Category Archives: Websites I admire

This is a collection of websites I come across that I like.

Sport and social media – west coast perspective

Brendon Kensell, Managing Partner of Kensell & Co, an M&A and corporate growth consultancy, has just posted a piece on sports and social media.  Some of the stats Kensell quotes are astounding with 460 million fans who ‘like’ sports teams on Facebook and almost 100 million fans ‘follow’ teams on Twitter. But he suggests fans are getting frustrated with the one-way nature of Twitter and that the time is right for new sports social media start-up – JockTalk.

JockTalk provides fans and athletes with far richer engagement opportunities than are currently available through existing social media platforms. Because JockTalk publishes to Twitter and Facebook fans who are not interested in richer engagement can still listen to what the athletes they follow have to say. But, for those fans who want a proper, two-way conversation JockTalk provides the ideal platform.

JockTalk fills a number of the holes that exist in Twitter. It allows for 300 characters instead of 140 available in Twitter and the different is incredible. I wonder who decided 140 characters was enough? It is hard to even ask the question in 140 characters and whilst it does avoid waffle for athletes and fans they seem to need and want more.

Sports social media is changing and whilst existing platforms like Twitter and Facebook are trying to keep up, the time is right for a new player.


Mashable offers favourable view on JockTalk

With JockTalk appearing at Demo12 at the same time as Beta launch there is an opportunity for the great and the good of the digerati to get their hands on the concept and offer some feedback.
First out of the blocks is Mashable with an insightful and very positive review of the platform. Their analysis is spot on and it is comforting to know that the simplicity and power of JockTalk can be communicated so effectively in a world that is becoming increasingly complex as a result of digital explosion. I am now really looking forward to the reviews that will follow the presentation later today.

The evolution of Sports Social Media

I was recently invited to get involved with a social media start-up called JockTalk ( I am a bit of a cynic when it comes to new social media ventures because I am the type of person who likes the ones I use and use the ones I like and that keeps the paying field small – mainly LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook (a bit and mainly for the kids). However, the more I heard about JockTalk the more convinced I became that this is the future of sports social media.

Photo of stage at DEMO12

There are a number of social media plays trying to fix the “monetisation of Twitter” problem and JockTalk certainly addresses this opportunity. A revenue share with athletes means that the content created can be monetised through ad revenue. However, what is really great about JockTalk is the level of fan engagement built-in. It is obvious when you get under the hood, that athletes have been involved in scoping it because each feature fulfils a flaw in the way Twitter supports fan:athlete engagement. There is a Q&A section, athletes can rank top fans and the platform publishes to Twitter and Facebook so it doesn’t require a massive behavioural change for athletes and fans to get involved.

What I most like about JockTalk is that it is designed to deal with all sports. As a fan this is crucial because like many fans, I enjoy multiple sports. I don’t want to go to a different social media platform for each set of athletes (soccer, Rugby, Baseball, Cricket etc.) I want to be able to put all my sport in one place. As a Twitter user with two profiles – one work and one social I already have compartmentalised my business Tweeting from my sports Tweeting and so JockTalk allows me to enhance this even further. The site is in Beta but you can take a peek here:

The team is presenting at DEMO12 this week and I can’t wait to see the feedback. It is often said that the simplest things are the most effective and JockTalk’s simplicity and power are sure to be a hit.

Customer Experience in retail

This is brilliant! The website is from a Dutch retailer called HEMA. Their first store opened on November 4, 1926, in Amsterdam and now there are 150 stores all over the Netherlands . The link is to HEMA’s product page and although you can’t order anything and it’s in Dutch if you wait a couple of seconds things start to happen.

Brand Tags

A colleague sent me a link to brand tags ( a project by a guy called Noah Brier. You can read about Noah at his website and he has some really interesting ideas. The idea behind Brand Tags is that you are presented with a brand logo and asked to record a single word or short phrase that first comes to mind. You are then presented with further brands and asked to do the same. Noah uses a tag cloud to present the summary information and it is a perfect use of technology. He has also created a similar model using celebrity photos (

I recommend you visit Noah’s site and read his findings from the research. Although it is still in progress there are already interesting things coming out of it not least the take up. Noah reports that since putting it up under a week ago he has had 77,000 tags and the interest is incredible.

Noah has taken the decision to cut out the spam but there is still a potential for fraud. Even though this is a project with no commercial interest (well little) he has already experienced people tagging the same term multiple times. Were this a brand tracking system used by millions what else might happen? Could brand perception be seeded? Clearly the idea is you input before you find out what others think and so it should not make a difference other than in conversations (off or online) outside of the project.

Noah has enabled a function that allows you to search for brands that are referred to by a specific tag. For example putting in “good” you get Google at the top of the list. Put in Evil and Wal Mart appears first (Google interestingly come third). I have theory that Google are at the beginning of a decline and will monitor the tag cloud to see whether there is any correlation. I have a similar theory about Facebook and they appear 5 under the Evil tag. They come second for the tag “annoying”. Watch this space (well that space).

New Barbarian group website

The Barbarian group have launched their new website and it is very very cool. I love everything about it actually and having gone through it in some detail I just can’t find fault. The language is so engaging when combined with the design it simply drags you in. The way they deal with blogs, the look and feel is great and it represents their work beautifully.

Image of homepage

By far the greatest component of the website (in my humble opinion) is the barbaripedia. This section tells you everything about them and is so well designed it is a thing of beauty. I love the time line that describes their history and the fact the page is full, without feeling packed. The software tab is great and their four reasons for making software are brilliant.

Why can’t all websites be like this?