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Thursday, October 05, 2006

SportsDigger: Social Networking for Sports Fans

My first impression of SportsDigger is that it is scarily like MySpace. The design is eerily similar, and the user pages are out of the 60's with violently clashing colors. If you can stand that sort of thing, SportsDigger might be for you. One interesting feature is the Teams profile where users can affiliate according to which sports team they like to root for. That might help users with compatible tastes find each other quickly. Looking at the search options (pictured below), I did find one interesting search criterion.

SportsDigger is clearly in the very early stages of starting up. The look of the site is a little raw, and there is a lack of depth to the site in terms of the member base. If you want to get in on the ground floor of a social network, this might be it for sports fans and swingers.


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Reader Comments:

Hello Filterfeeder,

THANK YOU so much for mentioning SportsDigger.com on your blog. We really appreciate it.

As for the “Swinger” option--we were just trying to be a bit playful for including that option.

I agree with you that at first glance, we seem to share many similarities with MySpace. However, if you don’t mind, please allow me to point out three main differentiators between us and other social networking sites:

1. Team Profile. As you would probably agree, there are thousands, if not millions, of small, minor-league, high-school, college, and armature teams out there, particularly the non-mainstream-sports teams, who might not have the necessary means and tools to build a website to connect with their fans. This is where we think We Can Help. We want to empower these team owners and players to build a webpage or Team Profile easily and instantly, so they can better interact with their fans. For instance, they can post their latest team events, blog entries, pictures, and YouTube videos on their Team Profile, and fans can leave comments about a game on the Team Profile as well.

In addition, they can use the Team Search function to find other teams in a different city or location, and perhaps send a challenge to the other teams, or just simply share playing experiences with them.

2. Member/Fan Profile. Unlike other general social networking sites, our members can post their specific sports interests on their Profile. There are seven sports-interest attributes that a member can use to better describe their Sports Personality, including favorite sports, teams, athletes, coaches, sporting events, sports bars, and golf courses, and sports participation, season ticket holder of, workout place, sports dreams, and golf handicap. More importantly, members can search for other members based on these specific sports interests. For instance, let’s say that you indicate that you are a SF 49ers season-ticket holder on your Profile. You can now search for other SportsDigger members who are also 49ers season-ticket holders. We think that’s one very useful function for our members.

3. Customize Your Profile or Team Profile with absolute ease. We understand the importance of Self-Expression for our members, and that‘s why we created a super easy way for allowing our members to quickly customize their Profile without the need to know any HTML/CSS codes. Once you sign up, you can go to the “Customize My Profile” option to simply choose how you want your Profile to look like. There is no need to pay someone to Pimp your Profile.

As for your comment on “user’s pages are out of 60’s with violently clashing colors“--that’s really depends on each user’s taste. Once again, users can totally customize how their page or profile to look like.

Our goal initially is to keep the site as simple as possible, so that members can quickly adapt. This is another reason why that at first glance, we might share some similarities with MySpace. As we move along, we’ll add more sports-related features to further distinguish ourselves from other general social networking sites and provide more values to our members.

Is there a need for a social networking site on sports? Personally, I think MySpace is a wonderful site, and Tom is one cool dude; but, I think its “one-size-fits-all” approach might not for everyone. I think we’re still in the early stage of the social networking revolution, and the social-networking pie is big enough for more players. In other words, I think the Tail is Long enough for more players. I think that as long as we can continue provide values to our members, we’ll be okay.

Thanks once again for mentioning SportsDigger.com on your blog. If you have any comment or advice for me, please let me know. And, hopefully you’ll to be a SportsDigger soon ^_^

Thanks a lot!


Chief Digger, SportsDigger.com

Hi Jason,

Thanks for your in-depth comment. You make an interesting point regarding team profiles. I think the whole social networking explosion has really focused too much attention on bringing together people from around the world and not enough on supporting close knit groups that already exist. So in that sense, SportsDigger does have a unique opportunity to specifically target sports teams and their fans, which in many cases are already tiesd closely together, but may want to expand into a new venue.

Hi Filterfeeder,

Thank you for your kind reply, and Thanks once again for mentioning SportsDigger.com on your blog.

I couldn’t agree with you more that “supporting close knit groups that already exist” is probably going to be the second phase of the S.N. revolution. After all, I think the main purpose of any online social network is to provide people an easier and more pleasant way to connect and communicate.

If I may, please allow me to share one of my favorite quotes from my idol Seth Gordin--”Over and over again, connecting people with one another is what last online. Some folks thought it was about technology, but it’s not”.

Thanks a lot!


Chief Digger, SportsDigger.com

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