Tuesday, March 06, 2001

The Official Site of the Toronto Blue Jays

Before this year, the Blue Jays ran their own website, which wasn't too bad, although it lacked a lot of features that advanced netsurfers take for granted. In fact, nearly every team had their own website, and the quality ranged from serviceable to excellent (the Chicago Cubs' site was probably the best). The sites were unique, like their teams, and they reflected the marketing strategies of their organizations.
Then, over the winter, something bad happened.
Major League Baseball took over the websites for every team.
Now I don't know if this was voluntary or mandatory, but the change sucks. Big time. I flip through each team's new MLB-sponsored site, and they're all the same. Big, bandwidth-hogging pictures, a static layout, and a boring, cookie-cutter design. I feel sorry for those baseball fans who are still stuck with modem access. There's no heart here, no sense of wonder or fun. Just corporate blandness.
I've harped on poor website design before (ew.com, anyone?), and everybody needs to take a step back and realize that netsurfers like a quick-loading, clean, unique design that's easy to navigate and doesn't piss you off. Yahoo! is probably the best example of how to keep surfers happy. Few graphics, a lot of content, a lot of links, and little confusion.
This is the philosophy I've tried to stick with on my site, and I think it works pretty well.


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