The Return of FanHome?

There are bloggers as well as general readership throughout the sports blogosphere that, at one time or another, have known about or partaken in conversation on the FanHome sports network. FanHome was the leading sports message board community in the past, having a membership of over 40,000 and boasting a robust community of baseball aficionados, knowledgeable hockey fans, a passionate basketball community and the like. It's worth repeating that during it's height, there were players both reading and posting on the network. Baseball relief pitcher Dustin Hermanson had posted news of his 2001 off season trade from the Montreal Expos to the St. Louis Cardinals on FanHome's Montreal Expos forum (which was a happening place, quite contradictory to the atmosphere at Olympic Stadium) before either team announced the deal, or the news wire was made aware of the trade.

To give a comparison, FanHome at it's high was much like Daily Kos is now -- boasting a huge readership and daily traffic that eclipsed anything comparable at the time, sans ESPN and the media's own message forums.

But with the good came the bad for FanHome -- it was launched at the tail end of the dot-com boom and when the dot-com industry went dot-bomb, leadership on the site got discouraged. FanHome ended up signing a partnership deal with TheInsiders/Scout.com that would assimilate the FanHome community into Scout.com's network. It all went down hill from there as corporate bosses don't care for anything but income. vBulletin message board software was replaced by the cheapish EZBoards "Anyone can do it" message boards, and the readership and membership dwindled. Loyal members stayed loyal to the FanHome.com brand however, but FanHome was all but gone.

Well, four long years after FanHome was assimilated by Scout.com, FanHome has become independent again and a re-launch of the network is looming. A lot has changed in four years, however, and one has to wonder what's in the cards for this network if it finds it's feet again? A message board only offers so much, and the possibilities that are out there for a large sports community are immeasurable, especially a community with a recognizable brand name among sports fans on the web (be it bad or good).

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