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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Football Filter: Only The Best Football Sources



Ben Faukes at FootballFilter in the UK has just relaunched his excellent site.
Whether you are in the football/soccer writing business, or just want to keep informed from a variety of sources, FootballFilter is your one-stop source. I have used this site for a long time, and can tell you how much time it saves me on a daily basis.

With his relaunch, Ben has added increased functionality to an already very valuable service for world football fans, pundits, punters, and writers.

I asked Ben to tell us a little more about FootballFilter.

Who and what are we?

Take a look for yourself - http://www.footballfilter.com

Footballfilter is a source aggregating website for football. Inspired by the likes of Popurls.com, NetVibes and iGoogle, we use RSS feeds from various different websites to centralise the best football sources into one place so you can quickly keep up to date with what is going on. We then try to categorise and organise this into simple and intuitive sections so that you can navigate around easily and make the most of the time you have on the internet.

Think of us as source editors, we try to select the best football sites, whether they be newspapers, tabloids, magazines, podcasts, pictures, videos etc and arrange them so you can get the best overview of what is going on. We have various different team pages, league pages and a blogs page for you to look through and are continuously adding more pages as we go along.

At the moment we have for leagues - Premiership, SPL, MLS, Bundesliga (in German) and
Swiss Super League (in German).

As for teams - we have the entire premiership and are working on the championship -
Nottingham Forest, Derby are done so far, as are Newcastle, Middlesbrough and West Brom
as they got relegated while we were working on the database :-)!

Filter the sources

Using the tabs provided you can jump directly to your interested category. Take the
homepage for example, at the top you can see we have arranged the categories into tabs, if
you click on that tab you will be taken to that row. The tabs are a way of filtering down the
news even further, helping you to focus on a certain interest you might have...

We also provide a time filter, so if you start using the site a lot, which we hope you do, you
can filter for the latest stories in the last 1, 2, 3 up to 24 hours.

Once you have set your time, stories that are not in that time frame get grayed out, giving
you an easy way to catch up on what you have missed since you last logged on.

Have a wander about

Or if you want you can simply scroll down the page and wander about.

Once you’ve seen a story you like the look of, scroll your mouse over it. A small drop down
box will then appear, showing you further info on the story – and depending on the source,
you might see the stories picture too.

Media - Podcasts

As mentioned before, not only do we feed news sources but also videos, pictures and
podcasts. Take the podcasts section for example, we have compiled a collection of the best
football related podcasts which can be played via the page or, if you want, can be opened in
an player in a new window:

If you opt to open the podcast in a new window you will be taken to our FootballFilter
channel - a page we are currently working on and improving. But the idea of the channel
page is to give you a nice interface and way of wandering through the different podcats,
photos and also, in the future, videos....this page is in development so watch this space:

Media - Pictures and Videos

Similarly with pictures and videos. We feed the best pictures from Flickr and the best
videos from Youtube, which you can browse and open via footballfilter. If you like what you
see we also link directly to the user/member who uploaded them in the first place. The idea
behind footballfilter is to promote the best football related sources out there. There are
thousands of people taking photos and making videos, we want to help them get more
exposure and also promote the best content on the internet.

Approved - Give us your opinion on the sources

Of course as "source editors" this is all personal opinion and maybe some people won't
agree with us. If that's the case we have various ways for you to get your opinion across.
You can use the "Approved" button beside each source to show if you like the source - (you
will need to sign up to approve sources). Not only that but you can also comment on the
source, check out the feed so you can add it to your own RSS reader, or just go to the
website too:

Our Approved section then gives you an overview of all the top approved sources that all
our signed up footballfilter users are liking. Here you can also export our feeds to use for
your own reader. But remember each team page and league page has their own approved
section - so for example if you check out the approved section for the homepage you can
export all the feeds for that page:

Sign Up

As mentioned it is also possible to sign up to footballfilter in order to approve sources. But
it also allows you to save stories to read later. The sign up process is very easy and is also
a relatively new type of process. We basically allow you to sign up using an existing
account you - don't worry we do not take your password details, just the login name you
use. At the moment you can sign up to footballfilter using one of these already existing
accounts:

Once you have selected an account (hopefully you use one of these accounts) you will be
taken there where you just simply sign in and you are then automatically taken back to
footballfilter. From there you just need to do one more thing - sign up to Instapaper to
allow you to save and read things later.

Instapaper - save and read articles later

You can also save articles that you like to read later by setting up an Instapaper account.
To set up the account is quite easy - you can either do it in your profile section once you
have signed up or you can also go to www.instapaper.com and set the account up there.
Once its been set up you simply click on the "Read Later" which is beside every link and it
will be saved to your instapaper account. You can then download your saved links to your
iphone to read later, if you are fancy and have one that is.

Popular

For each team page, the home page and all the different league pages footballfilter also
monitors what are the most popular links being clicked - by day, yesterday and by week.
It's a great way to catch up on what everyone else is reading, and also a nice little guide on
what you should read. Click on the "Popular" tab and you will shown the top clicked links,
scroll over one of the links and you will see how many times it has been clicked:

Live

Everyone is going Twitter crazy at the moment, and to be fair why not? Its a great source
of info and can really help you keep up to date. If you go to our "Live" tab we set up a
Twitter search page where you can search what's being said about key words in the world of
football. Depending on the trend and what's going on, there are default key words already
entered by us at FootballFilter which we change as time goes by, but if you want to search
for something else simply type in another word into one of the four search fields and watch
what the Twitter world has got to say about it:

The iPhone Version and Mobile Version

We also provide Footballfilter in a format suitable for the iphone, mobile and Blackberry. If
you have a mobile or Blackberry simply type www.footballfilter.com/m into your phone and
read away. The iphone should work by entering the standard URL. And the look a little
like this:

Simply select the category you want and you will then get the various different articles
listed by the provider. Take the Broadsheets section, you will see the five latest article from
the Guardian, Independent, Times and Telegraph. Like so:

Follow us and Contact Us!

At the bottom of every page you will see links to our profiles on sites such as Twitter, Flickr
and Facebook. And if you want to get in touch about submitting a source click on "Submit a
Source" or if you want to berate us or (more preferably) shower us with praise click on
"Support/Feedback". You can also email us at contact@footballfilter.com. We are just two
guys so please be patient if you don't hear from us. If you like footballfilter so much that
you want to do it for another hobby/genre/interest - get in touch! We would be happy to
help.

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