The MLS Live Blackout Black Eye

Blackouts, don’t you hate them? Look at the above image of the MLS Live playoff schedule. Blackouts pepper the screen. I’ve been trying to figure out the MLS algorithm for them. As a longtime NFL fan, most local games were (and are) blacked out on TV if the stadium failed to sell out for home games. For MLS, the formula seems to be: if a local cable network shows the game, then it gets blacked out on DirecTV and MLS Live. If NBC Sports Network shows the game, then an entire country gets the shaft. If ESPN shows a game, then there’s no MLS Live option.

Why? Well, in short, because MLS wants to get on the Cable TV gravy train while it can. However, there are a few problems. Continue reading “The MLS Live Blackout Black Eye” »

An SEO Guide to the Clasico: Surprising Key Words

As the only soccer website to have been taken over twice by SEO-geared businesses, we at Futfanatico know a thing or two about “key words” and “black hat” antics. Hardly a days goes by without some spam email asking about “content partnerships” filling our inbox. Still, cynicism cast aside, “search” can be useful. At the very least, the mass of information entering and leaving Google algorithms offer a glimpse into just what people are thinking and/or doing when they believe they’re alone, just a keyboard before them and no peering eyes.

As a website with plenty of clasico content (and Google Analytics), we’re happy to share just what folks really think/care/do/relate to the so-called “clasico.” At least online. Continue reading “An SEO Guide to the Clasico: Surprising Key Words” »

Bloglines Is Your New RSS Feed Reader

As mentioned a few weeks ago, Google Reader is dead and dying. The interwebs filled with articles about replacements. I lamented the death of a few good blogs and hastily concluded that I didn’t need an RSS reader. However, upon further retrospection, enough great sites still around do make an RSS migration potentially worthwhile. At least if I could find the right reader, that is.

I have. It’s Bloglines. And here’s why. Continue reading “Bloglines Is Your New RSS Feed Reader” »

The Great Google Reader Non-Migration

In case you missed it, a black hole has opened just a few light years from the Earth and will swallow us whole in a matter of milliseconds. Or Google is closing Spartan RSS feed-eating machine “Google Reader” in June. Based on some recent articles, you’d expect those two events to be the one-in-the-same.

Folks ask: why are they killing off such a popular product? In summation, shareholders>consumers. Google has been pulling “unprofitable” products, pinching publishers on ad revenue (I don’t run them anymore), charging more for ads (Bah, eBook key words are astronomical!), and at first tried to milk Google Reader’s loyal group to move into a veritable ghost town: Google Plus. We refused. We still refuse. Now, many are migrating to other RSS readers.

I relied on Google Reader for years. However, when looking at my list of blogs in pre-preparation for a move and glancing at “unread” articles, I noticed something sad. Most of my favorite blogs have closed shop either indefinitely or infinito. Thus, why even bother moving RSS feeds that¬† Here, I pay them homage. Continue reading “The Great Google Reader Non-Migration” »

eBook Preview #1: an Open Source Guide to Indie ePublishing

Most of you come here for the flippant jokes about the EPL or La Liga. I know. However, I am hard at work on an eBook about Real Madrid and Barcelona. You helped Kickstart it. The manuscript’s text is almost perfect, the artwork is stunning, and thus I have turned my attention to production. It dawned on me that many people may wonder: how does a book appear on my Kindle?

Here’s how. Continue reading “eBook Preview #1: an Open Source Guide to Indie ePublishing” »

Post In Which I Parody the Scourge of the Soccer Interwebs: NetResult

What happens when you have no legal basis to sue a company who you wrongly perceive as a threat? Well, some companies try to pull favors with the US government and get a domain seized, ala RojaDirecta. Others, though, like the Premier League, hire a lawchurn (law firm which churns out threatening letters) and try to rub elbows with corporate buddies. I speak of NetResult.

For the last half decade, NetResult has been all over the interwebs, sending threatening letters to Soccerlens, TheOffside, and others. They’ve forced websites to remove logos, fixtures, and other so called “intellectual property” of the Premier League, Manchester United, Arsenal, et al. However, without getting into too much legalese, a large gap exists between US and UK law. In the US, we enjoy “fair use,” which basically means that you can re-use and alter an existing work of art to create a new piece of art. US law also acknowledges an economic reality: the use of a logo often has little financial repercussions to the copyright holder.

Not all have tucked in their tails. 101 Great Goals, like Roja Directa, has published and ignore the cease and desist letters for several years. No lawsuit has materialized (I wonder why……perhaps because it has no merit?). Thus, NetResult got down & dirty: they tried to take down 101 Great Goals from the iOS App Store. Apple laughed them off, but this means war. As someone who recently purchased a refurbished iPad, I will not let the delicate crystal prison, err, Mac ecosystem go to hell in a hand basket.

I propose we fight back. We must hit NetResult where it hurts the most. Continue reading “Post In Which I Parody the Scourge of the Soccer Interwebs: NetResult” »

One World Futbol, One Word: Profit

MBA Baracus has been on a hot streak. Shortly after encouraging you to buy shares of Spanish-club Real Oviedo, the world’s richest man, Carlos “Gordito” Slim, invested heavily in the team. Thus, all earlier shareholders went from fearing bankruptcy to sitting pretty. Inevitably, folks want to know – what is the next scrapyard investment recommended by the ruckus-causing Baracus? Here goes.¬†

Have you heard about the indestructible soccer ball? If not, watch the above video. Or, click here. Now, the background and the forecast. Continue reading “One World Futbol, One Word: Profit” »

When Did R/Soccer Turn into BigSoccer?

It should come as no surprise that I am not the biggest fan of online forums. Why? They often revert to a like-minded wolf-pack that attacks novel ideas and different perspectives. They are often poorly moderated in the sense that 1) Mods fail to remove personal attacks and 2) Mods censor based on personal likes with disregard to the freedom of ideas. I want to stress – I really don’t personally blame any of the folks at BigSoccer for some of the more vile comments and pissy threads there. Online anonymity is a double edged sword – it shields us from accountability so we can express ourselves, but this adds fuel to the flame of often too fiery sports debates. Obviously, I like certain teams, players, and leagues, but, come on, isn’t realizing sport is a game part of the fun of the game? . Apparently not.

Thus, it is with great honor that I reveal I have been banned from R/Soccer. Continue reading “When Did R/Soccer Turn into BigSoccer?” »