Thursday, April 02, 2009

Networking behind the goals

How we used to interact
Another football networking site is preparing to launch. ExtraFootie is the footballing answer to Facebook for UK supporters. Or so they are claiming.

Fantasy football, forums, a resurrection of the pools (are the pools not still going?), supporters pages and a profile to network with.

All sounds fine but I'm not convinced it will take off. Other sites are already available but none seem to have really caught fire. So time will tell. Maybe it's time, on the day that Chelsea's Stamford the Lion began to tweet, that football began to explore the potential of the internet more fully.

The problem is that Facebook, Bebo or whatever can already offer most of these services and a lot more besides without the user having to define themselves by their love of a team.

And fans forums already exist where people can mingle and network with like minded individuals. My experience of these forums is that they quickly become cliquey and put off new users - at first FootieExtra can be an antidote to that but pretty soon it will risk the same thing happening.

Aside from anything else, of course, football supporting is a fairly tribal pursuit. Will fans from one club want to mingle with fans from other clubs. And if not the whole network idea is kaput.

But what do I know? They could be launching at the right time. if England have a good World Cup next year, the site explodes and the brains behind it quickly cash in before the next big thing comes along. We'll see.