Sportal, the once high-flying sporting site that eventually fell to earth and got sold to UK Betting for a nominal sum, is to be resurrected via a deal with BT. Through its BT Openworld broadband service, the Sportal name will be used for a dedicated streaming service offering audio, video and other sports news and information. Monthly subscriptions to Sportal OnDemand will cost £4.99 with a range of premium services also available. If the licence of an old name model proves popular, what other sites are we likely to see again? It certainly is a good way to leverage a formerly successful brand that may still have some public awareness. Who knows, maybe Trigger, one of my favourite sites from the early days of the web, may come back. Do you have any favourite sites that are no longer with us that you would like to see return? Let me know.
If you are thinking about getting a site up and running or if you just want to refresh an existing online offering, then have a look at Elance (www.elance.com). This site lets you put your projects out to tender and get people to bid for the work. With a plethora of quality web designers and developers on the service, it is quick and easy to get someone for a reasonable cost. Features such as ratings and supplier verifications let you screen those who may not be up to the job.
Over the past year I have been monitoring how PRs send out press releases via e-mail. Last year, you would often get a release with a huge attachment on it. The past 12 months have, according to my inbox, seen a dramatic decrease in useless attachments coming through. Many PRs now understand the notion of sending out a release while making sure the message appears in the body of the e-mail. But, for every sensible PR professional, there are still a few who don’t really understand how e-mail works and still send out attachments without thinking. Why do they automatically assume you want an attachment with several photographs that are each one meg in size? Apart from the size of the e-mail, which causes problems when it comes to downloading, the e-mail itself may even contain a virus. If it does and you open it, it doesn’t exactly create a good image. So, winner of the most irritating e-mail of the week goes to Beattie Financial, which sent me several attachments. The first had a message saying a client had entered the OFEX stockmarket and invited me to open the attachment. Couldn’t they just have cut and pasted it? And when I asked why I might be interested in the story, they sent back a message with several huge, unasked for pictures. Why? Let me know your attachment horror stories.