Where do we go from here?

This week Paul Balm looks at moving forward in an ever changing on-line world.

I’m slightly worried because I seem to be running the risk of becoming The Cat’s Whiskers IT expert and I’m not entirely sure why. This the fourth (I think) article I’ve written over the last few weeks and the third that is directly linked to technology. It’s not my fault but it could have been worse. This article was originally going to have been written last week but then Panthers brought me manna from heaven in the form of the whole season ticket fiasco. I was going to write about Sheffield’s constant stream of details about who they have failed to sign and the form these “negotiations” could have taken (Finnerty: “Alex, do you want to come and play for us?”, Ovechkin: “No thanks”, Sheffield Star: “Alexander Ovechkin turns down Steelers”) but they went and actually signed someone, so I’m back to the old standby – technology.

I have to warn you from the outset that this is a bit of a (constructive) discussion piece. I don’t have any answers and only a few more ideas, this is about looking forward and trying to work out what people will want in the future both from clubs and from sites like this. I’ve got my thoughts on this subject, it would be a pretty dull read if I didn’t and I’ll set them out as we go along, but I want you all to feed into the discussion. We might not be able to shape how our club do things (but I’m sure someone involved must read this site) but it might help shape The Cat’s Whiskers future (we don’t offer prizes though). So, what you’ve basically got over the next few hundred words is me moaning about how Panthers do things, offering a few suggestions and taking it from there.

“Here he goes again” I can hear some of you saying, but there are things that need to be said. Panthers are in desperate need of a new website. It’s been the same now for almost six years (don’t believe me? Go to the excellent http://archive.org/ and check it out). That’s six years and it wasn’t any great shakes back then. In a field that is constantly changing to have the same website for six years simply beggars belief. Again, they’ll point to the fact that they probably don’t need to spend money on an update because they’re doing well financially and people are still coming through the turnstiles, but when you look at sites like Cardiff’s or Sheffield’s we look like amateurs.

The actual website isn’t the biggest problem with our web presence though. That lies in the top right hand corner of the site. We must be the only organisation to have made the retrograde step from TV to radio. Why? In this day and age with technology reducing in price and editing software available for any household computer why was this step made? I also don’t understand why there are never any game clips on the website. The club, I believe, has said that the reason is because they don’t want to affect DVD sales (if they didn’t let’s just use it as a reason, my argument is still the same). That’s rubbish. Plenty of other teams have edited highlights of games on their sites, why can’t we? Surely a few judiciously edited clips could serve as an advert for the DVD. Look at the way the BBC advertises Match of the Day. Have you ever noticed they rarely show goals in the trailer footage? It’s just a mix of a few crunching tackles and near misses with the odd bit of controversy thrown in to draw people into watching it. That’s what Panthers should be doing. It might not sell any more DVDs (but it might do) but it’ll be a service that the fans would want and that should be important to them as well.

We live in a media filled age and the written word is slowly being squeezed out by more immediate formats such as video and audio. Let’s face it, what you’re reading now is pretty archaic in terms of today’s internet. Don’t get me wrong I firmly believe that there is, and always will be, a place for the written word. There are some ideas and arguments that can only be truly put across properly by putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard in this case) but anyone who wants to keep up has to look at what’s out there. What this could mean to The Cat’s Whiskers? I’m not sure (and Jono would have to decide anyway) but we have to look at the options. Would you want a TCW Podcast? Is there a market for a TCW TV show? Would you want these things and if so how often? The website will always be there but we want to investigate what could run alongside it as we want TCW to continue to move forward but there’s no point moving in a direction that no-one wants. So, please get in touch through the comments sections below, through Twitter on @TCWfanzine ( @paulba is worth a follow as well, he’s totally hilarious, seriously), The TCW Facebook site, The Cage Forum or any other way, we want to know what you want. One thing though –don’t go asking for TCW Live to come back, that ship has sailed unfortunately. Even if we wanted to bring it back it would now cost Jono in excess of $150 a month due to Cover It Live bringing in charges for the use of the software.

Over to you.


1 Response to “Where do we go from here?”

  1. 1 Grant Howard July 27, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    pod cast would be great and maybe a caps tv type of thing

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