Forum changes

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
11,511
NY
I don’t like that the load more page resets when you click on an older post. Hitting the back button brings you back to the 1st page. For those of us who go a few pages back, it’s an annoying step to repeat it over and over. I’ll deal tho. Just saying.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Leebo

Leebo

Admin
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 21, 2011
11,113
Eastern Ohio
Pool Size
25000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
I don’t like that the load more page resets when you click on an older post. Hitting the back button brings you back to the 1st page. For those of us who go a few pages back, it’s an annoying step to repeat it over and over. I’ll deal tho. Just saying.
I’ve got this added to some notes as I agree 100% that’s it’s odd. It maybe an issue as the feed relies heavily on cache to send the data and that can be odd to work with, but I do wish for it to be looked at further. 👍
 
  • Like
Reactions: Newdude

Leebo

Admin
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 21, 2011
11,113
Eastern Ohio
Pool Size
25000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
I wouldn't say the older folks don't Google everything. I'm 58 and searching the internet is one of the best things to come along for a DIY person like myself.
The challenge I think is keeping them here.

There is so much correct info packed into these statements from Homebrewale highlighted above. Over the last few years we’ve spent a TON of time and money focusing on our Google rankings and getting new users on TFP. We’ve spent a TON of effort making sure they’re finding the forum and our info. So far these efforts have worked very well. Our Google stats are better than ever and improving day after day. Later this year we will be doing some alterations focusing solely on Google, but for now I’m very pleased with our Google rankings. Not saying we don’t wanna get better, but I’m pleased.

Issue is, nobody’s staying and they haven’t been for years. Especially if they’re seeing the forum. The amount of people that find TFP but never stick around is staggering, especially if they’re younger. While things may seem well on the inside, the numbers are showing room for improvement on the outside. My main focus over the next few months is to help reduce this turnover. Even if we can improve things 2 or 3 percent, TFP will see a HUGE growth. There’s early hope that some of the changes we’ve done are working, but we’ve clearly gotta keep tinkering with some things as well. I fully expect to make some more updates to the feeds that you’re seeing and the feedback provided is very helpful so far. 👍
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mdragger88

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
11,511
NY
I think the ‘hook’ to grab folks will be an ever going thing. It’s like anything else, people need to realize for themselves that they need help. All we can do is try and when they are ready, we will be here when they come back.

I’ve had many reply ‘holy cow, you’d help out a complete stranger this much ?’ Yup. We all do, every day. But they have to realize it for themselves.

I’ve also noticed more and more folks coming in that XYZ friend told them we’d do right by them. The ‘they tell you friends, and they tell 2 friends’ rule certainly applies. It’s bound to explode at some point, but like you said, a mere 2 or 3 % would help get us there sooner.
 

HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
2,749
Katy TX
Pool Size
14600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Just a thought about keeping those that search on google. I see the link to TFP many times when I search for pool related items on google, so that seems to work great. I do notice that it sometimes leads to threads that were not answered. I just looked at unanswered threads and it shows several back to mid-Oct. One OP is new (first post) and others have posted before. Is there a criteria to answer every post by a TFP guide or expert? I have seen some where a guide will state, sorry for so long to get you an answer, I ask so and so to review. After some length of time, would it be appropriate to have a guide answer by saying - At this time we do not have a response to your question, please repost in x time frame from now.

Also, if you want to grow users, how do you balance that with the number of guides and experts you have reviewing the forum? Do y'all have set schedules or randomly access the forum? Just like in any service industry, you have to balance personal to meet certain service performance metrics. Do you track what percent of the posts do not get any response?
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
29,659
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Issue is, nobody’s staying and they haven’t been for years. Especially if they’re seeing the forum. The amount of people that find TFP but never stick around is staggering, especially if they’re younger.

TFP is today and has been a help and fixit destination, not a social network. If you want it to be a social network you need to broaden the forum topics and change some of the culture and rules. TFP has the potential to be a broader home ownership and lifestyle site mating Nextdoor with Pinterest with Reddit.

I have never seen any strategic statements of what TFP desires to become and what the end goal is. You will never know what direction to head if you don't have a destination in mind.

People come here when they have a problem. Only Pool Geeks return here while their pool is sparkling clear and their equipment is running well. If you want non-Pool Geeks returning regularly you need to offer them more then pool stuff.

For what TFP is, it is done well and you should be proud of it.
 

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
11,511
NY
TFP has the potential to be a broader home ownership and lifestyle site mating Nextdoor with Pinterest with Reddit
Heck yeah !! I’d rely on the brain trust any day of the week. The same folks automating their pools with raspberry Pi could help me with any home projects doing similar. The folks building their own outdoor kitchens / baths could help me doing mine inside. Etc etc etc. with almost 300k users their is a wealth of knowledge for every inch of ones property.

Maybe expanding the coffee bar with further sub categories would help get everyone chatting about everything else.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Turbo1Ton

NCMike

Gold Supporter
Jan 31, 2020
195
Raleigh, NC
TFP is today and has been a help and fixit destination, not a social network.

This right here was my thoughts as well. You guys are so good at what you do, that "normal" people have not reason to stick around. You teach them the ways of TFP, they learn it, and their pools are perfect. What reason do they have to come back? I browse the forums still but a lot less than I use to. I learned so much during the build process of my pool by reading the forums here and the questions asked and answered, I don't have anything to post. If someone reads the forums regularly for 1 pool season, they will pick up 99% of what they need to know. The other 1% is covered by the search feature.

Also, I still miss the "Mark All Forums Read" button. I only use this link now to visit TFP New posts It still lets me clear out all the new stuff by marking everything as read.
 

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
11,511
NY
You guys are so good at what you do, that "normal" people have not reason to stick around. You teach them the ways of TFP, they learn it, and their pools are perfect. What reason do they have to come back?
GREAT idea Mike !!! Do it in stages, thereby creating an artificial demand and a line out the door.
81FD9EF5-66BD-488A-8861-10AFB121E1C3.jpeg
 

Enjoying this content?

Support TFP with a donation.

Give Support

Leebo

Admin
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 21, 2011
11,113
Eastern Ohio
Pool Size
25000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
A few more quick questions………

1. For those whom are using the card view, how’s the speed loading the page when you click “New Content?”

2. Has anybody got feedback on the “Hot” page? Not so much looking for feedback on the interface, but the quality of threads shown. Are the ones there ones you’d kinda like to click on from time to time?

3. Anybody here ventured to the “Media” feed? I’m very pleased with the numbers so far for this feed, but does anybody have feedback for it?
I'm gonna toss this back up again as I greatly want some feedback on this. I know somebody is using these feeds as the numbers are improving for each of the feeds.....I'm just wanting to gain more knowledge into what's working and what's not.
 

HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
2,749
Katy TX
Pool Size
14600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Hot page. So have gone to it several times over the past week. What is the criteria for the HOT group? I bounced back and forth between it and Posts and Threads. I cannot tell why each is different (at least on the first page).
 

Leebo

Admin
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 21, 2011
11,113
Eastern Ohio
Pool Size
25000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Hot page. So have gone to it several times over the past week. What is the criteria for the HOT group? I bounced back and forth between it and Posts and Threads. I cannot tell why each is different (at least on the first page).
This criteria is totally different and able to be setup by ourselves. Items like the number of posts in the last 24 hours, number of likes a thread gets, and other items all come into play.
 

Leebo

Admin
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 21, 2011
11,113
Eastern Ohio
Pool Size
25000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
TFP is today and has been a help and fixit destination, not a social network. If you want it to be a social network you need to broaden the forum topics and change some of the culture and rules. TFP has the potential to be a broader home ownership and lifestyle site mating Nextdoor with Pinterest with Reddit.

I have never seen any strategic statements of what TFP desires to become and what the end goal is. You will never know what direction to head if you don't have a destination in mind.

People come here when they have a problem. Only Pool Geeks return here while their pool is sparkling clear and their equipment is running well. If you want non-Pool Geeks returning regularly you need to offer them more then pool stuff.

For what TFP is, it is done well and you should be proud of it.

Below is part of an email I sent to Rebecca in 2019, before Covid hit discussing the idea. While many of the changes you've seen are "new," the idea behind them isn't. I will 100% admit some of what I was picturing in 2019 didn’t pan out yet, but other parts are.

The desire to socialize on TFP​

Let’s be blunt, those who are behind the curtain of TFP tend to be older and are VERY accustomed to forums. It’s what they grew up with. Let’s now take the average 25 year old and bring them into TFP, in many ways they’d be lost or at the least, bored. Right now I see more and more competition out there from pages like Facebook and YouTube. It’s simply the current trend in social media. Part of the enjoyment of these sites are the social interaction between people. I’d like to start to build this more on TFP.

TFPC isn’t just a method of cleaning your pool, it’s also a lifestyle in many ways. Every person who greatly supports TFPC raises their nose at hotel pools and other bodies of water who’s chemistry are subpar. We as a group are tightknit and can be very encouraging of others. I’d like to start to connect people who live this lifestyle with one another not just to teach them that chlorine kills algae, but also a fun place to share photos of their pool or whatnot. Profile photos and pages can be a HUGE perk for TFP if we allow it.

So take for example, you’re sitting by the pool on a sunny day, what does the average 20 sum old do? They snap a photo of an adult beverage and their feet to post on Instagram. It happens even here on TFP. What’s one of the most popular threads each year? Showing off my latest grilled piece of meat. Over the Winter I’d like to start to create a platform where members can openly BS for pure enjoyment, centered around their swimming pools. To do this I’d like to work in connection with Audentio as they setup their App on TFP and start to focus on a feature we currently don’t use, profile posts.

Profile posts are a way users can type in general thoughts and have them displayed in their profile. Once activated we can also get them displayed on other menus to show many all at once. The main purpose of these comments are simply a way for users to chat. We want them to BS and share pool stories as they spend their time on the site they enjoy, TFP. They’ve come to greatly enjoy this community, why not capitalize on the thing they enjoy the most, the members?

Now there’s very little doubt in my mind I’ll hear some push-back on this. There’s no doubt there will be those who scream how against TFP’s mission this is, and I actually get this argument. That said, it’s also helping in some ways. It is our mission to help pool owners maintain their pools, it’s not our mission to run a forum that talks only about chemicals. For years now I’ve often said that the number 1 selling point of TFP is our “Construction Forums.” We do an amazing job of bringing users to the website as they wish to share their builds plus get little tips and tricks along the way. Once their pool is done being built they’ve grown a trust to TFP and our advice so slipping in info like the FC/CYA ratio is very simple to do. This is the exact same mindset I’ve got for this new area of TFP.

Close your eyes and picture the average user whom you assist on TFP. How many of them that you interact with do you picture being in their 20’s or early 30’s?? Odds say, not many. At least if you follow my picture of people. Even look at the Mod Squad, I’m probably the baby of the group at 41. As younger people buy houses and pools they will look for info on how to maintain them. I’d like to start to build a platform on TFP that they’re used to, just like how those of you whom are older are used to the forum. Once they’re here and we’ve earned their trust, then we can focus on helping them.

The key to getting this to work is integrating it into the methods we already are used to, for both camps. We need to get profile posts to be able to get viewed easily by those who are used to simply clicking “View New Posts.” Additionally we need to look at getting third platforms like Instagram or Facebook setup where users can hopefully easily share their content from there to here. Hopefully once things die down on TFP shortly I’ll be able to start setting up some demos around this idea.

Truth is, profile posts never panned out (yet) like I wish they would. Things became kinda scattered and just wasn’t what I was looking for. That said, the idea did lead to the creation of the Feeds pages you’re seeing today……plus the creation of a few other ideas that aren’t in use just yet.
 

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
11,511
NY
I think the hot page is GREAT for casual members and probably even more so for folks new to the forum. Highlighting the posts that have everyone falling over themselves to help out might get the attention of someone on the fence.

'Holy cow, these folks will all chime in for me TOO !!'

Except for all the posts that Marty kills with one sentence. But those are equally as AWESOME !!!

'Holy cow he NAILED it from 1800 miles away !!!' :ROFLMAO:
 

HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
2,749
Katy TX
Pool Size
14600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
I do think the construction forum is the biggest draw for new members. People trying to figure out what they want and how it all works as well as answer those questions that a PB is carefully sidestepping.
The other draw is DIY where they searched google and end up at TFP and or Youtube as to how to fix or identify something.

My only concern about the Profile strategy is that it could lead to political, religious, etc. posts. Look at LinkedIn - while it is a great professional social media forum, political posts do creep in. I have yet to see anyone comment in TFP regarding politics. Which is great. Maybe you are removing those if they do exist. I for one never really think about the gender or age of the OP. I do look at where they live because that may be related to the problem they are having, i.e. high calcium tap water.

I do like the threads on BBQ that is started each year as well as What did you do to your pool today? and Show me TFP clear!
How you merge those with a profile strategy is interesting.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Newdude

Mlamb

Active member
Oct 2, 2017
37
Sarasota/Fl
Lee, if you answered this before and I missed it I apologize, but we we ever see a return of the page break in the listings that would say "The following threads have not been updated since your last visit"? I really liked that feature.
Got to agree with Texas Splash. I really miss that feature. Now when I return, and that’s usually daily, I don’t know where the heck I’m at or been.
 

Homebrewale

Well-known member
Apr 21, 2020
641
Apex, NC
1. I only view this forum on a computer, never on my phone. I have fiber optic so loading speed isn't really noticeable.
2. I don't use the Hot page. I went and looked. I won't use it over the posts, threads or latest activity.
3. I won't use the media page. There are some nice photos there. I find the filtering to be a little off. If I filter on general non-pool photos, I seem to get mainly pool equipment photos which already has its own filter.
 

Leebo

Admin
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 21, 2011
11,113
Eastern Ohio
Pool Size
25000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
1. I only view this forum on a computer, never on my phone. I have fiber optic so loading speed isn't really noticeable.
I’m glad to hear this and I hope to continue to hear this echoed. I say this as your download speed may not be the issue, the issue could be our websites speed. We’re now kinda showing more info but my hope is we’re doing so in a more efficient manner so in theory our speeds should improve.
2. I don't use the Hot page. I went and looked. I won't use it over the posts, threads or latest activity.
May I ask why? Was the content just not interesting or was it just a different form than you’re used to?
3. I won't use the media page. There are some nice photos there. I find the filtering to be a little off. If I filter on general non-pool photos, I seem to get mainly pool equipment photos which already has its own filter.
I’m gonna take a closer look at this as I suspect some settings are “off.” I think we’re uploading photos from the Inteoduce Yourself forum into this section and I suspect we’re getting users asking questions in that forum. When a user uploads a photo to go along with their post it mirrors into that category in the gallery.
 

Enjoying this content?

Support TFP with a donation.

Give Support
Thread Status
Hello , This is an inactive thread. Any new postings here are unlikely to be seen or responded to by other members. You will get much more visibility by Starting A New Thread