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PPFA revamps Find-A-Picture-Framer website

Discussion in 'The Grumble' started by Cliff Wilson, Jun 17, 2013.

  1. Cliff Wilson

    Cliff Wilson SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    PPFA revamps Find-A-Picture-Framer website

    The Professional Picture Framers Association (PPFA) Consumer Awareness Committee has spent the past few months revamping its consumer "Find-A-Picture-Framer" website with its international listing of PPFA members.

    The website – at www.findapictureframer.com – includes a blog, frame gallery, “PPFA Frames For Good” section, YouTube videos, ideas center, links to the PPFA Facebook pages on custom framing in general as well as on framing military and sports memorabilia, Twitter and Pinterest links, information about Certified Picture Framer (CPF) and Master Certified Picture Framer (MCPF) designations, and the international database of PPFA framers for consumers.

    The PPFA Consumer Awareness Committee is headed by Mary Fender, MCPF, owner of Frame Nation in Richmond, Va., with John Barlowe; Gary Blitsch; Lynn Fey-Duncan; and Karen Haden; as well as Mikki Kavich, MCPF; Mike Labbe; Randy Parrish, CPF; John Ranes II, CPF; Paul Thomas; and Cliff Wilson, MCPF, who also all worked on the Website sub-committee; and Web consultant Troy Veluz.

    Jared Davis, MCPF, GCF, is the liaison from the PPFA Board of Directors; and PPFA members David Lantrip, MCPF, GCF; Sue Gittlen, MCPF; and Ron Mason, CPF, contributed input.

    PPFA members are encouraged to check their information in the database, and provide updates/corrections/and hot links to their business websites to Nick Shaver, nshaver@pmai.org.
    Sponsor Wanted
  2. josephforthill

    josephforthill MGF, Master Grumble Framer

  3. Cliff Wilson

    Cliff Wilson SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Hah, haven't you ever framed a finger? (Seriously, we'll get it fixed. thanks)

    If anyone else sees something like that, let me know.
  4. Mike Labbe

    Mike Labbe Member, Former moderator team volunteer

    I moved this to the main board, because I don't think it has to be in commercial posts. PPFA related posts are exempt from the system policy (with exception of teachers promoting their own compensated event).

    I'm thrilled to see the new site live, too! Many people have come in to our shop because of it, over the years. Hopefully the new site will gain greater popularity on the search engines, due to the additional content.

  5. blackiris

    blackiris SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Who is supposed to be using this site and how are they going to find it?
  6. blackiris

    blackiris SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    This is a PPFA sponsored site?
    You have to be a PPFA member to be listed?
  7. Cliff Wilson

    Cliff Wilson SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Primarily consumers.

    The Blog will be "passed" from Chapter to chapter so content will be fresh and new.
    We will do our best to add/change photos and content as much as possible.
    It has a news feed and tie ins to facebook and twitter. We link to it from our facebook pages, the PPFA site, The Framers' Corner and other places.
    Our hope is a high ranking with searches and more consumer "hits."
    Yes, you have to be a PPFA member to be listed.
    It is essentially the PPFA member database.
  8. FramerCat

    FramerCat SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    This is pretty cool and just the kind of thing that might entice me into joining. I have a couple questions though. If you have multiple locations do you have to have multiple memberships, and if so is there any kind of discount for a second or third membership. Also, how are the shops ranked when they come up? I noticed if I put in the zip code of one of my shops, the only PPFA member in that zip code that comes up is at the bottom of a long list of framers. It is also not in alphabetical order. Is there a way of gaining priority in the listing? I wouldn’t want to pay to join and then find out that I am 17th on the list even though none of the rest are in my zip code and some are out of business.

    Just to let you know it is coming up on the first page of Google in this area for “picture framer”, which I think is pretty good. If it gets optimized further to pass my website I’d have to give some really serious consideration to it.

  9. Cliff Wilson

    Cliff Wilson SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I will double check, but I understood it to be listed in proximity to the entered zipcode order. It used to give priority to MCPFs and CPFs, but that was changed.

    Most of the web based search results, like google, are based on the previous incarnation. We are anticipating a MUCH IMPROVED result with the new system as we get going.

    As for membership costs, you should call Nick Shaver and ask, but my understanding is that you would pay at the tier associated with your combined shops. the membership cost is tiered based on gross revenue.

    PS some further info ... The database is somewhat older technology and has a lot going on in it. A small error like typing an "oh"(O) instead of a zero (0) can effect where a shop show up in the list even though it looks ok. We are asking anyone that finds an error or anomaly in their data to let Nick Shaver at PMA know. Thanks.
  10. mbboston

    mbboston CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    Thanks to all who contributed time and skills!

    There is one field that should be expanded and make it easy for consumers to find what they are looking for. Under business name and address there is a field "business". Here is what I found as current categories (there are probably more):

    -Individual (Framer)
    -Picture Framer Retailer
    -Picture Framer with Art Sales
    -Retail Finisher (1 Hr/Mini Lab)
    -Specialty Retail Photo Store

    I would add these fields:

    -Photo Restoration Services
    -Fine Art Restoration Studio
    -Pick-up and Delivery Available

    -Professional Designer Services (just as we are listing certification, we should list if the shop has staff with a professional design degree)
    -Artwork Installation Services
  11. Mike Labbe

    Mike Labbe Member, Former moderator team volunteer

    That field is designed for a one of the above (single choice) category, I believe. But it would be good to track additional services, perhaps, when this is updated in the future.
  12. mbboston

    mbboston CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    Thanks Mike, yes an ongoing project. People look for different things: 24hr framing, unique photo frames, installation, canvas stretching or home designer visit. Just like other directories have check boxes for all services and products that apply, if we could implement a software that would let us make changes and additions to our listings it would be much less work for you guys. I don't know how time consuming would it be to implement something like this, but it's a taught.
  13. mbboston

    mbboston CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    One more important thing. Last year I tried to create a Wikipedia page for PPFA. I had a long and a short version and both were declined. The official Wiki police response was "This submission appears to read more like an advertisement than an entry in an encyclopedia. "

    If anyone has experience with creating Wiki pages, please PM me.

    I will send you the link and you can edit the page. Wikipedia pages are always on the first page in Google search and this could be powerful.
  14. blackiris

    blackiris SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I'm not happy with seaching for my store an having the first thing seen about being a CPf or MCPF......font being bigger than my shop name and number.

    Some of us have issues with the testing .... And I'd rather not give the general public false info that a CpF means you are better than one shop or another.
  15. mbboston

    mbboston CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    I agree. Education, certification and degrees are important, but it should be enough to have this listed next to someones name. This is not the way to promote PPFA and encourage other shops to join. When I first joined PPFA and saw this, my first reaction was not to renew my membership. Its illogical to do the search by zip code and not get it. Some are listed by a shop name and some by first and last name, it doesn't make sense. Consistency is important. CPf or MCPF should be under "business" description.
  16. Artrageous

    Artrageous PFG, Picture Framing God

    As a non PPFA member I realize I don't have a reason to reply in this thread.

    If the problem Nicole mentions in her post, is something Mira found to be an issue when she first joined, why are the listings still that way? What other then lip service has been done to fix it?
  17. Mike Labbe

    Mike Labbe Member, Former moderator team volunteer

    As far as I can see, the results are sorted by distance or maybe they are random within the distance search criteria/results.

    The certifications are noted to the right of the entries, with the abbreviation. For many, this can be a factor when selecting a framer. It's good that it is included there, IMO.
  18. David N Waldmann

    David N Waldmann SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    This is a definite problem. When I search within 30 miles there is only one listing. When I expand it to 40 miles, it's 2nd on the list (or third, depending whether you read left to right or down first). At 50 miles it's 2nd or fourth, and at 100 miles that shop is about 2/3 down the list of about 50 locations.
  19. Cliff Wilson

    Cliff Wilson SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    My understanding was distance order, but that is obviously not what is happening.
    I'm checking on it.

    Ok, I have to find out what it will take to change it, but after some study, this is what it is doing ... If there is a CPF or MCPF on staff they get listed above the shop name (need to change this).

    all shops meeting the search radius criteria are listed, the ones IN the specified Zipcode get listed next first, the rest are sorted alphabetically by the first line (this first line is sometimes the shop name and sometimes the persons name if there is a certified person on staff.)

    Not right, but that.s what it's doing.
  20. EllenAtHowards

    EllenAtHowards PFG, Picture Framing God

    That is a good-looking site! It is visually very appealing, and sucked me in to click on several of the page links. Good job, everyone!
  21. Cliff Wilson

    Cliff Wilson SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I should probably explain something ... www.FindAPictureFramer.com has been there for a few years. The "backend" search function is tied to the PPFA member database. The old "front end" was cumbersome, outdated, and static. not SEO friendly at all. Volunteers, led by Mary Fender redid the front end to produce a fresh friendly front end that would hopefully improve our search engine ranking. The back end wasn't touched. It's been the way it is for years.

    We still have a lot of work on the front end and the volunteer work there will continue. The back end unfortunately was developed at some expense and is a proprietary system. There is a high monetary consultant cost to making changes. we are looking at ways to make incremental improvements that will not be a financial burden.
  22. Pat Murphey

    Pat Murphey SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I just looked at my zip code. No members in the local area, the five listed are a long way away. I am not interested in certification at my age with my experience, so I have no interest in joining an organization that denigrates my skills at the top of the search results.
  23. Dave

    Dave SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God


    The first time I searched my zip with a 30 mile radius only one result came up in Colorado. I'm in Indiana.

    I did the search again and got 100-150 results from all over the US also including Puerto Rico, London England, Guam, Australia...

  24. Mike Labbe

    Mike Labbe Member, Former moderator team volunteer

    Well, fortunately, that's NOT how it works. Shops with current certifications will show up listed with the same priority as the others.

    The search engine could be improved a lot, and this is being discussed now. It has some quirks, for sure.

    There is also a pending update/patch, which I believe they will be applying soon. I don't know what improvements the update contains.
  25. Pat Murphey

    Pat Murphey SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I'm referring to the leading text, touting CPF and MCPF. It implies that those with the acronyms are "better" shops.
  26. blackiris

    blackiris SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Ok good. You got what I'm saying.
    When I search by my zip code... only my shop shows up...UNDER
    What a CPF is.. What an MCPF is and some other something or other.
  27. David N Waldmann

    David N Waldmann SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Get your backs down.

  28. Artrageous

    Artrageous PFG, Picture Framing God

    You were clear when you first said it Nic.

    The old system seems to push paying members behind paying credentialed members. Do CPFs and MCPFs pay more for a higher position in the listings of PPFA member framers, or does further education privileges trump membership privileges? The reasoning should be transparent to potential members who join to be part of the PPFA listings.

    Paid membership shouldn't have 'limited' privileges.
  29. Cliff Wilson

    Cliff Wilson SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Credentials used to be listed first. They are not anymore, but they are still identified.
  30. Artrageous

    Artrageous PFG, Picture Framing God

    Having those credentials as leading text with a larger font could have an effect on the searching habits of a potential customer, and I guess that's the reason it's done that way. As an outsider, I can see what Pat and Nic would have an issue with it.

    I'm sure Cliff and the others involved in the site will make the necessary changes.
  31. Ylva

    Ylva SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I am with Nic and Pat on this one too. I don't know if I will ever go for the CPF test and try to get those letters behind my name. So the prominent different font and color for CPF and MCPF really put me off.

    Customers will certainly pay attention to that and passing over shops without a CPF on staff.
  32. i-m-chickie

    i-m-chickie SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Cliff, like the way the "Front" of the site was over-hauled. Looks great. Thanks ALL for your efforts.

    As to the CPF/MCPF arguments...DISAGREE TOTALLY. The PPFA is endeavoring to UNITE a group of stubborn, hard-working, highly-individualized framers (AND no easy task, but that stubbornness HAS kept this dying biz going).

    Many of our businesses are as different as the day is long; it is therefore OUR jobs to market ourselves and offer different specialties thus. Mira no more offers needlework as I restore art, I don't. My job to market that, and Mira does a bang-up job of her marketing without specialized listing on PPFA site.

    As to the CPF/MCPF designation not being so boldly featured....some of you are contradicting your previous arguments that your clientele wouldn't notice if you were a CPF or MCPF.

    Well, I think if the designation is to EVER mean a hill of bean dip, people ought to QUIT bashing it at the knees and give some of us who do believe in it a snowballs chance in the microwave of being something. If not on the very website, who sponsors' it, where are they supposed to taut it? Above the commode in the loo?

    We are framers and different. PPFA is TRYING to help us at least stay on a similar page, can't we give it a chance?

    My penny and half.
  33. Pat Murphey

    Pat Murphey SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    No Chickie, it's 3 paragraphs of text, on top of the list, implying that "dues paying members" who don't have the acronym are not as good.
  34. susang

    susang SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    The link from the PPFA website to "Find A Picture Framer" says "bad request." When I need to find a fellow framer I usually go to this link.
  35. Mike Labbe

    Mike Labbe Member, Former moderator team volunteer

    I see that. it is currently pointing to "http://www.pmai.org/http://www.pmai.org/ppfaconsumerhome.aspx"

    I know that they're working on this today, moving the link on their site from its original destination to the new www.findapictureframer.com landing point. I bet that this error is just temporary. Earlier today, it was going to the old site. (the advanced search screen)

  36. blackiris

    blackiris SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Well then they need to change the wording of what a CPF is or MCPF is. Because the way it reads now this is the end all be all of framers.
    I don't agree with the testing. PERIOD. I pay the same dues as a single framer that might have a CPF. A potential customer is going to look at that and question my abilities. I'm not cool with that.

    Does that make me less of a framer than somone who has that after their name? PLEASE someone look me in the eye and tell me that.

    The way I see it... the PPFA is promoting CPF and MCPF to the public. When its NOT something every framer has to have to be a good reliable framer.
  37. FramerDave

    FramerDave PFG, Picture Framing God

    Hold on just a minute. All of the objections about listing CPF and MCPF on staff stores have come from framers who are not certified, do not see the value of certification or both. That's fine, they are entitled to their opinions and I don't see them ever changing. But how about looking at it from the viewpoint of a framer who is certified?

    Suppose a framer puts in the time, money and effort to become a CPF and then puts in more time, money and effort to attain MCPF status. That framer then also puts in more time, money and effort to take the necessary classes to keep her certification current. A big motivating factor is not only the betterment of her skills and knowledge but also the opportunity to use those credentials to promote her business. Would it be fair to her not to get some consideration and promotion from the PPFA for those efforts? If I were in the shoes of this hypothetical framer I'd be pretty ticked off if the PPFA didn't do something like this to help me promote my business.

    A common argument against certification is the perception that the PPFA does nothing to promote it. Well here they are, doing exactly that, and now it's a problem?

    And here is the exact wording about certification from the FAPF site:

    What Is a Certified Picture Framer (CPF)?
    A CPF has been actively involved in picture framing for at least one year and passed a comprehensive written examination covering materials, techniques and design theories.

    What Is a Master Certified Picture Framer (MCPF)?
    An MCPF has been a CPF for at least four years and passed a hands-on practical examination covering preservation framing.

    What Can a PPFA Certified Picture Framer Do for You?
    Framers who earn the CPF or MCPF designation have demonstrated knowledge and skill, through written and hands-on testing, to better assist you in selecting the best materials and design for preserving and framing your artworks and valuables. Framers with CPF and MCPF designations keep up with industry changes through the recertification program as well as continuing education requirements for the designations.

    Perhaps I'm missing something here, but it looks pretty straightforward. Could someone point out where it says that a non-certified framer is inferior?
  38. RParrish

    RParrish PFG, Picture Framing God

    I worked hard to get my CPF, I work hard to be a member of my chapter, I earned that distinction and I want that to show. However I do not see anywhere where it is making a non certificated framer look bad. I do not think it's the crux of some one going to one framer over another, a consumer will look at websites, hours, prices and the overall feeling presented by each shop. Certification is just one element to use at your disposal if you choose.
  39. mbboston

    mbboston CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    - We have a textile conservator, so yes we do restore and frame needlework .
    - We are not talking about our private marketing efforts, rather search on a PPFA website.
  40. cvm

    cvm PFG, Picture Framing God

    I got my CPF in the 1980's, so list our place near the top! Lol! :nuts:
  41. mbboston

    mbboston CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    I do value education and I don't mind certification listed, it is well deserved, but in that case I would like to list my degrees and my staff degrees relevant to the field of custom framing. We also worked hard.
  42. RParrish

    RParrish PFG, Picture Framing God

    There certainly nothing stopping you from doing so on your website, but the PPFA site of course is going to list any credentials it gives out, not doing so would be unwise.
  43. blackiris

    blackiris SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I've taken the test... I don't agree with it AT ALL. I've prepared and study for it and PAID FOR IT.

    Why should I be considered inferior by the public because someone else has letters behind their name? Those quotes are PROMOTING TO THE PUBLIC of how great a "supposed" CPF or MCPF is...When they have probably never heard of it in their LIVES... so now I have to defend myself why I think the test is total KRAP???

    I go to classes. EVEN IN DIFFERENT STATES. I've went to Vegas. I've participated and tried to be a part of this organization. This I don't agree with.

    I suggest making a seperate page for promoting it and leave it off of the seach by zip code.
  44. i-m-chickie

    i-m-chickie SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    No No Mira...I mean I sell Needlework. You misunderstand. My shop sells thread and fabric and classes on how to stitch. AND specializes in framing NEEDLWORK, I do not however restore art.

    I was merely contrasting the vast differences in our businesses and highlighting our commonality through PPFA. The sub-points are up to us...

    I think this site Find-a framer is just getting the word about FRAMING. And I thinkit will do a bang up job of that.

    Ironically I did take in a piece for framing this morning that DOES require a conservator...which I need to pass the buck on.
  45. DVieau2

    DVieau2 PFG, Picture Framing God

    I'm fine with all the language about CPF and I'm not a CPF.

    I agree and don't see any harm in listing someones academic or other trade credentials if they desire.

    AA, MA, MS, BFA , MFA, PHD etc.....


    Or whatever.

  46. FramerDave

    FramerDave PFG, Picture Framing God

    You all do realize that you can have your website in your listing, right? That would be a great place to list all of your qualifications, special services, degrees, whatever you want. That's a much more logical place to put it rather than trying to cram it all into a listing of a few lines.
  47. osgood

    osgood SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I love you dearly, Nic, but it is just plain nonsense to say that anyone could be considered 'inferior' from what is written on this page! I've read the information over and over and there are no such implications!

    If people, as you say, have never heard of it in their lives, there should be no problem with CPF and MCPF being mentioned! :)
  48. blackiris

    blackiris SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Apparently you are missing my point. If the average everyday person is looking to have say a family heirloom piece framed... and searches online to find THIS SITE.........
    Then reads the krap about what a CPF and MCPF can do for you.......
    And theirs 2 shops.... 1 with and 1 without...........

    Am I connecting the dots for everyone? :shrug:
    How hard is it to MOVE it to another page, and let the customer decide where they want to take it?
  49. Artrageous

    Artrageous PFG, Picture Framing God

    It does make them look less qualified, and in that way makes them look bad in comparison.

    If a PPFA member without CPF/MCPF certification pays the same amount in dues then they are entitled to an equal listing. The link that would take you to an individuals web page would be the place to tout your achievements.

    Are the books and guides that a person needs to study prior to taking the exam written by the very people who are in the upper echelon of the PPFA? Are they financially enriched when people buy these books and guides. Are these the same people that set the guidelines that have CPFs and MCPFs appearing higher on a search inquiry? Seems like a conflict of interests.
  50. osgood

    osgood SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    FYI Mark and others,
    The people who write the guidelines and do all the other tasks in PPFA are 'volunteers'! That means they are not paid in money or kind for their work!

    People who are dedicated to the industry and PPFA spend hundreds/thousands of hours of their own time and often their own money trying to improve the industry while others contribute nothing, but cynicism and criticism!

    Sometimes I wonder why anyone even bothers to do voluntary work, when I read the unrelenting criticism on this forum!
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