Hello there and welcome to 'Inside SM', a new blog charting what we're up to behind-the-scenes here at Sports Mole for the uber-curious among you.
First up, you may have noticed the look of the site evolving slightly over the past couple months. This is very much an ongoing process to refresh some existing elements of the site design and introduce new functionality. Most recently we've rolled out a new footer as well as the first step in a redesign of our live commentaries service.
We've also begun to explore the use of larger, relevant images on our result articles as a replacement for our match galleries service (see an example here). Primarily, the news stories you'll find on SM are short and snappy, and it's our aim to let you see that content quickly without being impaired by irrelevant media - but with results articles, I feel that the larger, relevant images enhance the match reporting. I'm very keen to hear any feedback on this (and indeed, everything) so feel free to contact us or just Tweet me.
Currently we're working hard on our 'data project', with the aim of improving our stats service by making better use of our vast database of game data. The first wave of this will be easily-browsable results and fixtures listings, together with auto-refresh technology on our live scores service; after this we'll be rolling out additional data tables for the football leagues, slicing the data in all kinds of ways, from top scorer lists to the best teams in terms of goals per game, and so on. If you have any ideas on new data tables you'd like us to offer, again, just get in touch.
On the editorial front, I'm very pleased to confirm that after a trial earlier this year, live commentaries for cricket are coming to Sports Mole starting this week. We'll have every day of England's four-Test series in India covered, starting this Thursday morning at the ungodly time of 3.30am. My advice? Rest up, get a good night's sleep, then catch up what you missed with us in the morning over your frappa-macca-wotsit.
Looking ahead to this weekend, it's a Super Saturday here for us on SM, starting with Arsenal hosting Spurs in the early kickoff, before we bring you exclusive live commentaries of three 3pm kickoffs - involving Liverpool, City and Chelsea - then coverage of the late game, when Alex Ferguson will pay a visit to Delia Smith. We'll also be live for coverage of Valencia, Barca and Real Madrid in La Liga, and the returning US Grand Prix direct from Texas.
Our live commentaries are among the most popular features here on SM - particularly when games are not broadcast on the box in the UK - and we're working hard to bring you more of them, more often.
That's enough from me for now but I'll leave you with this picture of Reading boss Brian McDermott attempting to outpsych his Norwich counterpart Chris Hughton at the Madejski over the weekend.
© PA Photos