Thursday, April 27, 2006

Launched our new site Devine Sports this week. That last push to launch kept me too busy to getting any blog entries in but I'll try and get back on track. I have a second set of related sites launching over the next few weeks so it may not slow down as much as I hoped.

Devine Sports is the company that is behind the Los Angeles marathon, the Las Vegas marathon and the Salt Lake City marathon. Besides the obvious role of listing the details of the events we want this site to also be a community for marathon runners and to provide training assistance. Many runners in a marathon are people who are not avid runners. They are people who want to take on a difficult challenge and prove they can do it so it was important that the tools not be geeky runner tools with tons of graphs and statistics.

Jonathan Stevens, who I work with at Winnercomm, came up with a great concept that is the anti-thesis of tools like We made the interface much more focused and clear and it gives you a lot more control over how you want to train. The program itself is based on Devine's highly successful RoadRunners program. I built all the backend services in php on amfphp.

For the community features I used all the latest ajax tricks for nice clean interface that lets you communicate with your running partners, people who act as your virtual roadrunners club. I also used ajax to handle easy, unobtrusive rating and commenting on the articles.

We've got big plans for future iterations of the site to add more training features and replace the event specific sites with new ones. As the community grows, I hope to add a lot more features for our members and I'm sure they'll come up with some great ideas too. This was a fun site to build, the perfect blend of a large content management project and extensive use of Flash and Ajax to support some really useful features. I'll post more about the community tools after we launch the 1.1 update of them next week.


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