Today, the world’s biggest sporting event of the year is starting. Yes, it’s the Football World Cup 2010, which will be held from June 11th to July 11th in South Africa. For the whole month all eyes will focus on one thing and one thing only. And where the eyes go, usually that’s where the media goes to.
And there is no better place to get your World Cup Fix satisfied other than the Internet!
World Cup 2010 Online Resources
I am sure by now, online resources for the World Cup 2010 would’ve already been popping up all over the place. From the sites that Internationally oriented, to the localized, team-oriented blogs; from Facebook Pages, to Twitter Accounts. Everybody wants to be part of this major event.
Most websites resources offer more or less the same things. Typically they feature the followings:
- News/Coverage/Blog: Covering the latest headlines.
- Expert Opinions: Articles from designated ‘experts’ on their thoughts about specific topic.
- Matches/Schedules/Fixtures/Brackets: Basically a list of schedule matches for each team in each group.
- Teams: In-depth information about each team, list of players and their position in the team, result for each game and their standing.
- Photos and Videos: Collection of Photos and Videos about the World Cup. Some resources excel in Videos, mostly the Broadcasting site (like BBC and ESPN); others have more photos (like Guardian and Telegraph).
Those are the basic features that these online resources typically have. Other features that only some of them have are quite diverse and sometimes quite unique, for example:
- Players: In-depth information about each player that are playing on each team. Quite interesting read if you are obsessed with your favourite players.
- Venues/Destination: Some resources include detailed description of each Football Stadium where the matches are played. Sometimes they also include information about the City where the venue located, as well as everything about the surrounding area (accommodations, foods, cultures, etc).
- Fantasy Football: This is a type of game where you can put together a ‘make-believe’ team consisting of players that you can pick yourself (from the teams that are playing), practically creating your ‘Dream’ Team (no pun intended). When you finish creating this team, you can pit it against others in a League, ever week. You can also ‘bet’ for some ‘real’ money against this team, and win some when your team is doing well.
- Interactive Map: I must admit, this one is quite cool. It’s basically a Flash app, which allows you to see all the information above, but interactively. It’s a bit hard to explain in words, so it’s better if you try it yourself.
- Fun Games: There are also some casual Flash Games, which might entertain you between games.
- History: Some sites goes as far as telling you the history of World Cup. Good read, if you don’t know anything about Football World Cup in particular, or Football in general.
- Ticket Sales: If you ‘still’ want to go and watch the game with your own eyes, this is you chance to grab some tickets.
- Merchandise Shop: Need to get a Jersey of your favourite team to wear when you watch the match? Here you can buy everything you need to deck yourself out.
On the Social Media side, most resources have their Twitter Account (or accounts) and Facebook Page.
And last but not least, iPhone App.
Below is a list of online resources for the World Cup 2010 which I could find. They are by no means a complete list, particularly because they are in English. I’m sure there are more resources out there in other (native) languages. Nevertheless, it shows how much attention people place on this event.
AYOBA! (w00t! in South African)
The first stop you should visit is definitely the Official FIFA World Cup 2010 Website. The site has everything you need to get you started with the whole thing. It has all the basic things, and plus some other features like Fantasy Football, Destinations and Ticketing.
This one was created by the South African government. It doesn’t have the usual features like the other media sites, like Teams, Groups and Matches. But it’s more concentrating on South Africa as the host and the organisation of the event itself. It starts with some facts and figures about South Africa, the country, the people, the economy, etc and it continues with more information on issues such as planning, funding, safety and security, transport, health, and ways that people can get involved.
If you need information about South Africa and about the organisation of the World Cup, this is a good place to start.
This one is also from the native South Africa. But unlike the official government site above, SouthAfrica.info is a lot more focus on the practicality of the game itself. Obviously it’s a little biased to the Bafana (the South African football team), but there are also tons more resources for World Cup fans in general.
Also if you want to check it on your mobile, Yahoo! has a dedicated mobile site.
And for today (11/06/10) only, you can participate in Playing Yahoo! Penalty Shootout for (RED). For every goal scored on June 11, 2010, Yahoo! will contribute USD $1, up to USD $100,000, to help eliminate AIDS in Africa. So get your shoes on and get over there right now!
Guardian is a Media company in the UK. Whereas its main trade is in the Newspaper (physical one), its Digital arm has also quite a good influence in the new media arena in the UK.
For the World Cup 2010, Guardian has been ‘recruiting‘ supporters, bloggers and journalists to join it Fans Network. It is a good move by Guardian to utilise fully User Generated Content. These ‘fans’ will write blog posts, publish photos and tweeting their verdict and analysis. The best ones will be featured on their Newspaper and Website. An Interactive Map is created to show Tweets all around the world as they come.
For photographer among you, there is also a Flickr Group, to which you can contribute your photo, and if Guardian like it, they might publish it :)
Apart from these, they have the usual features and also the Fantasy Football.
Similar to Guardian, Telegraph is also a Media company that has a physical newspaper and the digital arm.
Apart from the usual features (including the Fantasy Football), one thing that could be interesting to follow is the Expert Analysis column, which includes panelists among others: Michael Owen (former England player), Roy Hodgson (Fulham manager), Juninho (former Brazillian player), and others.
And last but not least, they have an iPhone App :)
Worldcupblog is just a blog about the World Cup 2010. So, you would find contents that would normally be on such a blog. What makes it different to the others are the sheer effort they make on the Social Media side. For each Facebook and Twitter, they don’t only have a main page and account, but also ‘individual’ Facebook page and ‘individual’ Twitter Account for ‘each’ 32 team!
As a bonus you can also download World Cup Wall Charts that you can print out.
Not wanting to miss the train, Foxsports Australia also created a dedicated mini site for the World Cup 2010.
One feature that is quite cool is the World Cup Interactive Guide. It shows you all information you need about the World Cup 2010, but in an interactive rich-media way. It’s hard to explain it in words, you just have to try it yourself.
You can also visit Foxsports US, which has similar features.
A YouTube channel is also available.
One interesting feature is the SPI (Soccer Power Index) Match Predictor, where you can pit one team against the other and it will predict who’s going to win :) Let’s see if they are correct *wink*.
From the TV camp, Skysports has set aside a dedicated portion of the website for World Cup 2010 coverage. Photos and Videos galleries are a prominent feature, as well as the usual Headlines and Expert opinions.
Skysports also features what they call ‘Worldcup Live‘, which is basically an interactive real-time multimedia chat.
One interesting and fun game that Skysports has is ‘Wags and Stags‘. WAGS is, if you don’t know it yet, how the British calls the Wives And Girlfriends of their Football Players. In this game, a pair of player and his WAGS is chosen to represent their country, and you can vote for each fixture, which is one is your favorite.
Of course you can always rely on BBC to do a full coverage, and obviously it will be back entirely with its Broadcasting arm. You watch videos and live streaming of the event from the website.
As I mentioned above, this list is by no means exhaustive, and probably a little bit biased. I’m sure there are hundred of other resources out there, in various languages.
If you have your favourite place to go to or if you know one in your native language, please share them with us in the comment section.
World Cup is practically starting, when I finish this post, so good luck to all the teams, may the best win !!!