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  1. #1
    Database Jedi MattR's Avatar
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    Question Our sports community

    Is called FanHome.

    It is basically a sports site on the web where you can talk to anyone about virtually any sport out there (if you can't find it use the 'other sports' forum )!

    Target Audience / Segment:
    Sports fans of all ages, we try and keep things very decent and intelligent via our wonderful moderators (couple hundred at last count) and our TOS.

    Pre-reqs:
    Valid e-mail address; love for sports!

    $:
    Sucks like most companies which have both .com in the name and rely on ad sales
    80 - 90% ad revenue, both via L90/FlyCast/DoubleClick (etc.) and our own
    5% online storefront
    5% other assorted income

    Looking at options for subscription based; probably on a 'help FanHome buy bigger servers' basis and not a 'you get cool things' basis since everyone and their mother uses vB2.0 (which we are moving to shortly) so there's nothing incredibly special we can offer. Maybe avatars or something.

    Traffic:
    Depends on how you measure it; but it is around 150,000 to 250,000 impressions a day
    if you want to go by GB transferred (like most hosting companies) it is around 12 to 15GB a day without gzip, with gzip 10GB or less (depends on nature of traffic, if a lot of people visit large threads it will compress better).

  2. #2
    Your Lord and Master, Foamy gold trophy Hierophant's Avatar
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    The first thing I suggest is changing your title on your pages. You are correct in saying that .com is not good in a company name. Small changes to the title on your pages would help its ranking in different search engines. Instead of "FanHome.com - Where Fans Connect", you should try "FanHome - The Ultimate Sports Fan Connection" or something similar.

    Your community is large and has a lot of registered members and a high activity rate. From your post the main issue seems to be income.

    One thing I noticed is that your L90 advertisements are not very focused. I kept seeing the same ad for Register.com over and over. This doesn't target your group. If there is anyway to exclude this then you should. Let more ads that your members would respond through to. The one thing you don't have is organized fantasy leagues. You could charge seasonal subscription fees for something like this and tie the prize in with the amount of fees received. These are popular and would make a good source of income.

    Another thing I noticed is that when someone enters the Fanshop, they have to make another decision. So in essence is takes two clicks to start shopping. You should mix the fanhome memorabilia in with the team stuff and present them with several categories so they can browse immediately. When you enter Champs Sports they don't direct you through one door to buy their team offerings and another to buy stuff with their logo on it. It is all mixed together. Online should reflect offline as much as possible in this regard.
    Wayne Luke
    ------------


  3. #3
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    I think fanhome looks brilliant, it is clearly an incredibly busy site and works well.

    However, i do think you main pages need quite a bit of work. fanhome.com:

    1. the fanpoll thing is ugly.. no margin around it.
    2. The fonts look, well wrong. The italic looks bad is there no other way to emphasise it. Also, the size 3 verdana dosen't work i don't think ):
    3. Jagged edges in the images, top left hand corner is especially and the bar across the black thing.
    4. The links at bottom the > dosen't seperate it that well, at least have a space between the word and the >

    In usability terms, the main problem with the index page is a lack of a link that lists all the baseball forums for example. again, you have to double click to get to a listing of forums. If i didn't know what fanhome was before i got there i think it would be incredibly confused by it.

    Anyway, nit picks, take them as you like.

  4. #4
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    oops, missed the forums link on left hand side. Still, perhaps make it more obvious somewhere, even an image on the right hand side of the screen might work well.

  5. #5
    Your Lord and Master, Foamy gold trophy Hierophant's Avatar
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    How appropriate is this...

    Recently I have been cancelling all my subscriptions to Web Design related newsletters. In today's market anyone can create a website and there isn't much work to the actual building of a site. If I need something complex done, I can hire a designer.

    The real trick is promoting, marketing and promoting that new site once you have it. If you don't do this, you wasted your efforts anyway. So these newsletters have been replacing the design ones. Just now I received my weekly "MarketingSherpa".

    In it was this:
    * FanTeamLink(R) Email News Sells Tens of Thousands of Sports
    Fans $29 Year Subscriptions

    If you're marketing to a sports fan or other enthusiast-type
    consumer audience, this Case Study is for you! We especially
    like the clever way Director of Marketing John Piccirillo used
    testimonials in his email newsletter sponsorship ads. Plus, if
    you are in the subscription sales business, you'll want to hear
    about the company's survey results when they asked fans if they'd
    pay for emailed news.
    http://www.contentbiz.com/sample.cfm?contentID=1697
    If your interested in this newsletter check out http://www.marketingsherpa.com
    Wayne Luke
    ------------


  6. #6
    Database Jedi MattR's Avatar
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    Wow; great suggestions guys! Another good magazine that I subscribe to is CIOMagazine (CIOMagazine.com).


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