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Quality and quantity

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Chris Russell | 12:41 UK time, Friday, 13 October 2006

I find it hard to believe that the new 606 website is almost a month old.

We have noted the criticism and some people are always going to feel strongly about the decisions we have made. However I'm happy to say that if you search for one of the main football clubs and you'll find pages and pages of great content.

Every Premiership club has quite a bit there. For Man Utd there are 16 pages of results, 20 articles to a page. That's more than 300 articles. Arsenal and Liverpool are joint second in the league table with 13 pages each. After that it's Chelsea (8), Tottenham (7), Villa and Newcastle (5 each).

I've pasted some links in a full Premiership league table below.

Search for football and there are 180 pages (by my rough calculations that means 3,600 articles). Premiership football has 1,740 articles. Walsall seem the only Football League to have nothing there. Is that odd when you consider they're top of League Two? Maybe not. The pages of comment at Norwich, Leeds and West Brom confirm there's nothing like a managerial crisis to actually get people writing.

Even in the other sports, you'll find pages and pages of content. Three pages for England cricket for example - even before the message boards for cricket and rugby and the rest have closed. A growing amount about St Helens and Hull ahead of this weekend's Grand Final.

Premiership club, link and approximate number of articles

Man Utd - 320
Arsenal - 260
Liverpool - 260
Chelsea - 160
Tottenham - 140
Aston Villa - 100
Newcastle - 100
Everton - 80
Man City - 60
Portsmouth - 60
West Ham - 60
Bolton - 40
Middlesbrough - 40
Reading - 40
Sheff Utd - 40
Blackburn - 20
Charlton - 20
Fulham - 20
Watford - 20
Wigan - 20

Equally importantly for us, and I imagine thousands of fans wanting to read and discuss the sport itself is quality as well as what the BBC calls "reach" - its overall audience. The posts on these lists are almost all about the sport or team in question. I cannot see anybody trying to provoke and insult other fans.

And I also want to mention briefly four other things.

1. The extremely sad news about Paul Hunter affected so many people and reading through almost 600 tributes to this popular sportsman on 606 is moving. Equally importantly we are linking to an external tribute site.

2. On a more mundane and far less important level, one of my colleagues Simon decided this week, that rather than writing previews of the forthcoming Heineken Cup himself, he would ask the audience. The result was a preview on every team he asked for within half a day, written from the perspective of knowledgeable fans.

3. And the forthright comment from our chief football writer Phil McNulty continues to attract interest from our audience here and away from, which is also important to us. The ratings here are perhaps predictably split with equal numbers to this particular piece probably thinking Phil was right and wrong, if his average 3 out of 5 is anything to go by.

4. Putting our old self-confessed incoherent ranter Robbo Robson on 606 is also interesting. Humour is of course by its nature subjective and in the past we have wondered how many people really enjoy his take on the week's sporting events but he seems to have captured the national mood after Wednesday's England match perfectly judging by his current (as I write) 4.46 rating.

So what next? Well we are working on how to improve a number of things. We have our own list of improvements and we definitely want yours.

Reply here - or feel free to create an article on 606 and tag it with "606" using the Other Sport/Other field - or even the Other team option. As you can see from this link this would be a really effective way of gathering everybody's constructive feedback.

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