One-stop site for football fanatics

Feature

One-stop site for football fanatics

Offering news, results and comment, Soccernet now attracts more than 35 million page views per month.Although the domestic football season is nearly over, the close season transfer frenzy that is just around the corner will provide plenty of content for www.soccernet.com.

Curriculum Vitae

  • Name: Lorna Rollinson

  • Age: 26

  • Qualifications: HND graphic design

  • IT skills: HTML, XML, TEA, Webobjects, Javascript.

  • Hobbies: Stunt kite flying, scuba diving, reading

  • Favourite book: The Indispensable Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson

  • Favourite pub: La Med, Cape Town, South Africa

  • Rollinson on Rollinson: Calm, confident and committed.
In charge of the site's news, views and opinions for all major domestic and world league and cup competitions is Lorna Rollinson. She is the site's senior producer and liaises between editorial, engineering and commercial staff.

Rollinson prepares and designs graphics, pages and templates for editorial and marketing, and works with the engineers to ensure the best implementation of systems. She also develops new resources for journalists and ensures that the overall quality and efficiency of the site is up to scratch.

Soccernet runs on Microsoft NT4, which sits on a Microsoft IIS 4.0 Web server.
Its content management system is Gopublish 3.0.9.

"We program templates in TEA, which is the proprietary Starwave template language. TEA is a syntax that supports the notion of having code inside an ordinary HTML page, like an Active Server Page," says Rollinson. "TEA templates are compiled into Java bytecode and are loaded into the Java Virtual Machine as if they were ordinary Java classes."

She says her best moment working on the site was the 56-hour shift before the start of the football season, but the worst moment was the next day.

Rollinson cites sports portal ESPN.com as an inspiration for her work. Which is just as well, because in 1999 ESPN took a controlling stake in Soccernet. She says the new backing has helped to take the site to new levels.

Soccernet now attracts more than 35 million page views per month and up to 150,000 unique users daily. Its Euro 2000 micro site received 65 million page impressions over the three-week tournament.

Rollinson says the site's continuing success is based on the quality and the quantity of its content. And Soccernet has an ability to innovate from the top of the market. The last five years have seen many football-related sites launch. Some focus on insight, others on results or news - Soccernet gives the reader all three.

Venetia Thompson

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This was first published in May 2001

 

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