I wanted to post a quick update corresponding to the release of SwimWorkouts.net v1.7.1 as parts of the site have been streamlined in order to allow for a greater focus on the aspects of the site that that matter... the workouts!
First, you might notice that Teams & Events have been removed from the menu bar at the top. These features remained unused for months despite the steady growth of the SwimWorkouts.net user family. Essentially, what that indicated to me was that the need for Teams and Events at this point in time is unnecessary. The features provided no value to the site and more or less served to make the site appear inactive at this point in time. The code behind these features is still present, so they can be re-implemented if/when demand for them occurs - however I thought it best to just remove them from the live site for now in order to put the full focus on what we do best.
Second, you should (hopefully) notice that the "Subscribe" tickler has been removed from pages after you register for an account and log in. I've decided to remove the ability for members to subscribe to an ad-free version of the site for now. I'm not sure I was able to add enough value-add to the site for subscriptions to be worthwhile. This feature might come back in the future, but for now the site will continue to be ad supported with an option for members to donate to help offset operating costs.
Finally, I've streamlined the home page so that the workouts are near the top, shocking I know. I've also removed the Promoted User Workouts section (a section that was intended to be a subscriber perk) and instead made the section a listing of the ten most recent user created workouts. The goal there is to increase the exposure to your workouts over workouts. Another minor change I've made to this affect is that SwimWorkouts.net automatically tweets links to workouts when you create them. Previously I'd only automatically generate tweets for my own workouts, with tweets for user workouts being another subscriber perk. My hope is that the increased exposure will encourage all of you to continue creating workouts on the site. They are most definitely being viewed, printed, and used!
That's it for the site updates - now lets see some stats!
I'm exceptionally happy with the stats and would like to once again express my sincere thanks at helping make this community great!
As always, if you have any suggestions or requests please feel free to contact me.
It's been a bit since I posted a site blog. In that time I've rolled out the final big feature of the site (Statistics!!) and started planning the next round of enhancements. I've also taken a bit of a rest, as it's easy to burn out when you're the only developer on a project.
So now that all of the advertised features have been released, what happens next? Well... it's an interesting question. The overwhelming majority of users only come to view and print the workouts. A small percentage of users activally log their workouts in order to take advantage of the base level Statistics package, and a handful of users have been bold enough to post their own workouts on the site!
Nobody is really utilizing the Team or Event sections of the site, and probably with good reason. This is SwimWorkouts.net afterall, and not SwimEvents.net or SwimTeams.net.
With this in mind, the focus on the next round of enhancements will be focused on the following:
The goal of these enhancements is to make workout creation a smoother process so that more members will feel confident in participating. I also want users to be able to tweak workouts that have already been posted so that they can get exactly the workout they want (ofcourse the workout that has been cloned will be linked to for proper credit).
If any of you have feedback on what would make the site easier for you to use, please, please , PLEASE do not hesitate to send that feedback to me by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org!
Swim well folks, and thanks for being here!
Chris Card, Founder
Well, to be perfectly fair it's been about a month and a half since we launched. Still, the time has flown by!
In the first month we've posted 161 workouts (an average of 3 per day) and rolled out a number of new site features. We've delivered on our promise to roll out the Team and Events modules, and are now in the process of making some quality of life enhancements to the site based on your feedback!
Already we've updated the workouts page to automatically link terms to their glossary definitions so that you can understand what all of our weird terminology means. Soon we'll be adding the following:
Once this round of quality of life enhancements has been released we'll be hard at work building the statistics module so that you can track the workouts you've done and gain valuable insight into the types of work you've been doing.
As this development work is completed we're still trying to build our user base and spread the word about what we're doing. In this endeavor you are our greatest asset. Please help us grow by telling your swimming friends, family, and coaches about us. If you are a swim coach, throw some practices on the site for others to use - spread your knowledge of the sport so that swimmers as a collective can grow and improve!
If you have ideas or suggestions for the site please let us know! The vast majority of our quality of life updates have come from users who have said "You know, it'd be great if....". We love feedback and want to make SwimWorkouts.net as user friendly and informative as possible! Let us know what you want and need.
Finally, thank you for visiting us, viewing our collection of workouts, and printing them to use and share. Our mission is, and always will be to spread our love and knowledge of swimming with everyone who wants it. We are so happy that so many of you have found our workouts helpful, challenging, and fun! Please come back often as there will always be something new for you to try!
Christopher Card, Founder
In the week since launching the site, we have had 50 members register and log a total of 39,000 yards, had 700 individuals come to the site and view a total of 3,300 pages, and posted 29 public workouts! As far as we're concerned these numbers are amazing, and much much higher than we expected! Thank you all so much!
As we are commited to providing the best content and tools for swimmers, we made some enhancements to the way workouts display for members. Highlights are as follows:
We also made a bunch of small changes which can been viewed in the full release notes.
In addition to enhancing existing functionality we've been hard at work creating additional modules. Currently we're developing the team module which will allow users to search for registered teams in their area to join on SwimWorkouts.net. Joining a team on SwimWorkouts.net will allow users to see private workouts created specifically for those teams by their coaches/members. Teams offer a great way to find and provide specialized training. On the team creation side, all members will be able to create "Open" teams, while premium members will be able to create "Open" or "Closed" teams. Open teams allow any registered member to join, while closed teams require the team creator to accept individual membership requests. "Closed" teams are best suited towards active swimming teams who want a place to easily create, post and distribute workouts without making them available to the general public.
The Team module is about 90% developed at which time it will move to testing to ensure it works properly when it hits the live site. We anticipate we will launch Teams within two weeks!
As always if you have any questions or suggestions please feel free to contact me and I'll do my best to respond quickly. We're very happy you've chosen to join us and will be working hard to get the rest of the site features up for you as soon as possible. Until then, enjoy the workouts and keep that log growing!
Thank you so much, and Happy Swimming!
Founder, DeepWater Softworks & SwimWorkouts.net
Greetings swimmers and welcome to SwimWorkouts.net!
My name is Chris Card and I am the founder, designer, and developer of DeepWater Softworks and this site. The goal of SwimWorkouts.net is to become the greatest place on the web to find workouts, create workouts, and track workouts. By providing great tools to swimmers and coaches alike, I hope that SwimWorkouts.net will become the defacto community for workouts for all ages and abilities. I believe the swimming community can truely benefit from the open sharing of ideas and strategies and hope that you will join us in that pursuit.
We are currently in a public beta release of the site. What does this mean to you? It means that there are still plenty of features in development that will be rolling out when they are complete. As the sole employee of both DeepWater Softworks and SwimWorkouts.net, trying to launch a feature complete site all at once would be an enormous task which would leave the site prone to critical bugs and errors. By staggering the release of features, I can ensure that each piece of functionality is rock solid before I release it to you. The "beta" tag is also an admission that there will probably be some bugs in the site that I didn't catch in my testing. If you run into one of these please get in touch so that I can fix the issue for all of our users.
So what makes me an authority on any of this, and why should you trust that I can deliver? Well, I started swimming at the age of 4, and after twenty years, ended my competitive career at the University of Maine. Directly after college I took a job as the Assistant Coach of Wellesley College Swimming and Diving and founded Wellesley Masters Swimming. Upon leaving coaching in 2008 I began a career in software development where I currently work developing software used by Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 companies to facilitate their Corporate Social Responsibility and Employee Giving programs. SwimWorkouts.net represents an amalgamation of my two passions, and a project that I am fully commited to.
So please, take a look at our library of swimming workouts to see what we have available. Our workouts are, and always will be, free to browse, view, and print. If you want, you can use this site forever without ever signing up for a free account; though a free membership does provide some additional functionality. If you're a long time swimmer or coach and want to add your own workouts to our library, sign up for a free account and select "Create" under the workouts menu option (I promise I'll write a how-to eventually...).
Last but not least, in order to help keep SwimWorkouts.net core content free, please consider a one-time or recurring donation via our "Donate" button, or use ourSwimOutlet.com affiliate store for your next swimming equipment purchase (we recieve a small percentage of anything you might buy). Your donations go directly towards the development, operation, and maintenance of this site.
Thank you so much, and Happy Swimming!
12/21/16 - Streamlining SwimWorkouts.net
11/20/15 - Next Round of Site Enhancements
09/30/15 - It Hardly Seems like a Month!
08/17/15 - Week One of SwimWorkouts.net
If you would like to support the site, please share us with other people. A link to our site on your blog, facebook, or twitter will go a long ways towards raising awareness of SwimWorkouts.net, resulting in a bigger community with a greater selection of workouts.