Note to Bolts - Update your web site

David Singer at the Ice Block did a good job several weeks back complaining about the fact no NHL web sites have RSS feeds on them. I tried to give owners the benefit of the doubt because they wouldn't have invested in their web presence during the lockout.

...And in some cases, teams haven't done much investing in their web presence in the last couple of years.

Note Tampa Bay Lightning.com -- which most every Lightning fan has ventured to at one point or another. While the current site is certainly an upgrade over the first iteration of TBL.com, it is showing it's age greatly at this point. The current design, featuring slight variations of what was originally there, has been in use since the beginning of the 2001-02 season. In Internet design circles, that is a Gods age.

The site does not work properly in the Firefox web browser, there are javascript errors on the page from what others have told me. There are probably dozens of features out there that can be implemented on the site and they are not there or people are unaware of them (such as RSS or Atom feeds which are certainly lacking and growing intensive popularity - as Bloom's article mentions).

Having a splash screen on the site might look cool but it's known as a hindrance to web surfers (why the barrier between the web URL and the actual content?) and web-page indexing (meaning your web pages don't get added so easily by Search Engine spiders). This hurts web traffic and thus might limit income... though in the case of a major sports team like the Lightning, where the URL is known automatically, it's much less a deal -- except when special content is involved (such as articles from the past, special site features, etc) .

I'd offer my own services to help manage the web site if I could -- of course I am but a novice webmaster and blogger out there, yet I am devote to what I do: trying to provide content as well as making it accessible to all. That should be the case first and foremost with any web page - and unfortunately the Bolts aren't even achieving that right now with their web offering.

Edit: The St. Petersburg Times reports (Sunday, August 21st) that SportsBusiness Daily ranks TBL.com #30 of the 30 NHL franchise (I can't find a source URL on that however).

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