This time around, MyMunster.com is getting the Tuesday Push treatment. MyMunster is a social network for Munster rugby fans; given all the success the team’s been having in recent years, I’m sure they’ve got a lot to be talking about on it. Their pitch is:
On mymunster.com you can discuss matches, enter competitions, and check out our library of cool Munster rugby photos and videos
I know from speaking with Ant (one of the team running the site) that they’ve got a large and active community going. It looks like they’ve got a novel business model too, where users can buy credits to enter competitions – they also say that buying credits helps support rugby development in the province.
Not being from Munster, I haven’t played too much with the site in the past. It’s recently been redeveloped, and now allows users to interact using a model that’s similar to Twitter’s in some ways – you have followers & follow people; you can post messages publicly, and reply publicly or privately to people. There are also message boards, and a space to hold video and photos.
There are parts of the site that I found a little difficult to use, and I think that users not familiar with the “Twitter” way of interacting might have some problems with it. The Discussion area too could do with some redesign work. I don’t think they make a great use of space, and they could also provide some more information on users which would help with the social side of interactions (e.g. how long people have been a member, how many posts they have).
There have been moves away from “niche” social networks and towards ones that offer everything, but which allow users to group around specific topics (that would be Facebook). But I do think that niches like this still have a place in the social-network-scape; sharing a common interest, and not just the idea of “friendships”, is a good motivator to get people to group together and interact. Between that, and that I know from living in Cork for a number of years that Munster people aren’t short of opinions when it comes to Munster rugby, the community should be active for some time to come.