Thursday, September 27, 2007

Telepathy: AOL Fanhouse and Me

UPDATE: "I've received confirmation from multiple sources that AOL Fanhouse has been working on this idea for months. So I feel much better now that I can cheer for the project without any reservations. I encourage you to check it out as well."

I appreciate the linkage for the Erin Buescher interview; thanks to True Hoop, Signal to Noise, the Extrapolater, and Jack Cobra. I recently found out that I got an idea link, from AOL Fanhouse. Let me explain.

Two weeks ago, I wrote a post about how there should be more women videocasting sports shows. I wrote it out in detail how it should go down. Top sports stories of the day. Two minutes. Witty. The female should be attractive, but more important is that she have an above average voice worth listening to. No bimbos, either. I pointed out examples of this online in other fields and made a big deal over the fact that it's not being done in sports.

And then, this week, guess what AOL Fanhouse rolled out? The Fan House Minute Featuring every detail I mentioned. Except it's one minute, not two, and it's not witty quite yet. At first, I have to admit, I got a little upset. I was hoping that a minor-league blogger would come up with the idea and use it to go big-time, rather than the sprawling AOL Fanhouse.

Then I realized, hey, not only did I tell you what should happen next, but I also told you I would know what would happen next and not profit by it (second paragraph). And, I also realized that I consider one of those ladies a blogging friend, and I specifically said in my post that I wanted one of my friends to take this idea and profit from it. In addition, I can't pretend that my idea is particularly original. I said in the original post that such videos have already come out for news and finance. And there's no way that AOL Fanhouse could read my idea on the 14th and then turn around and line up 5 ladies to make videos by the 24th.

It's fascinating how ideas work. In the month of September 2007, several bloggers finally thought the time was right for women to videocast sports. This type of coincidence is actually not that unusual. If you look back in history, you'll see that several inventions were done nearly people living in different countries, who were ignorant of each other's work. I believe the invention of calculus and the Hale-Bopp Comet are two examples. Essentially, ideas are not so much created by man as much as discovered as opportunities, in my opinion.

Still, you can guess that I had a fun first hour of paranoia first, wondering if AOL Fanhouse was reading my blog. I'm not sure if I can cope with a world where big-time bloggers read my blog, my ideas actually make sense, and people implement them. Oh, who am I kidding? I can DEFINITELY cope. On second thought, I could get used to this. My next idea is ESPN should sign up more bloggers to Bill Simmons-level contracts, and start with me.


  1. And there's no way that AOL Fanhouse could read my idea on the 14th and then turn around and line up 5 ladies to make videos by the 24th.

    Sure they can. It's not a terribly high-production product - it's a video telecast, reading the 5 big headlines of the day. Signing 4 big female bloggers (the fifth is still "mystery woman") - not that hard, either. Especially when a couple of them were already on the payroll, and the rest would take a paycheck.

    Just saying, it's very possible they could turn it around quickly. Not that they took your idea for sure, but it is possible. Either way, it was a good idea....

  2. I talked to some people today...this was being planned for for at least a month. So I will take a chill pill, and can cheer for the success of this project with a clean heart. Phew. But yes, I certainly was fired up at first last night; let's just say I trashed the first draft of this post.

  3. Eh, you don't want a Simmons sized contract. Too much pressure. And your wit will be old in shorter time. Let the 9-5 pay the bills. Let blogging pay for beer.