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Sportacular integrates Facebook Connect so we don't watch sports alone
Unless you're a total recluse, watching a sporting event just isn't the same without friends or other spectators.
The other day I was asked to go watch the Warriors game at a local sports bar. Tired and under the weather -- mostly feeling like I wanted to roam around in sweats and be a couch potato -- I denied the offer and headed home to watch the game by myself.
Having been used to watching sports with my friends, things felt slightly off. Nobody around me was cheering at Stephen Jackson nailing three pointers, or yelling at Don Nelson’s lack of effort at coaching the losing Warriors. Those are downright shared experiences, in my book.
Slightly bored, and feeling disconnected from the game I turned on an iPhone app I downloaded a little less than a year ago – Sportacular.
Sportacular, which is produced by Citizen Sports, allows users to see all sorts of stats, news, score updates and standings on pretty much every sport and team the user is looking for.
"Dammit warriors,” I said, disheartened by the Warriors' attempt to show some semblance of athletic ability.
Making matters worse, I couldn't even show my disdain to any friend, or even onlooker, who could empathize.
Disengaged, I turned to my iPhone and found the application added a new tab called “Comments.” This comments feature allowed me to login instantly through means of Facebook Connect. Once logged on, I found plenty of people chatting and commenting on the terrible game. After scrolling around, I found the same thought running through my head. So, I typed on the screen, “Dammit warriors!”
There, I said it. It was a cathartic excercise that at the least left me saying, "I was heard."
Although not nearly as engaging and fun as watching a good game of basketball with your friends at a bar, Sportacular and Facebook Connect brought the game back to life for me. I was able to interact and comment on the game with other users even though I wasn’t around anybody.
I was able to get a hint of that collective enjoyment and collective frustration humanity shares when watching sports together.
This is a clear example of how Facebook Connect is rapidly allowing developers to integrate social networking elements into their applications.
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