I recently created a new site called TeamSportsBars.com using the Ning platform. The site was a result of a Thanksgiving break lunch conversation between my family and some out of town visitors (which happened to be my girlfriend's family). This question came up:
"Where can you watch and cheer for the Florida State Seminoles while visiting Chicago?"
Being a resident of Chicago, I knew that Kincade's in the heart of Lincoln Park was the place to go for the big game to cheer on Florida State but visitors from other areas may not know where to go. After a group discussion the idea of creating a site that list all of the cities and the sports bars with the sports team they are affiliate with. I felt this was a good idea but a very labor intensive data entry project therefore I took the idea a step further blending Web 2.0 features thus empowering the sites visitors.
TeamSportsBars.com is a site where the online sports fan community can help by contributing team sports bars that they know of in their local area. The goal is to collect as many team sports bars as possible so that the next time you are visiting another city and the big game is on, you can find a place to cheer on your team with fans of the same team.
I chose to use Ning because I wanted to become more familiar with the platform and I was curious to see how easy it was to use after reading Michael Arrington’s post on Ning here, not to mention I highlighted Ning back in October 2005 on Somewhat Frank. I wanted to leverage the Google Maps API as well thus creating a mashup application plotting the team sports bars (i.e. HousingMaps.com).
In developing with Ning, I must admit my knowledge of PHP was essential since the templates that are given to you with a basic roll-out consist of PHP code so I am looking forward to the improvements that Michael Arrington recently reported were in the project pipeline for Ning.
Please visit the site, sign up and enter your favorite team sports bar in your area to help connect fans with a place to cheer on their team!
To visit the site go to: http://www.teamsportsbars.com