I've sometimes wondered about the need for special interest communities -- as in, do we need them when we all have a profile on FaceBook and MySpace and Bebo and and and.
But there are passions that perhaps cannot be satisfied in general purpose social worlds. And a love of pro sports is most assuredly one of them. Is there anything...anything at all...that so captivates so many people. Well, OK, in American, religion probably outranks it, not so in the EU or Asia. But you get the point.
As you know, I am a believer in sports passion as a surrogate indicator of life passion, despite the fact that I myself am not overly interested in pro sports myself. But I see its relevance, and I see how caring about one thing probably translates into caring bigtime for other things. Which is why I like the Sportgenic network so much.
But this is a post about Yardbarker, a site the promises to connect fans and athletes alike in a freeform community that collects the best web content about sports and parses in ways that let you see the most relevant info and really participate in the conversation.
Here's their bark from their site:
Yardbarker breaks down traditional barriers, allowing fans and athletes to debate sports, read and write articles, and watch videos. In the Yard, even the famous athletes are treated like fans.
We feature thousands of sports websites and blogs, so you'll get news, rumors, photos and videos that you won't find elsewhere. We make it easier to follow your favorite teams, talk sports, and submit links to interesting articles found elsewhere on the web.
You don't need your own sports blog to join the discussion on Yardbarker. All you need is an opinion. But if you do have your own blog, join the Yardbarker Network. We will promote your site, increase your traffic, and put money in your pocket.
This is an ad network play targeting MEN ONLY that promises to offer sports fans with media presences, as well as niche sites, the opportunity to monetize their content and earn more money. Additionally, they offer ways for publishers to get publicity and traffic in addition to revenue.
The tough bit for them is that on the pro sports side there are already some very entrenched players like ESPN and SI, and Sportgenic, with its 20MM reach. Others have definitely struggled. They are trying to break down the walls between web properties, which makes sense in a world which is increasingly about bringing content to the user instead of making them come to you.
Sports is a tough slog for all the media players. But the site is growing, and is worth watching to see if they continue to grow eyeballs and keep them around for the long haul. Their secret sauce is the involvement of pro players. Which may be compelling, if they really participate.
Thanks for reading, and don't forget to write.