probably help you out if you asked (I see he already has developed a bbcode pack for xenforo s9e Media BBCodes pack)

EG, in this image from a forum that I server/software admin

Capture.PNG

has the websites affiliate code in the href tag on the image

Code:
ref=as_sl_pc_tf_til?tag=tinb0ab-20&
his affiliate tag is tinb0ab-20 and is done automagically so if someone buys it he gets some ka-ching. Just tossing ideas out there.
 

Oly

Gold Supporter
Jun 28, 2017
1,387
Fresno, CA
I want to believe but sorry I have to ask. What exactly is the end game with all the time, money and energy going into this site?
I really do appreciate and respect this site. I have benefited directly, have donated two times and try to help out with responses as often as possible. I also regularly spread the "good news" of this amazing place in a town thick with pool owners, many who have no clue at all.

But I am curious where is this all going? The real value and future of this site cannot be ignored by its owners. Does someone or a group of folks own this site? Is the ultimate goal to build it in order to sell it or market it? Call me a skeptic but I've seen this happen before. If banner adds and pop ups begin to appear I will know the end is near.

Why is TFP increasing its costs? What is the bottom line goal of tracking membership and member posting statistics anyway? I want to believe. I have written in many times that this site and TFP is the very best of the World Wide Web. I don't know who really developed the web or why, but I know TFP and many other sites just like it are taking full advantage of it and paying it forward. Doing some good for many people and asking only to pay it forward for others is a life model but not a business model. If your business is helping others then I'm all in. I want to believe.

Disclaimer... I am sitting beside my very clean pool, one stiff drink in and wearing my thickest flannel shirt as the sunlight is fading. Thanks.
 

Leebo

Admin
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 21, 2011
9,686
Eastern Ohio
@Oly
Please note it’s 12:30’ish as I wrote this and I’ve got a few (sick kids with the flu) family items on my mind so I apologize now for typos and errors that will occur. ?

I can only speak for me, but I also suspect I echo a few others who help out on TFP. First, pop-ups for products......not in the works. Affiliate links....not in the works. Attempting to sell the site.....not in the works. Any attempt to profit from this site beyond me writing long winded posts......not in the works. While I have zero idea what future brings, any efforts to profit beyond wanting to help pool owners isn’t currently in the works. We want to help others.

So why? Again, I only speak for me.
As mentioned in the “Get to know us” article I wrote, it was my father-in-law who brought me to TFP. He loved his pool and had great joy watching the family swim and such. He smiled ear to ear every holiday as he watched all swim. He struggled greatly though caring for it. In his older age I offered to take over maintaining it and found TFP. The teachings here brought him even more joy. The clear sparkling water plus a new heater even caused that 84 year old to take a few dives in along with my mother-in-law. Them swimming is something that never happened before TFP as the work that went with the pool annoyed them. They loved having it because of the family, but didn’t enjoy it until TFP took over.

The memories of my in-laws swimming with my daughters hits each summer.....and that’s why I personally am here. I personally greatly enjoy seeing others create new memories. I’m so sick of all the other ? on other social media that’s full of pulling each other apart that I instead focus here......as it’s positivity cannot go unnoticed. I want to help pool owners enjoy their pools......and that gets talked about frequently.
 
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Leebo

Admin
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 21, 2011
9,686
Eastern Ohio
Ps...... @Oly
It’s now 1am and I’m wide awake looking for a photo of my father diving into the pool that I know I’ve got somewhere! Kids are for now asleep but darn you, you’ve got me looking at photos. ???
 
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wireform

Silver Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 15, 2017
1,260
Spring Valley, NY
I can only say for the member I am. TFP took me from " ok I'll give that a try" to "I know it has to work" because when there are no alternative gains, it's pure good information in the purist form possible. I so many times don't have the time to answer a post that I whole heartedly know the best answer but feel a responsibility to convey it further and just remove myself from the equation for the few minutes. To all involved, keep up the greatest pool forum on planet earth. Thank you.
 

Arizonarob

Gold Supporter
Silver Supporter
TFP Guide
Mar 25, 2018
3,672
Chandler Arizona
I’m so sick of all the other ? on other social media that’s full of pulling each other apart that I instead focus here......
Hear hear!!

In a world filled with “Likes” and “dislikes”, social-less media sites have robbed the average human of compassion and giving. Everyone is out to “out do” the next, all in the name of being “liked”. :pth:

Not here! Here we serve up good old fashioned sound advice WITHOUT having to rely on snake oil products. We teach people to get off their azz and learn how simple and easy it is to have clean, clear and SAFE water to swim in.

Now, in order to keep doing this, we have to rely on donations to keep things going. I know people just think to themselves, “it’s just a website, how much could it really cost?” well, it’s a lot. Trying to keep scammers, hackers, phishing spam etc OFF the site, is a round the clock job. And that job requires upgrading software, servers, etc, which all costs money.

If anyone that has come here and followed the advice we have given you, has a clear pool, and fired their pool guy, just think about the money you just saved. Take just one month of that money and donate it to this site, and you have helped secure the future of sound advice, and no shady advertising. Wanna go a step further, stick around, help teach others, add your field of life experience to the site. You can find all kinds of non pool related topics here. And you can bet if you have a problem with something, you’ll get a bunch of people trying to figure it out with you!!

Pay it forward.
:cheers:
 
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Leebo

Admin
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 21, 2011
9,686
Eastern Ohio
Why is TFP increasing its costs? What is the bottom line goal of tracking membership and member posting statistics anyway?
Bouncing back to this slightly,
Tracking items is something we’ve done for years now. We want to make sure we have a photo of our users, not just some made up picture. Stats and analytics give us this photo.

As for increasing costs,
I’m picturing you meant why is TFP increasing its expenses we must pay, not what’s all this costing our users. The answer here is simple, you donated money to help us fund an amazing site dedicated to pool care, we’re spending the money building a site dedicated to helping improve pool care. The more we earn in donations, the more we’re gonna spend. Once we start something, I greatly don’t want to go back. One of the last things I want to announce is that we're going to "discontinue" the production of YouTube video's because we're not getting enough donations. I don't want to announce we're going to quit allowing users to post photos on the website because it's costing the forum too much money. Once we get to point C....I don't ever want to step back to point B.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
45,422
Tallahassee, FL
Does someone or a group of folks own this site? Is the ultimate goal to build it in order to sell it or market it?
There is one owner of this site- OTPirate AKA Becky. She is active as much as she can be while being a Mom to two very active girls and running a business. The MODS, EXPERTS, and Guides are all volunteers. We are all here to help pool owners to have the best and easiest to care for pools possible.

What is the bottom line goal of tracking membership and member posting statistics anyway? I
The back reason is to try to get this site in front as many eyes possible so they too can have a Trouble Free Pool. That is the end game for all of us. We don't ask for anything other than a pool owner have their own test kit and use it. We don't even care where they get the test kit from so long as it is one of the good ones and it does not have out of date regents.
 
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OTPirate

Admin
In The Industry
Oct 2, 2013
1,540
Creedmoor, NC
@Oly
Hey! I do own this site as much as anyone can own this site. Like everyone has mentioned, it is a non-profit run by volunteers who don't get paid. We get hit up pretty often to run paid ads but I have always turned them down. Leebo keeps the site up and running, and trust me, he puts a lot of time and effort into it. The web hosting fees, upgrades, etc are not cheap and paid for solely by donations. I also run TFTestkits and sell the TF-100, which many members use. However, you won't see me advertising on here (I'll get my hand smacked). I don't make any money from the other test kits we recommend. The test kits we recommend are because they all have the FAS-DPD test and can measure chlorine at high levels, needed for the SLAM process. I have no intentions of selling TFP I consider Lee and the mods my friends. I appreciate you answering people's questions and helping others out. That is what has made this site as awesome as it is-members helping one another out.
 
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ellislo

Well-known member
TFP is definitely doing a great job in helping people like me with ZERO knowledge in pool chemistry to get up and running my own pool TROUBLE FREE, so far ???.

Just a suggestion, for forumer like me who are not in the States, would it be possible to have the supporter perks like product discount/rebate for test kit purchase convert to PoolMath subscription instead? ?

Keep up the good job everyone ??.
 
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JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
16,902
Tucson, AZ
When I first started out on TFP, the forum was using the vBulletin software and the only way to do Pool Math offline was to store a copy of the webpage on your computer desktop and run it in a browser. The vB forum software was TERRIBLE from it's first release until TFP ditched it. The Pool Math webpage was an outdated web design using coding and design styles that I remember from my college days (late 90's). Even back in those bad old days (which, in reality was only about 3 years ago), no other forum on web came even close to the great advice and solid science that was found on TFP. Fast forwards to today and you have a fully upgraded user experience that uses the latest technology to drive eyeballs to this site. You have an App (not cheap to develop!), that is constantly updated and gives users the very best chemical calculations possible. The list of To Do's and upgrades, while not generally known, is never ending. And yet, with all that activity, it is all done through the use of volunteers and donations...that speaks to the dedication of the folks that run this place and why so many of us have financially supported TFP in the past and continue to support TFP into the future.

But, even better than that, there is a real world comparison one can make with running a forum the TFP way and running the exact same forum using other business models - compare Trouble Free Pools to it's progenitor, The Pool Forum. Now I'm not saying this to be disparaging of the person that started and ran The Pool Forum, but that web forum never evolved, engaged in centralized control (only one person ever called the shots), was careless with the science of pool care and, eventually, used ads and affiliate links to help pay the bills.

What happened? The Pool Forum, for all intents and purposes, is dead and TFP is very much alive and vibrant.

SO you ask, "I want to believe..." well, that's up to you. Success speaks for itself while failure makes constant excuses....as far as I'm concerned, TFP's success speaks for itself and if anyone can't see the success here at TFP, then it's a waste time trying to convince them.
 
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Arizonarob

Gold Supporter
Silver Supporter
TFP Guide
Mar 25, 2018
3,672
Chandler Arizona
When I first started out on TFP, the forum was using the vBulletin software and the only way to do Pool Math offline was to store a copy of the webpage on your computer desktop and run it in a browser. The vB forum software was TERRIBLE from it's first release until TFP ditched it. The Pool Math webpage was an outdated web design using coding and design styles that I remember from my college days (late 90's). Even back in those bad old days (which, in reality was only about 3 years ago), no other forum on web came even close to the great advice and solid science that was found on TFP. Fast forwards to today and you have a fully upgraded user experience that uses the latest technology to drive eyeballs to this site. You have an App (not cheap to develop!), that is constantly updated and gives users the very best chemical calculations possible. The list of To Do's and upgrades, while not generally known, is never ending. And yet, with all that activity, it is all done through the use of volunteers and donations...that speaks to the dedication of the folks that run this place and why so many of us have financially supported TFP in the past and continue to support TFP into the future.

But, even better than that, there is a real world comparison one can make with running a forum the TFP way and running the exact same forum using other business models - compare Trouble Free Pools to it's progenitor, The Pool Forum. Now I'm not saying this to be disparaging of the person that started and ran The Pool Forum, but that web forum never evolved, engaged in centralized control (only one person ever called the shots), was careless with the science of pool care and, eventually, used ads and affiliate links to help pay the bills.

What happened? The Pool Forum, for all intents and purposes, is dead and TFP is very much alive and vibrant.

SO you ask, "I want to believe..." well, that's up to you. Success speaks for itself while failure makes constant excuses....as far as I'm concerned, TFP's success speaks for itself and if anyone can't see the success here at TFP, then it's a waste time trying to convince them.
Whoa whoa whoa there buddy! You’re getting dangerously close to @Dirk like posting length.
Put down the caffeine, and step away from the keyboard.
 

Leebo

Admin
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 21, 2011
9,686
Eastern Ohio
TFP is definitely doing a great job in helping people like me with ZERO knowledge in pool chemistry to get up and running my own pool TROUBLE FREE, so far ???.

Just a suggestion, for forumer like me who are not in the States, would it be possible to have the supporter perks like product discount/rebate for test kit purchase convert to PoolMath subscription instead? ?

Keep up the good job everyone ??.
I so greatly wish I could, but with the current setup TFP cannot. Because we're offering the App in the various App stores and we're using their setup to handle all payments TFP must comply with the various rules set by the different stores. Unless it's a discount put forth through their setup, it's a royal pain to offer discounts and if they catch you making multiple alterations to users accounts off the App store you run the risk of them pulling your developers license.
 
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