The "Why" Files - FAQ Is Not a Dirty Word

We've had the ACP/TPF Today website up for a few years now, and one of the things I've been meaning to do is put together a list of FAQ's (Frequently Asked Questions) for our readers. I really don't get a whole lot of questions about the website, but since I suddenly find myself afflicted with writer's block, this seems to be an opportunity to answer those questions I do occasionally get.

What kind of traffic does the website get?
Honestly, I can't give you exact numbers. One thing that's always turned me off about websites, are those inane counters at the bottom of the page. First of all, who cares, and second of all, who really cares? What I do keep track of, are the number of people that have logons to the Discussion Forums, and the number of hits the Forums get. To date we've got 456 Forum "members", and we've had more than 65,000 hits on the questions and issues that folks have posted there. The number of hits on Career Corner is also way up there, but that should come as no surprise to anyone.

Do you have to be a subscriber to get a logon/password for the Discussion Forums?
Absolutely not. The Forums are open to anyone who chooses to participate in them. You do need a logon and password to access them, but you set up your own logon and password by following the directions on the main Forum page. Our intent with the Forums was to provide a place where people could share information without any political strings attached.

Then why do I have to be a subscriber to access the Archive Vault?
In a nutshell... I've got two kids in college. The Archive Vault contains (almost) every article, editorial, and press-release we've published since 1990. It wouldn't be fair to our long-standing subscribers to suddenly make everything available at no cost, and quite frankly, as much as I enjoy producing ACP/TPF Today, it is a time-consuming and costly venture. I've got to pay the bills somehow. Our subscription rates are more than reasonable (especially with our "two-fer" promotion), and when you consider the contents of the Vault as a potential research vehicle, the cost of subscribing becomes secondary.

Why don't you have all of the information that some of the "other" TPF sites have in them? They seem to have lot's of technical articles that you don't have on your site.
The question really answers itself. If the information is available elsewhere, why duplicate it yet again? Disk space is the least of my concerns, but maintaining, and aging the wealth of TPF material that's available today is a major task. I would rather point you to the information than go through the chore of locating, cataloging, and storing it all again. I'm not looking to eliminate any other TPF-related sites on the web, in fact just the opposite. The more links I can provide for my browsers, the more information I can provide for them as well.

Any big changes coming on the website?
Yes, as soon as I can make them happen. I've been planning a complete redesign for some time now, and things should start happening in just a few months. We're kicking off our T-MAIL advisory facility in April, and you should start noticing some changes shortly after that gets going.

What if I want to see a new feature added to your website?
Just drop me an email and give me an idea about what you'd like to see. I've had requests from people for things like new Forum topics, a who's-who page, a "people-finder" page, a Situations Wanted section in Career Corner, and a Utility Download area. We've tried some of these, and postponed others, but if you think something will benefit the visitors to our humble slice of the web, by all means let me know.

Well that pretty much covers the most Frequently Asked Questions. If you've got any others, or are just curious about what's happening under the covers at ACP/TPF Today, feel free to drop me a line or give me a call. As always, I'll do my best to answer your questions.


Alan Sadowsky