Game recaps. Blog posts. Longform profiles. With the sheer volume of content flooding the web these days, it can be tough for sports fans to figure out what to read without being overwhelmed.
But the startup ChatSports claims that it’s found a way to cut through all the noise and get fans the stories they want when they want them. The site lets fans choose teams to follow, then aggregates content from more than 2,000 sources around the web every day. It just got a major makeover, with an easy-on-the-eyes layout that resembles a Pinterest board and a new feature allowing non-registered users to access personalized content.
Once you sign up and select your teams, you get an aesthetically pleasing tile board of articles about those teams, while the site’s algorithms track what you click. So if you live in the Bay Area and don’t want to follow the Giants after baseball season, avoid clicking those articles and they’ll show up less frequently. Click more Warriors articles, meanwhile, to get a larger serving of basketball content as NBA season begins. If you don’t want to sign up for ChatSports, click the homepage’s “Local” button for geographically relevant content selected according to your IP address.
While the new UI and features just launched this week, ChatSports got its start in a rudimentary, blog-like beta form back in late 2011. Its two co-founders bring experience from Verizon, Motorola and Rivals.com. The site is on pace to break 400,000 monthly unique visitors for the first time this month, and has so far raised over $400,000 from a small group of investors. Co-founder James Yoder says he hopes the launch of the site’s final form, along with a mobile app coming at the end of this year, will accelerate that growth; that, in turn, will lead to more funding and let the team focus on the nuts and bolts of monetization, he adds.
Of course, ChatSports isn’t the only service to develop a curated model for smart content delivery for sports fans. Bleacher Report’s Team Stream app narrows the flood of content for fans, and ESPN.com just launched a personalized, Twitter-style viewing option. Apps such as Flipboard and Zite expand the broader concept beyond just sports to news in general.
But Yoder says he thinks ChatSports’ extremely broad range of content sources and upcoming social integrations will set it apart. Users will soon be able to receive Facebook notifications, for example, when their friends read the same articles to facilitate engagement.
“Our core concept when we started ChatSports was to do what Flipboard has done for news and Facebook has done for the social network,” he says. “We want to be the centralized platform for sports news and conversation.”
Do you think ChatSports can score with sports fans? Let us know in the comments.
Thumbnail courtesy Flickr, srsphoto.
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