Let me tell you why I hate Facebook.
And believe me, keeping this quick is almost impossible.
I hate the constant vomit of awful links to awful articles about awful things that happened. I hate the inane quizzes that help you identify which Harry Potter character you are (Ron Weasley for the record). I hate the pokes (yes, people still do that), notifications, spammy ads, and invitations to play lousy games that may or may not cost real money.
I hate the constant noise.
Anyone can post anything, and they do. The stuff I really care about, and even the stuff I might care about, gets lost in the drivel.
Overtime is different. It is a social network, but it’s a social network trying to limit the amount of noise by being exclusively focused on one topic: sports.
No cat videos. No quizzes.
Just sports. All sports fans, all sports, all the time.
According to the site:
Overtime is where thousands of fans share and debate about their favorite players and teams, ranging from high school to professional sports.
The app even allows fans to create, edit, and upload films of their own moments of athletic brilliance (or blooper).
The content is somewhat of a mashup of Reddit, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook. Users can give points to their favorite stories with the top rated stories bubbling to the top. The platform seems to favor photographs and GIFs, with the occasional 10 second video mixed in as well.
The content is sorted into feeds, like #NFL, #collegefootball, and #debate.
Founder Dan Porter, explained why sports fans need their own platform rather than relying on existing ones like Facebook:
He [the sports fan] sees Facebook as the venue for this content, but the 99 percent of his friends who want to share baby pics and vacation pics don’t really see it as the venue for that. You can hack an existing social platform to share this stuff, but you don’t really get to join in on the conversation unless you have a huge follower base.
As a somewhat dedicated sports fan, I have mixed feelings about Overtime. Yes, I’m glad that there is a social media network dedicated solely to sports. Yes, I’m glad that Facebook is being taken out of the equation.
But the content being shared on Overtime is still really, really shallow. It’s mostly sports GIFs, memes and quick videos. No in-depth analysis like you find on a thoughtful medium like Grantland. No expert predictions like ESPN provides. Just a bunch of young people debating whether LeBron James is really the best athlete out there.
I actually can get that crap on Facebook.
So for now, I don’t think I’ll hop on board the Overtime train. It’s a great idea, but if its going to be a popular tool for real sports fans, the concept needs to be refined. Which probably means that its user base needs to be refined. Coming full circle, maybe that’s just the inevitable fortune of any “social network”; a bunch of people just spewing opinions and GIFs all over the place.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a cat video I really want to share.
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