England has a lot to look forward these days when it comes football. With the senior squad all but assured a place in next year’s World Cup and the U-21’s playing in the European Championship semi-final round, it’s safe to say things couldn’t be going better at the moment.
The coverage regarding the national squad and the Premier League around the country comes at a feverish pace that sometimes leaves many of us overwhelmed by the number of stories floating around the internet. For those of us that want the opportunity to read articles regarding the English game (namely the Premier League and the national setup) Sony and ITV have tried their best to build a website that would make football fans within the country proud.
The new “heart of England football” (that’s what they’re calling it at the moment) is a website called itv-sonyheart, a new hub for English football that claims to bring the best stories from around the country to a site that acts as a massive RSS feed for some of the biggest football blogs around.
The new Sony/ITV idea seems to be a very good one that takes the idea of building a football-based RSS website and improves it by giving readers a more specific product — in this case it would be news dedicated to the English game.
The layout is very clean and borderline futuristic in a sense. Once you register and login, you’ll be greeted by some floating headlines on your screen. You can click on the headlines, read the intro to the article, and then either read the entire article or click on another.
You’ll notice beyond the current stories floating on the site that there are other articles that are visible (but I honestly was never able to see what they said) in the background. If you click on the articles in the background, you’ll then be given a new list of headlines to choose from. If you agree or disagree with the article, the site gives you the chance to soundoff with a reply.
If I do have one gripe with the site, it would be with the floating headlines. Call me old fashioned, but I like to see the articles in a list. Whilst the idea of floating the headlines is unique, I like knowing when an article was published before I click on the link. The site does give you a timestamp, but you have to click on the article to see the published date.
What really makes the site so great is the fact that it relies on individual blogs from around the country for news. The heartbeat of English football really is coming from the fans who watch the game on a weekly basis. Aside from the blogs that are already linked to itv-sonyheart, the site is also giving those of you who currently have your own football blog the opportunity get even more exposure.
The exposure is free, and given that the site is run by Sony and ITV, I’d say chances are pretty good that you’d get some added hits for taking the time to email them with your interest.
Overall the site has a chance to be a big player in the coming months as we grow closer to the World Cup. Everyone in the country will be looking for a new view on England’s hopes and the upcoming Premier League season, and I’d assume a site with a pulse on some of England’s biggest football blogs would be a great place to start when you’re looking for some fresh perspectives.