Tag: hoopie world update

Updates Coming Soon

Its time to wipe the dust off the site and get this place freshened up some.  Look for new articles real soon.

Digging Out

I would like to apologize for the lack of updates to the site over the past week.  My first due area was heavily hit by the winter storms that rolled through.  I was without power until Tuesday evening and we are still answering storm related calls.

Site updates will resume as soon as possible.  Stay safe out there.

Hoopie World Now Easier to View on Mobile Devices

For those of you that haven’t tried yet, Hoopie World is now much more mobile friendly as there is a new layout for when you are viewing the site via an iPhone, Droid, iPod Touch or any other mobile device of your choice.  Its much more organized by articles and dates.

For those of you whom don’t like change, there is still an option on the bottom of the page to switch back to the regular view.

So for those of you with mobile devices, give it a try and let me know if you like it or not.

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to all the Hoopies out there.  Sorry its been a while since anything has been added to the site.  Things got busy and just snowballed from there during the late fall, and time was just not available to put towards the site.  I thought I’d give a little update on things.

First, lets do a quick year in review.  The site started slow last year and got rolling again.  At the peak, the site hit an Alexa ranking of around 374,000 in September.  For those of you unfamiliar with Alexa rankings, it is a site that ranks websites for popularity.  The 374,000 indicated that Hoopie World was the 374,000th most popular site in the whole world, which isn’t too bad if you compare that to other firefighting related sites.  We are currently around 600,000, which is expected due to the lack of updates to the site.

Hoopie World is also now on Facebook and has a Twitter account.  Spread the word to your Facebook friends to become a fan and we’ll see how many we can get.  The Twitter account allows us to “Tweet” our news stories and updates to those who follow us on Twitter.

Read more

So Where Do You Go For Fire Rescue News? Try HoopieWorld.com

Anyone that has visited Hoopie World for Fire Rescue News over the last couple of weeks hopefully have seen the changes taking place.  Hoopie World is in the process of turning into a combination blog/news site with a lot of reference material.  Our focus is still on western Pennsylvania, and I see a lot of improvement opportunities for reference pages including history and the started company profiles among others.

So what is different with this new format you may be asking?  A blog is a site that contains news, images, and links to other sites, along with commentary articles.  Hoopie World is now going to be making a better effort of covering all the local news outlets for fire rescue news, and something different with commentary on some of the incidents.   Hopefully the readers will agree with the editorials, however if the readers disagree we definitely encourage comments on the articles themselves or in the forums.  Those articles will be added daily for the most part and will be in the News section.  We’ll also still have our Featured Stories section that contains fire photo stories submitted to us.  From the Editor contains articles written by myself, featuring general fire service commentary, website updates, and any other rants or ramblings that I may have.  The Contributing Editors section contains articles from guest writers to the site.  The News From Affiliate Sites are photo stories from individual fire department sites.  We also will maintain the information that we’ve always had, like our forums and photo gallery.

Hoopie World is taking that step up to the next level, and our goal is to establish ourselves as a valid western pennsylvania fire rescue news source.  We are trying to shake the whole “thats just a whacker site” reputation that has followed us.  The site is so much more than guys chasing ambulances and fire trucks and taking pictures.  I encourage everyone to invite their fellow firefighters to give Hoopie World another chance if they haven’t been on for a while.  Yes, the forums still have some of the heated arguments, however most fire forums on the web all contain that stuff and we try to limit it as best as possible (including a certain other forum, TWD, that isn’t even owned and operated locally by the way).

To all the regular visitors out there, especially those from the start way back in February 2003, I want to thank you again and hope you like where the site is going.  There have been a ton of similar sites created since then, however many of them have faded away.  That is a compliment from you guys.

So how can you help Hoopie World take it to the next level?  Visit often and get others to visit.  Sign up for our RSS Feed to get updates to your My Yahoo page or email alerts on new headlines.  Register for the forums and contribute your thoughts in the forums and comment on articles.  If you run a website, add our RSS Feed to your site and link to us.  Contact us if you want to be an Affiliate Site.  Also, send in news and information.  Content is king, and without firefighters and public sending in firefighting pictures and news, the site would be pretty boring.

Thanks for all the continued support, and be safe out there!

Fire Audio and New Affiliate Site

Hoopie World is happy to announce that Central VFC, Elizabeth Twp Station 7 has become Hoopie World’s newest affiliate site. Check their site out at http://www.central147.org/ and keep your eye out for news from their site.

Fire audio files have also been added for 5 incidents from the summer time frame in 2008. To access them, click here http://hoopieworld.com/wp2/fire-audio/ or click the Fire Audio menu option on the top of the screen. The incidents include a motel fire in Avalon, a Marshall Twp MVA, a Bellevue MVA, a Ross Twp fire, and a physical rescue in Bradford Woods for a person that had a tree fall on them.

Hoopie World Site Update – January 2009

First I wanted to say Happy New Year to everyone.  I thought I’d give a little bit of a year end update for the site and go over some goals of the site in the coming year.

Yesterday you may have had some troubles getting into the site, this was due to the site moving to a new server. I apologize for not giving advance notice, but I didn’t have any advanced notice myself.  Things seem to be loading faster, so that is a good thing.  The Shoutbox in the forums had an issue with the move and I need to get that fixed in the near future.

As you may have noticed, the main section of the site hasn’t been updated very frequently since mid-December.  Call it a mini holiday break for me.  Things will be updated more frequently very soon.  You may have also noticed the video news player has been showing an error message.  Unfortunately, the site that was supplying the feeds to me no longer carries the KDKA (or any Pittsburgh) feeds.  So, I either have to find another way of showing local news clips, or may start showing national fire news clips.  Let me know your preference, I’m kind of thinking national fire news video clips may be better since a lot of us already watch the news and check the news sites of the local channels.

As far as last year, I want to thank everyone that submitted information and contributed to the site.  2008 was a very up and down year as we got hit hard by a hacking attack towards the end of April.  We have been slowly recovering, as we lost a lot of momentum and regular visitors due to that attack.  To give you an idea, we had over 33,000 visits to the site in March.  In May that number dropped to just under 19,000 visits for the month.  We are steadily getting back to the previous pre-hack numbers, as in December we had almost 26,000 visits to the site.  The site also went through a major redesign with the layout and most of the feedback that I received related to the new look was very positive.

The forum is still growing, and we are currently up to 1293 registered members and over 37,500 posts.  There have been forum word games that were introduced and they took off with a lot of activity.  A new version of the forum is expected out in the next few months, so look for the forum to be upgraded again this coming year.

Speaking of this coming year, one goal of the site is to complete the company profile section.  I know, you’ve only heard that for 2 years now, but I do want to get it complete.  I think a repository of all of the department’s leaders, apparatus, and information could prove to be a valuable resource on this site.  I would like to link the profiles to the showcase pictures too, so you can put a face so to speak to a truck.

Another goal of the site for 2009 is to continue timely updating of news stories and growing our affiliate site list.  In the last few years of running this site, the number of contributions are decreasing drastically.  I believe the reason for this is that 90% of the departments out there have their own website and just post the pictures there.  With the affiliate site setup, Hoopie World gets more news stories and the affiliates get a lot of visitors as Hoopie World links to the department site of the pictures and full story.

The site is also going to practice better backup procedures in 2009 due to the whole hacking ordeal.  It took way to long to get back up and running and we’re still suffering because of that.

So once again, thanks for your continue support, stay safe out there, and see you in 2009.

Jeff (FF184)