FootyTweets Aquired By Facebook

April 1st, 2011

FootyBook

As the title suggests. We have a major announcement for you!

I met with Mark Zuckerberg (CEO and founder of Facebook) back in January for preliminary discussions about integrating our football (soccer to them) service into every users’ news feed where they have specified their favourite team(s). The talks then moved up a notch and we discussed an aquisition and we have now both agreed on a figure of £56 Million in stock and cash.

Facebook were aware that FootyTweets version 2 is in development (follow @FootyTweets and @OllieParsley for more info). But now we can take what we have done so far in the redevelopment and put it into the incredible Facebook infrastructure, meaning we can post many more news items in near-real-time. Perfect for filling up your Facebook and Twitter streams with your favourite teams news, scores and transfer information.

The service will, for the time being, run as a separate entity before being converted to an official Facebook app and changing its name from FootyTweets to FootyBook.

It was only today that we sealed the deal using their latest technology fbLife which has the tag line “Sign over your whole life to us”, an awesome service that well and truly takes over your life by becoming your identity. They will do everything for you including receiving your salary every month from your bank and turning them into Facebook Credits to be used on FarmVille!

I cannot wait to get Ollie and his team on board with us in San Francisco. It’s a massive deal for us to get such a great service and developers to help us move forward into the sports arena, pardon the pun. I’m sure they cannot wait to get started too. See you when your over in the US Ollie!

Mark Zuckerberg – April 1st 2011

Thanks to everyone who has supported us over the years and may there be many more to come under the guidance of Zucks himself, Mark Zuckerberg.

Thank you

Ollie Parsley
FootyTweets Founder

Move to OAuth

August 10th, 2010

The whole sport network has now fully moved over to using the more secure OAuth authentication protocol for sending tweets to all our accounts.

What is OAuth?
To put it simply OAuth is a method of allowing users access to an “account” without the need to the application requesting access to need to users username/password. Instead it is done with various tokens. This means the process is more secure and allows the user to revoke access to individual applications if there is an issue, rather than having to reset their password and enter it back into all their applications/clients.

What difference will I see?
From your perspective there will only be one noticable difference. All tweets sent from the network will have a “via FootyTweets” or “via MotorTweets” etc. FootyTweets has always been like this, but the other 3 sites in the network (MotorTweets, CricketTweets and RugbyTweets) didn’t have their name in the tweet meta-data.

That is all! Just a quick post to keep you up-to-date :)

Thanks

Ollie
@OllieParsley

FootyTweets, New Media and Reading FC

August 8th, 2010

These last few weeks for me have been pretty awesome. It was topped off yesterday afternoon (Saturday 7th August) when I found myself in the “Media Suite” of the Madejski Statdum, the home of Reading Football Club, watching the opening game of the season with lots of journalists and radio commentators. I even found myself in the press conference afterwards where the two managers were questioned by the likes of talkSPORT radio and BBC Radio Berkshire.

How did it come about
Well as you may know I set up FootyTweets few years ago, a football news/updates service on Twitter. It started out because I wanted to get Reading FC news and score alerts on Twitter. So I started out doing it manually. After a few days I decided to set up a script to do it for me, but what about all the other teams? Well thats where FootyTweets came from.

I’ve had a fair bit of contraversy with FootyTweets and its or reltations: MotorTweets, CricketTweets and RugbyTweets. All of these came about due to the way “old media” see anyone using their copyright without their permission. Different companies/organisations treat their copyright and trademark in one of two ways:

  • Old media: Send the person in breech of copyright a Cease & Desist letter (like I received)
  • New media: Embrace the person that is giving them extra publicity and promoting the copyright holder

Anyway, as you can see from the Cease & Desist letter I received, all the clubs and governing bodies have a very obvious old media stance.

What happened with Reading FC then?
Well, Reading FC were the first team to make contact with me and ask to speak on the phone. I immediately knew the issue was Twitter related and was most likely just ringing to ask for the Twitter account I was using for Reading (@ReadingFC). Which I would be fine about since I’d rather not go to court because I wouldn’t change an account name. Twitter themselves have their rules about using other peoples trademarks and I wouldn’t stand a chance!

But… I was really surprised to speak to the Craig, the Head of Communications and Reading FC and he did just want the Twitter account name, which we had swapped over within 10 minutes of the phone call ending (my account changed to @Unofficial_RFC). But what I didn’t expect was him to thank me for running the account for so long. Not only that but he offered me the chance to go into the press area for any matches I like!

Let’s backtrack a second
A football club thanked me for using their trademark because it was benefiting the club. Craig specifically mentioned the term “new media” too. I wish more clubs like DC United and New York Red Bulls (Both in the MLS) would have done the same rather than sending me harsh e-mails or going to Twitter directly to take over an account.

Conclusion
You might well support someone else, but you have to admire what Reading FC have done. If it is possible, then I am a bigger fan that I was this time last week.

Issue with BBC content

May 19th, 2009

I seem to be writing more and more blog posts about large content providers not being happy with free publicity on FootyTweets, RugbyTweets, CricketTweets and MotorTweets. So whats happend this time? Well the BBC have written a letter to me and said that I am infringing their copyright by framing their content. I immediately went to Twitter (@ollieparsley) and let everyone know what had happened and the immediate responses were that framing content is not copying it.

This then set me off and I have written a letter back (at their request) after removing the frame and promising not to infringe their copyright. Below I have included some text from my reply letter. It brings up a number of factors:

I will now go into my reasoning for using framed content on my site.

BBC content
The BBC content in the frame IS the BBC sports pages, not scraped, not crawled, not copied, simply had a navigation frame placed above it.

Digg.com
The site that has 10s of millions of visitors every month that have, for the last few months, started using the “Digg bar” that puts content, quite a lot of which is BBC’s, into a Digg frame.

You will notice that I have brought up a number of issues with the way they want control of the way their content is delivered round the web.

Thanks

Ollie

twitter.com/ollieparsley

MotorTweets Formula 1 Cease and Desist

April 14th, 2009

I know some of you don’t want to hear about other services in my Twitter sport network but this is quite important news.

Anyway, the big companies are at it again. For the second time in 2 weeks I have received a Cease and Desist notice. This time it is all to do with the use of the Formula 1 “F1″ logo on MotorTweets.

The notice essentially came from the FOA, Formula One Administration Limited. Because I had used their logo without asking their permission for a non-profit website to use it.

After starting the MotorTweets service just over a week ago I already have over 1000 people following the various Twitter accounts and it is increasing all the time. It is incredibly frustrating that these big companies can’t see that I make no money from this service and do it for the love of the sport. But they still want me to pay ££££’s to promote them? It will be them that is losing out.

OK, so not using their logo isn’t that big a deal as I simply removed it. But one other thing they added to their list was that the lap/race times is their copyright. This is the line that was in the e-mail:

Formula One Administration Limited (“FOA”) has the exclusive right to commercially exploit the FIA Formula One World Championship (“the Championship”) including, but not limited to, all moving images, other audio/video content, timing data and results.

They didn’t acuse me of using it as they are obviously not computer literate enough to click 2 buttons to see some race updates. But I have now removed the lap/race times from all further tweets, unless they come from an official news source.

They haven’t even said where to get official race updates. So they clearly just don’t want Twitter or any useful service that isn’t paying ££££’s to get race updates!

I wonder which company will be next to ruin their online credibility??

Please comment with your thoughts.

Ollie

http://twitter.com/ollieparsley


Get your F1 fix with the launch of MotorTweets!
#motortweets

April 5th, 2009

MotorTweets logo

With all the news surrounding FootyTweets I thought I’d change my focus this weekend to finishing off MotorTweets (even changed the title image above!). 

This site is the same format as the other sites (FootyTweets, Cricket Tweets and RugbyTweets) except it is all about motor racing! 

I have launched the site with this seasons Formula 1 in mind. So I have set up two leagues so far. F1 drivers championship and the F1 constructors championship. This means you can follow a combination of drivers and teams/constructors. 

Soon there will be more motorsports added. Feel free to suggest other motorsports you’d like to see in the feedback forum.

Please check it out and let me know what you think. You can leave comments, go to the feedback forum or follow me on Twitter @ollieparsley.

Thanks

Ollie

The FootyTweets “Cease and Desist” Story

April 3rd, 2009

FootyTweets logo

Before I start here is a link to a Wikipedia article explaining what a Cease and Desist letter is.

If you follow me on Twitter (@ollieparsley) then you will have found out last night (2nd April) that I received a Cease and Desist notice from a company that looks after the Premier League and Football Leagues copyright online. Of course I checked that the company was legitimate and I am unhappy to say that they are legitimate.

This essentially comes from the Football DataCo (that is owned by the Premier League and Football League) via a company that looks after their online copyright. You can read an enlightening wikipedia article about previous contraversies. This one too from a few years ago regarding a Watfor Fanzine site.

What did it say?

The email I first received said FootyTweets was “using the UK Club Crests and League logos without permission from the Clubs or the UK Leagues“. The e-mails that then went back and forth went on to add the fact that I need a licence to display fixtures (I looked on their site and it would be £52,000!). Further to this I was told I need another licence to display match updates. I currently get this from an outside source and then send them to Twitter.

It was also mentioned that a number of clubs (I asked 3 times in separate emails who they were and the question was avoided all 3 times) and they wanted their content removed. So if they won’t tell me who the clubs are I can’t remove their content!

What do I have to change?

  • Remove all UK club logos
  • Remove all UK league logos
  • Stop match updates untill I buy a licence that will allow me to do 9 updates per match (ridiculous). But I can post all the match updates after the game is over. Don’t think thats very useful though.
  • Remove the content of some football clubs, but they won’t say which!

What have I done so far?

  • Removed the Premier League and Football League logos
  • Removed the Football Leagues from the site untill I create some copyright free logos (Championship, League One and League Two)
  • Replaced the Premier League logos with shirts that might look vaguely similar to some shirts worn in a top UK league (don’t want to get into trouble again!)
  • Disabled match updates. BUT! I have an idea for crowd sourcing match updates for you (and me), the true fans.

What I haven’t done

  • I am allowed to carry on with the news articles as normal

Why was I frustrated?

If you were reading my tweets last night you would have felt my frustration. I was so angry and frustrated I took the dog for a walk at 11:30pm. But why was I like this? Rather than bore you with paragraphs I will just list them.

  • I make no money
  • The ads on the site cover a tiny bit of other costs like hosting etc
  • I am sending the clubs a lot of traffic. In some cases thousands a month
  • I have a created a new way for them to engage their fans in a social network that they will probably not venture in to for years
  • I still have 70 club logos to make.
  • I have e-mail each club individually and ask permission to use their logo/crest.
  • I am not insulting them at all, quite the opposite. I am increasing their reach.
  • They won’t tell me the clubs that have complained. I want to know so I can talk to them about how there is not a downside to this for them.
  • They have taken an “old media” stance on this. By which I mean sending these notes rather than embracing the face that they are getting publicity. Which I consider to be backwards and not helping promote themselves as a forward thinking company and are simply “reactive” instead of “proactive”.

Thanks to the fans

I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone for the kind messages they have send. I have not had one single bad reply. Thanks so much I really really appreciate it.

I believe we can overcome this and together make an awesome FootyTweets service

I really believe that we can come together and make our own match updates and news feeds using the power of Twitter, ReTweeting, Hashtags and URL’s. I have some ideas that I will run past in a survey. Hopefully we can get match updates back up and better than before.

Please comment away below and I will try to respond promtly.

Ollie

http://twitter.com/ollieparsley

Update: I think that if we can come together and create a standard way of writing match updates then I, and others can integrate it into FootyTweets and other apps. What do you think?

For instance I could tweet “#goal Bent scored in the 90th minute #thfc 1 – 0 #mufc”. This would mean that Marcus Bent scored a goal for Tottenham Hotspur in the 90th minute and the current score is now 1-0.



BSkyB has aquired FootyTweets, CricketTweets and RugbyTweets

April 1st, 2009

Just to clear things up. This is an April Fool joke. There is a massive April Fool image at the bottom of the post that has been there since midday (GMT) on April 1st 2009.

bskyb

BSkyB, the company behind the Sky TV network has today aquired all the sites in the network.

FootyTweets, RugbyTweets and CricketTweets will now be at the front of the Sky Sports Twitter lineup and will therefore be rebranded to suit. In addition there will be plenty of advertising of Skys other channels and programme in each accounts Twitter feed. Especially show like Lost and Gladiators as BSkyB feel this is a great way to engage with users of the Twitter service.

I am looking forward to meeting the Sky Sports team on Monday. I hope they feel the same way!

As a consequence I will no longer be running the site, but will become a Sky Sports web developer. I will still be on Twitter so please follow me @ollieparsley.

Thanks

Ollie

April Fool

Hashtags now in use (updated)

March 30th, 2009

hashtag

Please see the update at the bottom of this post :)

You might have noticed that most of the tweets sent from FootyTweets/CricketTweets/RugbyTweets now have a couple of hashtags appended on the end.

What are hashtags I hear a few of you cry!  Hashtags are a community-driven convention for adding additional information to your tweets. Anyone can create a hashtag simply by prefixing a word with a hash symbol: #hashtag. For instance if there is a piece of news for a football team the tweet will be appended with #football and #news. This can make it easier to search for similar items and points out the tweet contains “football news”. You can also go to search.twitter.com and simply type “football news” (without quotes). Alternatively you can go to hashtags.org and get all tweets with the tag #football etc.

For this service I have opted to use two hashtags per tweet. One for the sport and one for the type of tweet. Either #wicket, #match or #news. Below is an example from the England football feed.

hashtag_example

Let me know what you think :)

Ollie

Update: We need to have a quick vote on whether you would like to have a team’s short name (for example Manchester United’s short name is #mufc) added to the end of a tweet after the other hashtags or leave the tweets with just the two, for example #rugby #news. Please vote on the poll below :) .

92 grounds in 92 hours for charity

March 12th, 2009

Free Kicks Foundation logo

Steve Thorpe from the Free Kicks Foundation approached me about a massive challenge a small team of them have set. They are planning to visit 92 UK Football League stadiums in 92 hours. So thats an average of one stadium per hour. A massive challenge.

They are doing it for the Free Kicks Foundation so here is a bit of background about them:

The idea of the Free Kicks Foundation was born one evening during the summer of 2006. Friends Steve Thorpe and Leigh Porter, both from Peterborough, were watching the World Cup and decided to try and combine their mutual passion of football with fundraising, resulting in the concept of setting up their very own charity. The aim of Free Kicks is to provide football-related activities for ill, bereaved and disadvantaged children, to give them a day to remember with their favourite football club.

I am not going to tell you to give them your money. But if you feel this is a worthy cause you can donate however much you like on their JustGiving.com page. See how much money they have raise so far below.

You can also follow twitter updates from each ground by following twitter.com/Freekicks.

Thanks for reading

Ollie
Founder FootyTweets, RugbyTweets, CricketTweets
twitter.com/ollieparsley