Website Updates, Streaming, Missing-The-Point; An Exercises In Frustration
When I look at the website for the Association of Tennis Players, I can be updated on what's going on in the world of tennis. I can get updates, news that really is news and get in-depth info or content on top players. Looking at the Professional Squash Association's site, I can get pretty well caught up with what is happening in that world. I do this from the outside, as a potential fan.
I wish we had it like this. I can think of 3 major events that are relevant from my view that happened this weekend. In each case, as a fan, I feel grossly underserved. I feel this as I actively had been seeking engaging info & tuning in. So, either I'm not an insider or racquetball just doesn't work for fans, and in turn, its long term interests.
Racquetball websites don't service potential fans. It informs them of what the respective groups are, working more like a business card and not like engagement platforms. Simply re-doing a site may provide something to post on social, but after that, where are you without the real-time follow up. Right back where you were before the effort was made to re-design.
This is a fundamental problem with racquetball. Short-sightedness. What Facebook and social has done, is it's made our group feel like we are engaging and progressing, when in fact, we are becoming more of an either you are in or you are out group. I won't go into numbers or who controls who sees what. Let's just say, if you're not paying, you're not playing. I'll go further to state, if you've paid and haven't used those resources to create who and what you are as a tour or a player, then you've squandered your resources.
Another fundamental cultural problem in racquetball is entitlement. Taking things for free, because if not, you can get them free from someone else and never really controlling or realizing what you can get. (This falls in line with the understanding of today's media development and not comprehensively knowing "the why" you want something.) Also, saying things before they actually happen or having all the pieces worked out securely to actually provide what you say you will provide, then assuming we will continue to follow you when you don't.
As someone who has been deeply and broadly engaged throughout the sport for that last 3 years, I offer some small, very, very basic and practical advice to some groups with websites:
When you redesign your websites, don't assume everyone wants their realtime info on Facebook or can even get them consistently in their feeds. Your 'hub" should be the first place you post content. Then share it on social. (But wait, is posting true content? I don't think our group knows the difference.)
Streaming: I know what that you want to provide this. Do it right and let us figure out if it works for us. We will know and we will share it. What your product looks like, your product is. (I understand not everyone will have this experience with some events, but don't assume the numbers of people who are experiencing an event positively are larger than those who don't... or worse, that those who don't, will care.)
It's a big world. Racquetball continues to play it small.