Thank you for surfing over to USATT's new website under the USOC's TeamUSA Family of sports.
It seems like just yesterday when my table tennis buddy Roy SeGuine and I approached the Board of Directors and asked if we should register usatt.org and create a website for the association.
At the end of 1996 the world wide web was relatively new, but Roy and I knew it would change the way table tennis fans communicated about the sport. Names like Mosaic, Gopher, and USENET were just gaining steam and Google hadn't been created yet. Roy and I shared duties, he focused on the CGI-BIN directory so members could look up their ratings with search cabilities and I used an HTML editor called HotDog to crank out content.
We had quite a bit of help over the years with a number of great magazine editors that kept the info fresh and lively. Hall of Fame contributors like Tim Boggan and others made sure that events and profiles continued to get coverage while a host of photographers provided the magazine and web site with outstanding images to tell our stories.
Fast forward to last year when I was on a call with USATT's CEO Mike Cavanaugh and I asked him if USATT was going to embrace on-line social media. I also inquired if he thought our site could use a bit of a face lift as it had been quite some time since we had updated the look and feel.
I guess I was more than a little surprise when he asked if I knew anyone with that skill set as the USOC had just installed a new content management system (CMS) and he was looking for someone to spearhead the project. I immediately let him know my desire and background to help USATT take advantage of the opportunity that the USOC was affording us.
For the better part of the last year, Roy and I rejoined forces as USATT started on transitioning to the new set of pages you are seeing before you. We are still far from done and have quite a ways to go to transfer everything from the older site as we are trying to add as much new content outside of the weekly news updates. Please don't hesitate to send any dead links or corrections to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We now have a fairly active facebook and twitter feed plus if you missed the Nationals in Virginia Beach or the Olympic Trials from Cary you can check them out on our Youtube channel. We are always looking for new and fresh content and I plan on leaning on some of our top coaches like Carl Danner and Larry Hodges to provide weekly tips. We will also start to feature equipment reviews courtesy of tabletennisDB.com plus we will expand the number of blogs we post from the movers and shakers in the sport. It is also time the ratings presentation improves it look and feel so keep an eye on that area as well.
The Olympics and Paralympics will be on the agenda for later this summer, but I hope I will have a chance to run into as many members at the US Open in Grand Rapids to share your thoughts and views on how WE can make this the best site on the USOC platform.
Looking forward, (my former UVA teammate and) NCTTA Rep on the USATT Board David Del Vecchio has one upped everyone by producing outstanding web streaming programming which will likely become a mainstay for the association. Thanks to Board Member Anne Cribbs we have our first media intern with Jake Deitcher from GWU. Jake hit the ground running last week and has already helped with a number of features and press releases.
In conclusion, I would like to thank Roy again for providing such great support to the association during the last 15+ years as we wouldn't be here without his dedication to the sport and desire to work closely with headquarters to keep the lines of communication flowing on-line to the membership.
I would also like to express my sincere appreciation to Mike Cavanaugh and USATT Board President Peter Scudner for having a clear vision and support for this new project.