100 Football Blogs To Follow In 2011

100 football blogs to follow in 2011

2010 ended with a very pleasant boost for the Scottish Football Blog when it appeared in The Guardian Sports Blog’s list of 100 football blogs to follow in 2011.

I wrote back in July about how much a Guardian link can boost blog traffic. The impact this time has been less sudden but more sustained. And its nice to be able to add an “as featured” pic to the site.

I was one of the few Scottish blogs to get a mention although I’ll modestly concede that this reflects more on the lowly standing of the Scottish game than a dearth of quality among my fellow Scottish bloggers.

That The Guardian listed 100 blogs also illustrates the scope of football blogging. It’s certainly not a niche subject for a blog and the community is growing all the time. That has advantages and drawbacks for bloggers keen to make an impact.

With so many blogs you might expect football clubs themselves to be taking notice of this expanding field. They don’t seem to be. Hopefully that’s a theme I’ll be able to explore more in 2011.

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Where Did I Go?

A bit of a break in updates of late. Time for a quick post to give the latest news.

I have left my role as Online Content Manager for Golfalot.com after more than two years. I was involved in an exciting time for the site which included a redesign and some impressive growth in audience. An enjoyable job and, I like to think, a job well done.

So where am I now? I’m in the public sector working as a copy writer on a website relaunch. My recent lack of activity on here is down to adjusting to the new role – and most especially the daily commute to Glasgow. But it’s going really well so far and it’s an exciting project that will hopefully deliver some real benefit to the organisation.

Anyway, now you know!

More here soon. I promise.

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In Bed With Maradona

I’m In Bed With Maradona.

You’d need a big bed.

Actually In Bed With Maradona is a new football site taking a look at the game around the world and it’s already – deservedly – proving to be a big success.

I’m lucky enough to be involved writing a fortnightly blog about Scottish football. My first appeared last night. And I’ve already been dismissed as a condescending, English prat. So I must be doing something right.

Click here to read my first post.

Thanks to Jeff at IBWM.

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August Round-Up

A fairly quiet old month in August on this blog. But stay tuned for some exciting developments.

Another rather football centric update this one.

I finally got round to submitting The Scottish Football Blog to NewsNow and, despite some horror stories I’ve heard, it was accepted quickly and without any hassle.

It immediately made an impact and this month’s most read Scottish Football Blog post, Remembering Leeds United, drew a massive chunk of it’s readers from NewsNow.

So I’m confident that the audience is going to grow even more rapidly in the next few months.

I also continued with my monthly round-ups at Albion Road and I’m going to be appearing on another couple of sites in the not too distant future. More on that as and when it happens.

A bit of non-football stuff: August is Edinburgh Festival and Fringe month which has both eaten into blogging time and given me an excuse to post more on CorriganReid.

I’m still not using that sight as much as I could but I’ve got a few more reviews to finish off and I’ll keep plugging away.

Professionally I’ve been doing a few assignments for an internet marketing company. Never my favourite gigs these as the money is usually very poor and the briefs tend to be short to the point of evasiveness.

Still it’s good experience. Writing readable blogs about limousine hire one night and pension provision the next is a test. I enjoy that but I always question the sense of working in this way.

It’s fine just now as a bit of pocket money but I imagine it’s a soul destroying way to earn a full time living. I’ve got say though that this particular organisation pays very promptly which is a massive plus.

I always prefer to deal direct with the client. The better to get a feel for their needs and provide the service they deserve. But, sometimes, needs must!

Cheers
Tom

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Blog Of The Week

Blog Of The WeekAlways nice to get a bit of free promotion for your blog. So delighted to see The Scottish Football Blog feature as blog of the week in The Daily Record.

The mention – and nice words – were in The Brief, The Record’s weekly men’s magazine insert.

Thanks guys.

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Yahoo! Style

Is the internet about to break free from the AP Stylebook?

That seems to be Yahoo’s plan with the launch of The Yahoo! Style Guide covering the “the basics of grammar and punctuation plus a multitude of topics with a Web-specific focus.

“Yahoo! editors discuss effective writing and editing for an online audience, techniques for streamlining copy, basic Web codes, Internet law, search engine optimization, and more. Before-and-after examples of how to clean up problem copy abound.”

An interesting development and one that AP seem to be taking note of with a call for new media and social media suggestions for a new section in the Stylebook.

Such things, I feel, are best taken as a point of reference rather an exact guide. But there’s a lot of content on the internet, much of it written by people blessed with talents that maybe don’t include creating readable copy.

The fact that we need – or somebody at least thinks we need – an online style guide is another interesting indication of how the way we consume news and information is changing and how that require a change in the way that content is conveyed.

And if you want some slightly less serious pointers there is always the FakeAPStylebook on Twitter.

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Blogging: Facebook

I set up a Facebook page for the Scottish Football Blog a few months ago.

And…I didn’t do anything with it.

Then I noticed a bit of coding that allows you to add a Facebook “like” button at the bottom of every post on Blogger.

After adding that I noticed in Analytics that I was suddenly getting extra traffic from Facebook. Clearly some of those 500 million unique users offer something in the way of audience reach.

Time then to dust down the Facebook page. I’ve got it up and running and I’ve done a bit of promoting on the blog but, so far, the impact has hardly been exceptional.

Why? I’ve got a couple of thoughts on this.

Firstly I need to use my existing Facebook network to promote the page. Recommend to my friends, ask them to recommend to their friends and on and on and on. That’s the theory at least.

Secondly what is the page for? I rant, rave and generally turn blue in the face when people offer nothing on social networks except links back to their site.

I try to avoid this on Twitter where my followers know that I’ll offer links to new posts but also engage in conversation and generally take part in the whole community. I’m confident that the Scottish Football Blog uses Twitter well to promote content. And, in fact, to promote me as an “expert” on the subject.

So the trick for the Facebook page is to offer something similar but unique. No point in duplicating content on Twitter and Facebook.

Two problems immediately present themselves. What content? And how much time will it take?

The first problem should be negotiated quite simply – football is a global game after all – the second problem is common to anyone who blogs in their spare time and is probably less easy to solve.

But the key to thing remember is those 500 million users. A whopping great audience ready to be tapped. So perseverance and time management is called for. The results should be worth it.

I’ll keep you posted. And feel free to join the Scottish Football Blog on Facebook!

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Blogging: Migrating

A few changes on my original blog.

After spending a few months weighing up the idea of importing The Scottish Football Blog from Blogger to WordPress I’ve now made a completely different decision.

So corriganreid has been imported from WordPress to Posterous.

Why?

Partly because I read in The Guardian that Posterous was simplifying this process as part of a “blogging land grab.” And partly because corriganreid was stagnating on WordPress.

Posterous* seems to offer a more immediate blogging experience and certainly a more mobile one. Hopefully that should encourage me to use it more often, even with the time constraints of work and life.

And, of course, professionally it is important for me to get as much experience of as many different platforms as possible and Posterous is something that I’ve been aware of for some time but not really investigated.

corriganreid remains on WordPress – although with essentially just a landing page** – so I’ve not completely cut my losses but I’m certainly looking forward to playing about with the options Posterous offers.

I’ll keep you updated.

* One thing I noticed immediately was the ease with which you can get a Posterous blog set up on Google Analytics. A big plus that, especially for anyone wanting to convince a company or employer of the impact and immediacy blogging can offer.

** If you do click the link to corriganreid on WordPress then apologies for the theme. I know it’s difficuilt to read and not a design that you’d want if you were out to engage readers. But it’s been chosen for the dramatic impact not the practical benefits. It’s the end of an era, you know.

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Golf: Tom Watson – A Golfer For The Ages

The Open kicks off (tees off?) at St Andrews on Thursday morning.

Expect much attention to be paid to Tiger Woods as he searches for the redemption that he obviously feels only success in golf’s majors can bring.

Tom Watson will also be back in the spotlight as he attempts to recreate the heroics of last year’s second place finish at Turnberry.

It’s not often that a golf story can capture the public imagination like Watson’s age defying assault on the leaderboard did last year. So close, so very close.

Here’s a little piece that I wrote about Watson’s efforts in 2009 and some nice comments that I received as feedback. (I was writing as Fergus Jack)

More like this on: www.golfswingsecretsrevealed.com

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Scottish Football Blog: The World Cup

Well, that’s it all over then.

The 2010 World Cup was a curious affair. Much to be admired, much to despair about.

I’ve been tracking events on The Scottish Football Blog, despite Scotland’s painful failure to qualify (again).

All the 2010 World Cup related posts can be found here.

The most read was The Scottish Football Blog: Scotland in 1958: Familiar Feelings, Familiar Failings thanks to a link in The Guardian’s Live Blog of the Paraguay v Japan game.

If nothing else this proved that bloggers can still be reliant on the mainstream media, even as they offer an alternative to it.

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