Ownership, Motivation, Financial, Responsibility

Who owns and operates the Swimmers Guide website?
Why do you do it?
What's the history of the site? When did it begin?
Who pays to keep up the database and the website?


Who owns and operates the Swimmers Guide website?

The owner and operator of the Swimmers Guide website is William J. ("Bill") Haverland, a retired accountant and swimmer who lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, USA. Bill has been a recreational lap swimmers for most of his life and he loves swimming. He maintains the database from the home he shares with Thomas E. Saunders, whom he met in the swimming pool of the Lucky Street YMCA in 1976, and who worked on the database during its initial, pre-Internet development.



Why do you do it?

We’ve loved swimming since childhood. We never swam competitively, but we found lap swimming to be a great way to control stress and stay in shape, particularly after we completed our schooling. When we had to travel on business, the worst part was missing out on our daily swims; we were rarely able to find pools near where we were going and, when we did, the finding took so long that there wasn’t enough time to get to the pools we’d found.


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What's the history of the site? When did it begin?

In the early 90s, for reasons having nothing to do with swimming, we decided to ditch our stress-laden jobs as accountants and try something new. We thought that there were enough other people, particularly business travelers, who felt the way we do about swimming and about missing swimming while on the road. So we did some research and published two editions of a book called Swimmers Guide. We did the research; we did the writing; we did the page layout; we contracted with the printers; we did the advertising, the public relations, and the distribution. And the second edition (published in 1995) was a "sellout". We printed 5,000 copies and sold all but about 20 of them in two years. Financially, however, it wasn’t so great. We recovered almost everything we put into the project, but we couldn’t pay ourselves any salaries and we didn’t make any profit. We had a lot of fun, but you can’t eat fun and it doesn’t keep a roof over your head. We decided to take our licks and get back into the regular working world. But we didn't want all the information we had collected to disappear so, with the help of Masters Swimmer John Lorimer of Lorimer Network Research, who did the initial Cold Fusion programming, we set up the site and he hosted it on his LORNET servers from March, 1996, until September, 2013, when the site was moved to a Network Solutions server.

Who pays to keep up the database and the website?

For the first seven years of its existence, the Swimmers Guide website was operated as a hobby. No charge for swimmers to use. No charge for a pool to be listed. No advertising. All costs and expenses were paid by the site's owner, who took over the programming responsibilities and did all of the research needed to maintain and grow the database. In 2003, we put Google Ads on the site. The ads provide a small revenue stream; not enough to live on, but enough to keep us interested in maintaining the site and keeping the information up to date.
The site's 2012-13 redesign and database SQL server asp.net site restructuring was programmed by Suzi King of SZK Consulting in Montrose, Colorado, USA. The site's 2014 redesign and the development of the smart phone friendly site was completed by Terrance Fisher of redPicket Designs, LLC.
Neither John Lorimer, Suzi King, nor Terrance Fisher has any responsibility for the contents of the website but they have all been invaluable in bringing the data to you. We are grateful for the help they have provided and we think you should be, too! And we're pleased to be able to boast that there has never been a charge for a swimmer to use the site or for a facility to be listed on it.



Most recently updated September, 2014.

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