January 2014 - We have been publishing this website for 6 years now.
We agree that our hobby got a little out of hand. It started with the idea to remove the non-Dutch content from our Dutch Openwater site http://noww.nl . (That site has been online since August 1998, which makes it the oldest Dutch Swimming website.)
Some users there complained - in a nice way - that the Dutch content got snowed under by the international content.
NOWW is an abbreviation of Nederlands Open Water Web. So in a sense they were right, that site should be about open water swimming in the Netherlands.
So as webmasters we hatched the idea not to waste the foreign news and started http://openwaterswimming.eu. Here we would restrict us to mainly European open water related news.
Together with the news items we maintain an open water race/swim calendar like on the Dutch site. I like searching and wandering on the WWW in search of new events. After all these years I even recognize some terms in a foreign languages without the help of translations.
Now why would you be interested in all this? Why would I write this article?
It’s for the event organizers and other interested parties!
I will tell you that the majority of hits (searching for open water, Europe swimming, swimming open water,...) from Google. Bing, Yahoo etc. are directed to our site and the visitors are looking for events and the dates they will be held on. OK, the news items are also read well, however the calendar became the main interest of our visitors. It still is!
These visitors are searching for events where they want to swim and they consult our calendar for the dates they will be organized on and the distance(s) they can swim on.
We do have some recommendations as webmasters for organizers to attract (more) participants:
- Make your event know to the world as soon as it’s possible! Use the internet.
Yes, you may use http://openwaterswimming.eu. But please have your own site to refer to.
- Swimmers like everyone else have a limited budget that they can spend only once.
They tend to plan their swimming early at the beginning of the year.
- They want clear information about an event like the date, time and distance, how to register and if possible the costs. (The time and costs can be an estimate if can’t be calculated precisely at present time)
How can you accomplish this? With a website that:
- Is up to date.
- Has the new event date posted rather sooner than later in the year.
- Has a photo gallery.
- Keeps lists of the results of previous years.
Now I don’t know how much a domain and/or a hosted website costs in your country but there are free alternatives like https://sites.google.com and http://facebook.com. Both have their pros and cons but that’s for you to decide. More free hosting suggestions can be found at http://www.prchecker.info/web-hosting/top-10-free-web-hosting-sites
Things that should not never be done (or how to mess up your [foreign] entries best):
- Start a website and never update it. - You might as well never started it!
- Start a calendar and afterwards you don’t update it anymore but the event proceeds at a different date than advertised. - Quite a few National Swimming Federations are guilty of this! What kind of an example is this for the other events in that country?
- Publish the date only a few weeks before the start. - How can one plan to participate at such an event?
- Don’t answer your e-mails or do it too late.
author: Niek Kloots
Some historical facts of this site:
Heiloo 2013-04-21; 5,000!
Today we added the 5,000th event since January 1, 2010.
We started the website February 2, 2008 but due to hackers we had to start over in December 2009. Unfortunately the backup was unusable too, The circa 600 events for 2008 and circa 900 for 2009 are lost from the new database. It was too much work to enter those 1500 passed events again. The old posts I thought that were interesting enough I restored as good as possible.
The counter finally stopped at 1783 events for 2014 (1755 events for 2013, 1582 events for 2012, 1409 events in 2011 and 971 in 2010) for European and global Fina events. (estimated 1550 events for 2008 and 2009)
Heiloo 2014-12-31 1783 events in 2014 for a total of 9050
If your event isn't listed, then please mail us to be sure it will be listed in 2014 and later.
Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
See you in 2014!
The webmasters - @ - openwaterswimming.eu. Contact.