Athlete Profile Redesign Allows Greater Personalization and Interaction

 
On the Fourth of July we debuted newly re-designed athlete profiles. The athlete pages on MileSplit are a unique hybrid between social media and traditional media. Most of the content on the pages is produced and curated by MileSplit editors; however, we also allow athletes or parents to claim the profile and take a bit of control themselves. The personalization options though--up to now--have been pretty limited, mostly serving as a generic professional athletic resume.
 
This redesign takes us a step closer toward social media (the dark side?). To be clear, we are walking a fine line here and not looking to “turn over the keys” completely. Our purpose is not to be yet another social network. Instead we want to create a balance that gives you all more ownership, control, and personalization of your own profiles, while still maintaining the credibility and “official” nature by having much of the profile’s content created or curated by our editors.
 

Highlights of the redesign:

  • Cover photo: A large 960x300 photo spans the top of every profile. The default track placeholder can be replaced by the athlete to give it a feel of the athlete being in the spotlight and personalizing the page.
  • Feed with Comments: We have updated the feed to be the central highlight of the profile, showing all the latest updates related to the athlete. Each feed item has commenting built into it, so your friends can post congratulations or you can attach notes to performances. Right now performance, articles, college commitments, and photos are part of the feed. We will be adding more items that will appear as well.
  • More Share Links: You’ll find in the header easy links to the most popular social networks to be able to easily share your profile with your friends.
  • Followers: Previously we had a “fan club” that people could join, but it wasn’t a very prominent or important feature. We have renamed this to be a more familiar and precise term of “followers” and have placed the follower count and follow button prominently at the top of the profile. Right now it mainly just serves as bragging rights about your follower count; however, we will be adding meaningful features around this in the coming weeks and months including personalized feeds of the latest on all of the athletes (and teams) you are following.
  • Performance Pages: Each performance now has its own page (accessible from the » arrow on the Stats tab) that allows you to see more details about that performance and post comments on it. It also provides an easy way to link to a specific performance to share with someone. You’ll also see an indication on the number of comments with a given performance on the Stats tab.
  • Progression by Season: On the right side of the Stats tab you can see a convenient reference of an athlete’s personal best over each season of their career. This is really nice to see how they’ve progressed. The graph is also still available with each event.
  • Other Stats Updates: We are now showing the wind readings on the Stats tab so you can find that more easily to judge how strong a performance was, personal bests are aligned to the right of each event header and also highlighted in yellow on the list. Season bests are highlighted in pink.
  • Photos and Video Tabs: You should find these much easier to read than the previous version.

What’s next?

We have plenty more plans for future updates. And we’ll work to get as many done by the end of the summer as possible.
  • Personalized Feeds: A feed based on the athletes and teams you are following.
  • Team page update: We want to implement many similar changes to the team profiles.
  • More Commenting: Look for us to roll out commenting on many new pages throughout the site, such as on videos, photos, signings pages, etc.
  • Easier upload of photos: Right now you can upload a photo album to a meet page and then tag yourself (or others) in those photos to make them appear on your profile. We will be making this easier by allowing you to upload your own photos right to your athlete profile.
  • Easier embed of videos: You can already embed a video (such as from YouTube) into a meet page and then tag yourself in it. But again it’s a little convoluted and round about way to get a video into your profile, so we will soon allow embedding right from your profile.
More more more! We have a lot more things we’re circulating in your brains, but we’ll hold off on sharing them all for now! However, (as always) we’d love to hear your feedback and ideas. What do you think? And what would you like to see? Tell us in the comments or tweet us @milesplit.
 

Tips

  • To claim your profile, login and click the "Is this you?" link in the top right. Then fill out and submit the form. You will need to provide a valid cell phone number that we can use for verification if necessary. The webmaster in your state will review and verify your request within a few hours to a few days. You'll receive an email once you are approved. Only parents or athletes should do this, not coaches, friends, or other family members.
  • Post links to your athlete profile on your other social networking sites and also include it in any information you send to colleges or professional resumes.
  • Your cover photo is a long and narrow photo, so it works really well for close-ups or shots with a lot of horizontal action. When you upload there will be a crop tool to help you get it just how you want it within that space.
  • Add in your athletic honors, which will appear on the right column of the front page of your profile.
  • Tag yourself in photos and videos that are published on the site. Once you do this, they'll show on your profile making it look more complete. And frankly it also makes it a lot easier on us when we go to do a story on you to have those photos easily available to use!

Example Profiles

 

 
 
 
 
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