Rugby. NOT my cup of tea. But given how many people like sport and stuff, I thought in the interest of balanced reporting I should post about Rugby and online communities. Wait! hang on a minute! This is a blog – balanced reporting my ar$e! :p

The Telegraph is planning to develop a social network for the Rugby World Cup in September. The company is to use its ‘My Telegraph’ personalised news service as the foundation for a social networking platform around the event. The Telegraph Media Group rolled out My Telegraph in May, which enables registered users to save articles for future use. The company is now considering how to more closely link its users during the competition, effectively establishing a rugby

10 bucks says the Rugby games brings in an almighty battle of the social networks. I think this is the year that various sponsors and entities will be fighting it out, to build traction in a online sports community.
Official Rugby site just has a crap signup newsletter. (I mean, pretty portal but not social network).
FanStreet has some spanish forums
MyTelegraph rugby site (looking for it now, update later)
Australian Sports Tours
and my personal favourite (tho I’m not a sporty type, they are a great community!) Thefanatics.

I wrote back in december that I thought that tickets would start to be sold through fan sites. So instead of using a ticket aggregator such as Ticketek, companies would deal directly with a community a few million members if the community is set up to buy/sell/trade. Is it happening yet? I noticed that classifieds and auction house software is becoming standard with social networking software. Interesting. That is going to shift economic dynamics around.

Even more than the soccer, this Rugby thing may just create a tipping point. I guess what I’m looking for is a social network that in years to come we point to and say: “there! that was the year that we moved away from mass media MySpace into niche sports community“. Am I dreaming?