Posted on: September 9, 2009 1:50 pm

League Chat is Up!

I realize it's been a while since I last posted, but Phase One of our League Chat is up and running on the site and wanted to let you know about it and what you can expect out of it in the future. 

Basically, we've taken the chat from the Draft Room and Scoreboard and made it available on every page in your league.  It pops-out so it can stay open with you as you move about the site.  it will show you which of your league members are also online and allow you all to chat in a chat room or you can privately chat with individual members.

In your league navigation menu (the same place where you access 'My Team', 'Live Scoring', etc) look to the right and you'll see 'League Chat'.  Simply click on it to pop it out and start chatting with your league mates. 

I mentioned that this is Phase One because this is only the beginning of what will be several enhancements over the next few weeks.  Soon, there will be a number next to the chat to let you know how many of your league mates are online.  And shortly after that, we'll be launching a notification system to let you know when other league members are chatting.

I'll let you know as soon as each version is released.  Enjoy!

Category: Fantasy
Tags: Chat, League Chat
Posted on: May 26, 2009 11:24 am

The Social Aspect of Fantasy Sports

I'd argue that Fantasy Sports, in it's most basic form, needs to include these 6 features:
  • Draft
  • Set Lineup
  • Transactions (Add/Drop, Trade)
  • Live Scoring
  • Stats
  • Content (Draft Prep, Player News, Analysis)
If you want to play fantasy, you can get that done as long as 1)your draft runs well, 2) you have no problems seting a lineup on a regular basis, 3) you can conduct all of your transactions without issue, 4) you can check live scoring and it is accurate, 5) you can check and sort stats anyway you need to in order to analyze your team/players, and 6) some player news to help you make those decisions never hurts. 
I'd even argue that content is not fundamental to the game. Sometimes it can just be added noise when trying to do your own analysis. Often times I've swayed my decision according to the experts only to kick myself for not following what I knew to be true in my own head.  But, we'll leave it in because at the very least, it is good to know if a player is injured and will not be playing for a while. 

We've spent a lot of time working on these 6 features of the site.

But Fantasy has evolved into something much more social than just player analysis and decision making. If you've been with us for a while, you've undoubtedly noticed that we've been trying to enhance some of the more social aspects of the website.  We had always included a League Wide Email Address, a Message Board, the ability to post a league story, and a chat room within the draft.  But in recent times we've added Sticky Notes which allow you to leave a note for someone on a specific page in the league, we've enhanced the league history which provides fodder for more social behavior around Fantasy,  we've added the ability to post video content to your league news stories, and we've improved the chat rooms and added them to the live scoreboards of your league. 

To be honest, we've had varying levels of success with each of these items. Some are too new to tell, and others may have been implemented poorly (in my mind) and I get the feeling people don't even know where to find them.  But we can't deny the data that tells us that the chat room has been very well received.  Sometimes though, our users are so thirsty for a feature, that once we get it out there, they will consume it no matter how it is implemented.  Basically, they will use it despite its shortcomings and we'll never know that it is not doing the job it could be doing. 

So what I am asking here is 1) Is your league using the chat room? 2) Are you getting all you that could be out of that experience?  3) How would you like to see chat evolve within your league?  4) Are the social features within your league adequate?  5) Would you like to see the social features of fantasy evolve outside the contexts of your leagues? 

And really, I'd be happy to hear any other input you might have about how you feel that Fantasy has and will continue to evolve socially.

Category: Fantasy
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com