Thursday, January 12, 2012

FanFeedr...Transforming the way we get Information

I’ve lived in Racine, WI; Madison, WI; Chicago, IL; Danville, VA; Los Angeles, CA; San Francisco, CA; and San Jose, CA. I have not always lived in the same city or state as my favorite team. And, at times it has been difficult keeping up with what is going on.

It has gotten easier through the years with the Internet; however I am always looking at multiple sources to read everything. I know I am missing something.
Well, there is now a solution to my issue (besides moving!)—FanFeedr. This site aggregates all the best stories on your favorite team in one place (as well as creating some original content). My life just got so much easier. What am I going to do with all that extra time I have?

Ty Ahmad-Taylor, Founder & CEO of FanFeedr, recognized the challenge that most fans, including myself, face. He did the research and found that we typically search four to six websites and that 57% of us don’t live in the same location as our favorite team or player. And, he found that a fan’s interest is with the player, team, or league—not where they get their information.
So, Ty seized the opportunity to create a website where the sports fan could control the content based on his/her own personal interest (player, team).

I sat down with Ty, who is also a social media guru, to learn more.
PJ: Your business model changed a bit. Where are you now?

Ty: We are a lean start-up doing a ton of customer development. We learned how our customers were using the site and what they wanted to see. After the research this fall, we did a pivot. Our audience wanted news and information around their favorite team, not teams. We learned that people follow an individual team. So, we went from a multiple team concept to focusing around a single team.

On the metrics side of things, we have seen deeper engagement and more time spent on the site as a result of these changes.
Ultimately, we are hoping to be the first place a person goes to for news and information on their team. We hope to grow virally by leaps and bounds.

PJ: What’s next for FanFeedr?
Ty: We are continuing to streamline this. And, we will be migrating to other verticals—music and finance. So, in music this will look like…a Radiohead fan getting all the news in one place, which is strategic and advantageous. We have a passion for trying to provide the best solutions for a user’s interest graph.

PJ: What do you see as the next thing in social media?
Ty: I see an increase in brands committed to instill value through social media, not just marketing.

Companies are being more open and transparent about what is going on. Recently, the Lowe’s controversy ended up playing out on Facebook [Lowe’s pulled their ads from TLC’s All-American Muslim last month after receiving complaints from a conservative group. They were facing calls of religious intolerance and bigotry. So, they turned to Facebook to issue an apology, which, in turn, caused more turmoil.].

On the marketing side of the social media space, there is a reduction in price on platforms [that help build a fan base, communicate and engage with that fan base, and monetize.]. For example, FanBridge is offered at a lower cost. Marketers are getting savvier without using third parties.

 To help make your life easier, check out the site