Date:Sunday March 16 2008
Who remembers the 90's dot.com boom when hundreds of entrepreneurs poured their cash into various websites intending to make a fast buck, then, watched with agony as one-by-one, most disappeared?
There's an old saying: If one wants to look in to the future then one should look into the past.
Trends and habits tend to rotate in circles. Examples of these are the fashion industry, music genres and now football websites/forums, call them what you will.
In the early days of the internet and the good old dial-up ISP's (Internet Service Providers), users would have to wait five minutes to download pictures. With the advent of broadband and cheap connection fees, worldwide internet usage has reached into the billions. In addition, waiting for a picture to reach our screen now takes a blink of an eye.
With 24-hour television sports channels and yes, websites (sorry have I mentioned the internet already) fans demand the latest news and gossip, sometimes even before the actual event has occurred. Unnamed sources, apparently close to topic are often quoted as saying....!
QPR Football Club
Celebrity status has finally arrived at Queens Park Rangers Football Club. The rich and famous are ploughing money into the club convinced the glory days are just around the corner. The world's media are scrambling to find any juicy stories associated with the club, why, because it sells papers and TV viewing figures sharply increase.
Spoilt for choice
In the beginning, three major internet networks domineered the Rangers web pages. As time evolved more and more entrepreneurs decided to join the bandwagon all hoping to take a large slice of what was an already small piece of cake, nevertheless, the initial three are still with us today. One is the official site, one unofficial site has imploded while the other lays dormant.
Fragmentation of a certain Rangers sites has seen an explosion of new networks, (not to mention disillusioned fans setting up cheap and nasty message board only forums).
The Rangers fan base is finite, although with saying that figures suggest web users are slowly and I mean very slowly growing by the week. Surely that must show the club is going in the right direction.
As in the 1990's there will be a few networks which will fight hard and win the 'battle of the websites' while most will disappear into cyberspace history. The million-dollar question must be asked, which ones will survive and which will die.
Once upon a time fans used to vote with their feet, now they vote with a click of a mouse. May the battle of the mouse commence!
The future is bright, the future is Vital Queens Park Rangers.
Date:Sunday March 16 2008
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