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Surveys and The World’s Most Popular Swimming Website

Surveys and The World’s Most Popular Swimming Website
Team SwimSwam

Photo Credit: Tim Binning

We’re holding on to the last few days left of summer for as long as we can, however we can. So we’re pretty excited that we get to share the survey story from Davis Wuolle, CTO of the world’s most popular swimming website–SwimSwam–because it’s tough to think of summer without thinking about, you know, pools and swimming.

Take it away, Davis!

In just over one year since launch, SwimSwam has become the world’s most popular swimming website. Swimming is a small but dedicated community which we serve through various types of swimming related content.

Sometimes we’re fun, other times we’re serious, but we always try to stay authentic and true to the sport of swimming. Our main objective? Offer even more quality content to the swimming community. The greater the volume of interesting, engaging and entertaining content that we can produce, the more our audience consumes it. We’re a swimming company first, not a web development company, so we focus our resources on just that–swimming. Our list of experts who contribute content continues to grow, leaving one sole swimmer/developer (yours truly) to manage our web presence.

Before the 2012 Olympic Trials, our editor convinced us that we should run a Pick ‘Em Contest. The contest would allow our audience to predict the results of each race in the competition and compete for prizes. It was put on our list of “must-haves” for the event, but we didn’t have the development time or the resources to write our own app. The first Pick ‘Em Contest was put together using a contact form in a matter of hours. It was an overall success for our team as we received a couple hundred entries and garnered tens of thousands of views on the contest page.

By the time the 2013 NCAA Championships rolled around this spring, our site had grown significantly. We ran our Pick ‘Em Contest again and it crashed–spectacularly. The contact form was crashing the server, the database was too large and numerous other issues plagued our once successful system. We still didn’t have the time to develop our own application and the Pick ‘Em was still a “must have” for World Championship Trials. This is when one of our non-technical founders suggested SurveyMonkey!

I immediately thought of ten reasons why (I thought) it wouldn’t work. She came up with eleven why it would. Either I was going to pull a few all-nighters writing an application, or I was going to let her run the contest using SurveyMonkey. We decided on the latter.

The result was something better than we ever could have hoped for and certainly something better than what we could have come up with ourselves given the circumstances. SurveyMonkey was flexible, customizable and amazing at handling our data. It was simple to use, both for us and our audience. Users were effortlessly able to make their picks and submit them and our staff was easily able to keep track of our users and score the results.

We’re a small but rapidly growing company so we rely heavily on a number of technologies to allow us to continue to do what we do best–serve the swimming community. We ask a lot of these technologies: flexibility, simplicity, scalability and reliability. I’ve been a WordPress evangelist for a number of years because it delivers on all of these requirements, and now I can happily say I’m becoming a SurveyMonkey evangelist too. I look forward to finding creative ways to utilize the powerful yet straightforward tools that SurveyMonkey offers, well into the future.

For more information on SwimSwam, be sure to swim on over to their site and let us know if you have questions! You know where to go.

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