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WSI News - WSI Spotlight

WSI's FLYINGSOCK.COM.  Chicago White Sox coverage with totally biased attitude!

Happy Third Birthday,
White Sox Interactive!

by George Bova

In 1998, the internet was a lonely place to be a Sox Fan.  Sox fan sites were small, amateurish, and worst of all, never updated.  The official site featured a Sox scoreboard graphic so poorly designed, it took over three minutes to download on a 28.8 modem.  The Tribune Company's local rag, the Cubune, was filled with the usual doom and gloom crap about the fate of our team, and the indifference of the shrinking fan base.  The Cubbies had just backed their way into a wild-card spot (immediately swept out of the playoffs, of course) while our Sox were busy doing nothing to re-sign Robin Ventura and Albert Belle.  Without a voice in print, on TV or radio, or even on the internet, Sox Fans couldn't have been more invisible.


Chicks dig White Sox Fans, like former Miss Universe Lara Dutta.

Welcome to the world White Sox Interactive set about changing back on December 1, 1998.  We Sox Fans were mad as hell, and we were not going to take it anymore!  

Three years later, plenty has changed.  While smug self-important clowns like Channel Seven sports idiot Mark Giangreco still make great sport of skewering our allegiance, we shoot right back with over 200 megs of totally biased rebuttal.  

Yes, the Cubune's sports editors and writers still dominate the Chicago print media, with plenty help courtesy of compliant behavior by the losers who run Chicago's tabloid rag, the Scum-Times.  But while the city's sports pages are no friend to Sox Fans, we can laugh ourselves silly here on the information superhighway watching their message boards draw nothing but trolls and small children.  We counter with over 100,000 thread views per month!

The less said about Chicago's sports talk radio personalities, the better.  Suffice to say, the quality of discussion at WSI is 100-times more insightful than anything Mike North ever had to say about our team.

White Sox Interactive started with just five pages in 1998.  It now draws over 100,000 hits per day, and constitutes the single-largest presence of Sox Fans on the internet.  Most gratifying of all, it continues to grow exponentially because nobody better captures the essence of what being a Sox Fan is all about.  You can get Sox news from any number of credible competing news sources, but you'll never get the White Sox Interactive slant without visiting WSI.  More Sox Fans than ever are beating a path to our door.

Our affiliation with Rivals.com ended in April when mounting losses forced them out of business.  All but a handful of the Rivals baseball sites have disappeared.  Though we set their baseball network's record for daily page hits (48,000 on Opening Day, 2001), White Sox Interactive could have easily suffered significant decline or even death--as most of our counterparts did.

White Sox Interactive has not only survived, but thrived in our new independent format.  Message board traffic alone has increased thirty-fold from a year ago.  Freed from the boring templates Rivals forced us to use, a unique "WSI look" was developed for both the site's pages and message boards.  With the continued support and development of FarWestChicago, more innovations are on the horizon.  Yes, Chicagosports.com editor George Knue dismisses us as "technogeeks."  Of course, he's all alone talking to himself on his message board, too.  Sox Fans, we were laughing at him a year ago and we're still laughing today!

We've been a victim of our own success.  The costs of our web hosting service were on the verge exploding last summer as we taxed their servers at ten-times the rate we ever imagined we would achieve.  We moved to our new home last July (our fifth one!) and once again have costs under control.  Thanks to photographer (and Sox Fan) Peter Elliott, the sponsorship deal between WSI and Park Life has made our website self-sufficient.  White Sox Interactive has new sponsorship programs in the works to be unveiled shortly.  Stay tuned!

The trolls and spammers have largely been vanquished.  We still hear from a few of them from time to time--just enough to make life interesting.  Jealousy is such a terrible waste of effort.  Someday they'll wise up.

We meant to change the world for Sox Fans back in 1998.  White Sox Interactive has largely achieved that goal.  We started by simply striving to be the biggest Sox fan site on the internet.  Next we became the biggest baseball site at Rivals.  This past year, we strived to be the biggest baseball fan site on the internet.  We're not quite there yet, but we're definitely within shouting distance.  For the future that means more features, more innovations, and more "technogeek" applications.  Most of all, it means more fun for Sox Fans.  

Of all the accomplishments this past year, winning "Cool Site" status from Netscape's open directory was the most gratifying.  Along with the Chicago Historical Society's Black Sox site, White Sox Interactive has given the Sox a 2 to 1 advantage over the Cubs for this award.  In fact, the only Cubs site to get Netscape's recognition is the team's official site--the same cookie-cutter pap that Major League Baseball cranks out on behalf of our Sox.  What a joke!

Borne from their own ignorance, Chicago's sports media clowns might still be laughing at us.  But now we Sox Fans are laughing right back.  For three years (and many more yet to come), thanks for sharing the grins with us.

Go Sox!


George Bova is editor and founder of White Sox Interactive.  You can write George at george@whitesoxinteractive.com

More features from George Bova here!

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