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A new 606

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Chris Russell | 18:10 UK time, Friday, 15 September 2006

As many users of our 606 site will now know, the new version of this service has been launched. Thanks to everyone for your patience.

It follows a long hot summer of debate and development. There has been lots of discusssion about our plans involving me and users, but plenty more hard work by the team here towards the goal of launching the site by the end of September.

I reckon they have done a great job making it all happen, but will save the congratulations for an email to them!

More importantly I do want to talk here about what we have done and find out what everyone thinks about it, including those who didn't like the old 606 as well as die-hard fans.

The old 606's problems and the reaons for our change were well-documented so I am not proposing to revisit all that here.

I have also highlighted how the new site works already on 606, and gathered some comments from our first users.

I certainly didn't expect everyone to be happy but I am delighted that some great content is already being created, debated and commented upon.

So what is left to say here?

Well, while this launch is a welcome point to have reached, it is not the end of the line. In fact we see the site as the start of something really special.

All our journalists who write the stories you read on and our other text services have logins. They will be creating content and inviting your comments and thoughts. I'm sure it'll be an interesting journey for us all - reporters and audience.

We're also looking forward to seeing broadcasters from TV and radio taking part, including those with their ears really close to the ground in local radio and regional television.

606 will also become a place where content on any sport, and not just football, can be created, rated and discussed. Most people, apart from the really die-hard football fan, have another sporting interest and it seemed silly to try to split up different fan communities.

Further features will arrive that will make it easier to find content - using rating and timeliness as a way of pulling the cream of content to the top of the list while ignoring anything that has been ignored or rated lowly by a large number of people.

Navigating to content on 606 is not easy enough at the moment. This is because the system that generates a list of most highly rated recent articles (such as the Premiership) cannot sustain one for every club yet. However there is a search where you can find content on any club - and not just the Premiership.

Our aim is to offer this kind of list to every supporter whose team can be found via these links, whether football club, cricket county or international team. Or rugby union and league fans.

However we didn't feel we should wait any longer before launching.

We'll also add RSS feeds so you can keep across what fellow fans are writing about - and in time I'm sure we'll be asking you to submit pictures, video and audio, or maybe links to content you have posted on the rapidly growing sites where we know many of our audience are already uploading such content.

Finally there also remains our promise to engage more users in the moderation process. We're already doing this on a very basic level, allowing any member to remove another person's comment from their content. But that is only scratching the surface and I really want us to have a trusted user scheme to help keep the site clean, on-topic and a joy to use for all fans of all sports.

I hope the new site shows how committed we are to offering a space for people to have their say about the great national obsession that is sport, especially football. As ever we welcome your opinions and I will return frequently to answer questions both here and on 606.

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