The 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver are well underway and it’s been a great games. In fact, the US Olympics Team has been amazing so far. From Shaun White’s double McTwist 1260 on this victory lap to Lindsey Vonn’s first ever USA Gold in the Women’s downhill on a bruised shin to the USA Men’s 5-3 win over Canada in hockey. These are just a few of the highlights as USA currently holds the top spot with 24 overall medals.
We love the Olympics for the sports, competition and spirit of the games. If you can’t get enough of it on TV, here are three widgets to keep you updated online.
We haven’t been around Ning for a while and our hockey network was a big flop. But, with the upcoming season we stopped by to see where we left off. It’s not pretty. There are a whopping 4 members for Center Ice. Then we noticed a new (to us) badges and widgets section. Clicking through, we were presented with 4 badges/widgets to grab and help promote your Nine network. So, with the upcoming season and the badges, we are going to put some more effort into our little Center Ice hockey network on Ning. Maybe this time around we can actually get some traction, armed with the new badges/widgets and a renewed drive.
1) Profile Badge – Tell others you are a member of a Ning network.
Each one of the badges/widgets allow for basic customizations. While these are pretty basic, it is a nice easy way for people to try and get visibility for their Ning networks and hope to grow their memberships and traffic.
So, if you’re into hockey, feel free to drop by and help build the community. There’s NHL highlights from YouTube, complete games from Google Video search, NHL News and Scores, forum and IRC chat.
For those of you who may have missed the 2007 NHL All-Star Game or if you just want to relive the moments. Here is the highlight clip from the NHL YouTube channel. This was a high scoring game with the Western Conference beating out the Eastern Conference, 12-9.
As for the full game, we are patiently watching the NHL on Google Video page to see if it will appear there. Unfortunately, we’re not exactly sure what’s going to happen to the NHL and Google deal. With news of the new Google and YouTube strategy, it is unclear if Google Video will move to more of a search engine status and drop video sharing or if they will continue the video sharing features to compliment those of YouTube. We can only wait and hope that they continue to provide full NHL games on Google Video.
The new NHL channel “NHL Tube” officially went live on YouTube last Thursday. This is great news for NHL fans everywhere. NHL Tube will provide clips for NHL Plays of the Week. The channel appears to be well received and currently has over 3000 subscribers. For additional coverage, check out Mashable.
If highlights aren’t enough for you, try NHL on Google Video. You can catch the full games there.
The NHL is launching a social network called NHL Connect. It is currently in closed beta but you can take a look at the site, though there’s not much to look at right now. Coincidentally, I received my LA Kings letter yesterday to purchase tickets for the 2006/2007 hockey season. The upcoming season seems to be promising new and interesting things. While it is hard to predict at this point, NHL Connect is targeting a niche market and we believe they will succeed. Sports fans are fanatical about their sport and team. Giving fans the ability to connect with like minded people is a good thing. It won’t compete with the likes of MySpace, but it doesn’t need to.
Now, if they consider putting in video chat rooms it would be great. We have always thought that video chat rooms are perfect for the sports market. Imagine watching the same game with your friends 3000 miles away and harassing each other over the score and your favorite teams. Or, if you’re into fantasy sports, conducting drafts via live real-time video and giving it that extra involvement and vested interest. Sports fans already connect with others online but giving them the opportunity to connect at that level would add to the experience, especially given the demographic and behaviors.
We will be waiting for the public release and definitely trying it out.
“The feature set is fairly standard: users can create profiles, add friends, upload photos, insert YouTube videos, add comments, join groups and subscribe to new content via RSS. There are also some hockey-specific features: the latest NHL news, lists of scheduled games and the ability to find users based on their favorite teams and players.” – Mashable (2006.07.12)