17 June 2009

New Media - New Methods

I'm not a great sports enthusiast, and the one sport in which I once participated (cycle racing) is regarded somewhere between a Cinderella sport and non-existent by the UK media. But thanks to the Internet I am no longer dependent on the middlebrow, patronizing offerings of the BBC or of ITV when it can be bothered.

All last week I watched the Dauphinee Liberee, and this week it's the Tour of Switzerland - courtesy of my favourite biking site steephill.tv. And I watched on a variety of devices - my desktop PC, a netbook, and even my trusty little iPod.

If you're at all interested in cycle racing, or even if you want to see what a specialist web site can do - have a look. The page layout and style are very clunky. The site has almost a legacy feel about it. But for content, links, and up-to-dateness it can't be beat.

They have reports in text and pictures within hours of a race finishing. The general classifications are updated daily. Previews of the days to come are on offer as a matter of course - with maps, contour profiles, team lists, and commentary.

Every day there are multiple selections of video clips of stage overviews, dramatic sequences, and last 5 kilometer highlights in several languages. Links to YouTube allow you to replay fantastic highlights from stages you might have missed, and track sequences you couldn't possibly see elsewhere - unless you had your own private helicopter. And of course - it's all free.

We really are living through a period of amazing transformation in the availability of news, information, and entertainment. It's no wonder that newspapers are losing lots of money, and people are refusing to pay the BBC a licence fee. We don't need them. Other people are doing it better. More efficiently. And delivering what the customer really wants.

No comments: