I’ve written previously on the Online Journalism Blog about ‘Why fantasy football may hold the key to the future of news‘. Now it seems The Guardian has taken things up a notch with the wonderful Chalkboard feature: an interactive database-driven toolkit that allows you to create your own ‘chalkboards’ illustrating whatever point you may wish to make about a team or player’s performance. Here’s my first attempt below:
Cute, yes? But more than just cute. This is an idea that takes sports data and makes it more than just ‘interactive’. This makes it communicative.
Because you are not just toying with data but creating it to make a point. Once you create a chalkboard it is published to everyone, with space for comments. You can send it, share it or embed it – as I have.
Clearly there are improvements that can be made – starting with searchability/findability from the chalkboard/team page and the odd bug (the description which I entered was not visible on the test I did above, and limiting it to the final 15 minutes does not seem to have worked – you still see all passes).
But really that would be picking holes in what is a beautifully thought-through piece of work – a piece of work that understands if you’re to make news work online it has to be as much a platform as a destination (a platform which in turn opens up plenty of opportunities for monetisation).
The site claims match stats will be available 15 minutes after the full time whistle. Suddenly the calls to local radio to bemoan the manager’s tactics seem one-dimensional. And spending 60 seconds reading the match report is nothing compared to the time that will be spent carefully constructing your argument as to why your star midfielder should not have been sold to that close relegation rival…
Thanks to Alex Lockwood for the tip-off.