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Kirkus

TAT - The New Year

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Wow! I went all of last year with just one blog entry about our community. Last year was pretty much status quo. No major changes or upgrades. This year, however, will be a little different.

TATi
As many of you have already seen (and experienced) we've revamped our prediction contest in a major way. Now known as the "TAT Prediction Challenge", our predict every tournament every week contest is completely automated. The brainchild of member elisat, TATi (the 'i' stands for 'informatic') has taken the load off of our contest staff and placed it on our server and computers where it belongs. Working closely with our Director of Contests, Dryrunguy, and his able assistant in this venture, patrick, this undertaking has proven to be one of the best upgrades/additions that TAT has seen in it's 5+ year history.

The way in which participants post their predictions is also automated, making for a better experience for everyone. I'm going to refrain from thanking elisat again in the hopes of sparing her more embarrassment.

New Website
I began the creation of a new website in the summer of last year. As with many grand online projects, this one was slowed due to real-life commitments. Originally slated to debut with the '09 US Open, the date for unveiling has been pushed back several times. I was hoping to have it coincide with the '10 Australian Open, but with less than 2 weeks to go, it looks like I'm going to miss that one also. I'm done setting deadlines for this. But I work on it as time allows. Hopefully I'll be contacting our testing volunteers in the very near future to run it through it's paces before launch.

2010 Content
Our Director of Content, mmmm8, has put together a tentative calendar for the coming year that rivals any we've seen in the past. Complete with our original tournament and event coverage, you'll enjoy exclusive reviews and interviews in the coming year.

This being our third full year of exclusive content, join me in congratulating mmmm8, Ti-amie - our Director of Media Relations, and our crack staff of reporters, photographers, editors, photo editors, and web site publishers, in their continued effort to make TalkAboutTennis.com one hell of a great volunteer-based tennis website!

Ad Revenue
I've tried several different strategies to bring revenue into our community to help pay the bills. So far I've been unsuccessful. The need to have a fund raiser last year (with the need for another one on the horizon) has motivated me to try again. I've done some research, and taken it upon myself to learn more about ad revenue and how to make it. I've talked to and learned from other 'big board' owners and will be launching an aggressive ad strategy in the coming months that I'm hopeful will lighten the burden of paying the bills.

Thank you
There are way too many volunteers, past and present, who have given selflessly of their time and talents, for me to name them each individually. But I hope they all realize how much I appreciate them. How much we all appreciate them.

When I launched TalkAboutTennis.com more than 5 years ago, I simply wanted a friendly forum to talk about tennis on. But as time went on, individuals stepped up to the plate and said, "let me do this for TAT." Not a single dime has gone out to anyone for their services. TAT is truly a volunteer-based community.

Entering our sixth year of operation, TAT looks nothing like it did during those first months. Our playful bantering early on has evolved into more than a half million posts in our forum. Our handful of original members turned into more than 135,000 unique visitors and 73+ million hits in 2009. We reached into more than 160 countries and have links in more than 40 search engines around the world.

TAT 'arrived' a while ago. But we continue to grow by leaps and bounds. The biggest reason for this is you, the staff and members of The Ultimate Online Tennis Community.


--Kirk

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Comments

  1. mmmm8's Avatar
    Thanks for the shoutout, Kirk
  2. ponchi101's Avatar
    I think you guys are well aware that for us members TAT gives WAY more than you take. After three years around here, it is always a bright spot of my cyber-day. Which I guess means I only want to thank all of those that put such an effort.
    Now, if only I could only win an SP....
  3. patrick's Avatar
    Can not wait for the new website whenever it is completed as time allows. Overall, thank you for starting TAT 6 years ago. Even though I was not here at the beginning, I still see some of the growth that has happened at TAT besides TATi.