How To Build Traffic In A Fragmenting Media World

Big online networks are fragmenting into niches.

People want to talk to others like them.

Even Jerry Falwell is getting in on the action.

One domain that hasn't blown up like I thought it would is sports. Talk radio has shown us that John from Long Island has a lot to say to Bobby from Southie.

Strangely, big media companies have dipped toes in the social sports pool very early.

The Sporting News was the first big media site to jump in. FOXSports has some good social stuff going on, and it sounds like ESPN is close to launching something.

Of course, the nimble startups are catching up quickly.

Of the social sports startups, I like Fan Nation best.

Started by a bunch of friends from ESPN, these guys love sports, are super-smart, and are well connected in the space.

Mashable likes it too.

Fan Nation

They've got the content aggregation down, because they don't have to overcome the fear that most media companies have: if they point people off-site, they won't come back.

Attention is scarce, and services that help focus attention will succeed. (Example 1)

Building the aggregation before the social was smart, because it brings people in the door.

Once people are visiting regularly, adding social features makes more sense. Fan Nation needs to work on the social elements of the site, but I know they're listening hard.

Suggestion: help me find Raptors fans in LA to befriend.

Forget about web 2.0. Fan Nation is providing real value with a nice presentation.

And as niche content sites proliferate, Real Value and Sexy Presentation will be increasingly important.

These guys have both. So if you're into Social or into Sports, keep an eye on the other sports media company in Connecticut.

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Comments (Post | Latest)

1. Brian Clark said on Sep 17 2006:

Chartreuse called, he wants his posting style back.

2. kareem said on Sep 17 2006:

Brian, I was born in the late 70s and thus didn't have an opportunity to experiment with mind-enhancing drugs in a consequence-free environment.

Consider my blog a place for me to experiment with designs, voices, and posting styles, as it has been since I started it 4.5 years ago. Does that make Char my virtual drug dealer?

Thanks for stopping by.

3. Ryan Ashwood said on Sep 18 2006:

Thanks for this (especially for the picture of the girl in the pig hat). FanNation has a great design. Is it really an aggregator though? I guess it is because they have some feeds you can subscribe to... but what about the stuff that's out there that doesn't show up on their radar? Is there room for a Digg for sports? Maybe that's what one of the other companies you pointed to are doing... ?

4. Brian Clark said on Sep 18 2006:

>>>and thus didn't have an opportunity to experiment with mind-enhancing drugs in a consequence-free environment.

Right.

My point was, since I stop by a lot and enjoy your thoughts, maybe you just stick with your thoughts in your own way. :)

5. kareem said on Sep 24 2006:

@Ryan- I think Digg for sports is a big opportunity. It'd be easiest for one of the big sports media companies to build (since they have the distribution) but yeah, it would definitely solve the algorithmic FanNation problem.

Kareem

About

Hi, I'm Kareem Mayan. I co-founded eduFire, an online video tutoring company.

I've done time at ESPN and FIM.

I advise WorldBlu, helping them build democratic companies.

I moderated a council for Creative Good.

And, I helped bring Barcamp, a technology un-conference, to LA, which is where I live. I am now living and working in cool cities around the world.

More about me.

Opinions stated here are mine alone.

Contact: blog -at- reemer

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