As I mentioned yesterday I’m working on a new fantasy game that you play via Twitter…but I’m also working on a handful of other sports or fantasy sports related systems that I didn’t mention yesterday…and the one thing that ties them all together is the work I’m doing on SportsXML.com.
Basically sportsxml is both a simple XML format for sports data AND sportsxml.com is a simple web service feeding out that data.
So far I haven’t officially released either of those things…but behind the scenes, over the past few years, I’ve been working quite a bit on both.
You see, “sportsxml the format” was really born out of my experience in running Statsfeed the past 6 or 7 years as well as working with other stat provides like Stats Inc., XML Team, and the now defunct Sportsticker (Stats Inc. bought them out earlier this year).
From those experiences it was VERY clear to me that a drop-dead simple format needed to be defined. Something that would make it very easy for small companies, with very limited budgets (ie. most fantasy sports systems) to both understand and integrate the format with their system.
Sure there’s SportsML (that XML Team provides) and there’s Stats Inc. proprietary XML format(s)…but both of those take quite a bit of time to really understand and use…and in the end, a lot of the smaller fantasy companies just want to be able to do simple stuff like score against a team win or a team loss (ie. gawk.it)…doing that with either of these formats is actually a massive amount of work up front.
So I’ve tried to make things as simple and straight forward as possible…and I feel like I’m a pretty good path to actually doing that. Gawk.it is actually the first ‘official’ service built on top of the sportsxml.com format…and it was a breeze to get at just the stats and details I wanted for our first version of the game (yes I know this is a little silly to claim since I wrote both ends of both projects, I understand it all and will of course think it’s all easy – but I’m trying to be objective here before I make my claims!)
Anyway - I’m pretty comfortable with where “sportsxml the format” is at right now…and so it’s about time to really start shifting my focus towards “sportsxml.com the service”. And I’ve got lots of plans for where I want to take this moving forward…but right now I’m just focusing on what it’s got to be able to do right now (just to support my more immediate projects like gawk.it, supermug.com, statsfeed.com, and draftwizard.com).
The nice thing is that once I’ve got the service fixed up to the point that I want it, it will be both an income source (via subscriptions to the statsfeed service) and a key component of many of my own systems making each one a bit more special and unique!
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Kevin has a day job as CTO of Veritonic and is spending nights & weekends hacking on Share Game Tape. You can also check out some of his open source code on GitHub or connect with him on Twitter @falicon or via email at kevin at falicon.com.
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