First and foremost, I, personally and on behalf of the readers, would like to thank Jeff Plumb for patiently enduring me through the interview phase.
Now in this post, Jeff will be talking about the PingSkills website, his and Alois’ creation. The first one of its kind to give video tutorials about the wonderful sports of table tennis, the PingSkills has now become a priority to most of the people who seek help about table tennis online. The site has achieved such heights that even the ping pong gurus are overwhelmed. Over to Jeff.
How exactly did PingSkills come about? Did it originally start as an online tutorial?
PingSkills started out as a simple website designed to help people improve their Table Tennis. The first version of the site was extremely simple and did not contain any videos. It was only once we added the videos that PingSkills started to become popular.
How is the success rate of the website?
I’m amazed at the success of the website. We get heaps of great feedback from players all around the world who are improving their Table Tennis thanks to PingSkills.
Who is in charge of the technical things of the site?
I’m responsible for the technical side of PingSkills. I completed a bachelor of computer science at RMIT University and have always been interested in the web. I really enjoyed putting the website together and it is fun to try and continuously improve the website to make it more helpful to people.
Does anyone apart from you and Alois contribute to the blog section?
Occasionally we get some guest posts from various people but 99% of the blogs are from Alois and myself.
Did the YouTube channel start before the website or was it inspired from the amount of traffic you got in the original website?
The YouTube channel came about after the website. We were looking for a good way to demonstrate how to play the basic strokes and text isn’t a very good method. Alois and I filmed a few basic videos and they became popular very quickly. The videos have grown from there.
What makes you decide what kind of videos to make?
There are a number of ways we get ideas for videos. Initially we thought of the most important strokes to teach and made a video for each of those. We also receive requests from our readers. Lately we have been filming answers to questions asked in “Ask the Coach”.
Tell us something about the DVDs.
Alois is a great coach because he can convey the important aspects of a particular skill or technique. The DVDs break down these skills so that it is simple to understand. It gives the buyer something they can work at and with a lot of training they can become very good at. We’ve now sold our DVDs in over 50 countries!
Do you look for any revenue for the work you and Alois do in the site? If yes, how or from where do they come.
Initially we started asking for donations. You can still see this at the end of some of the earlier videos we made. However it is not a great way to try and run a business. We eventually decided to make our own DVDs to sell on the site and as I mentioned earlier we have now sold to over 50 countries! We also offer a premium membership where for a monthly fee you get access to new videos each week. The current batch of videos in the premium membership are based around a 52 week training program. For each of the 52 weeks Alois has designed a training plan that focuses on a particular skill. Along with the training plan is a master class related to the focus of the session.
Do you take any steps for advertising for the site?
We have tried advertising using Google adwords on our website but I have removed most of those ads as I think it takes away from the site. We still use adwords on our YouTube videos.
Was there any time when it made you think that it might be the time to stop or question yourself that “should we be doing this”?
No. We never put any pressure on ourselves with regards to PingSkills. We enjoy Table Tennis and love being able to help people from all around the world. It has been a fun and rewarding experience and I hope we can continue running the site for many years to come.
Back in 2007 when you put the first video in the YouTube channel, you were probably the first of this kind to provide online tutorial for table tennis. Do you think that this helped in the success of the site?
Absolutely. Videos are a great way to demonstrate how to play Table Tennis. However I think that the coaching experience of Alois is what makes these videos so useful. Anyone can demonstrate Table Tennis being played but the key is making the videos informative. Alois can explain the key elements of a stroke simply so that the viewers can walk away after watching the video and think, I can do that.
At this point looking back at the time you started the site till the present, do you think the site has achieved what you two aimed or does it still have a long way to go?
We never set any goals when we started. I really love Table Tennis and the web so it seemed logical to build a website based on Table Tennis. With Alois being such a great coach it was just the right mix. Looking forward though, I believe we have a long way to go.
Where do you see PingSkills in the future?
I’d like to see PingSkills become the first place people go to when they want to learn about Table Tennis. The world is a big place and Table Tennis is a very popular sport. I hope that we can help it become even bigger and teach millions of people about the game.
I would suggest all my readers to sign-up on the PingSkills website and I can promise you that you won’t regret this.
- One on one with Jeff Plumb Part 1 (keepingintouchblog.wordpress.com)
- One on one with Jeff Plumb Part 2 (keepingintouchblog.wordpress.com)
- One on one with Alois Rosario (keepingintouchblog.wordpress.com)