LockerPulse as a Google Reader Replacement For Sports Fans?

LockerPulse News Reader

We’ve been so busy lately with Detailed Image that some of our plans for LockerPulse have taken a backseat. With Google Reader shutting down on July 1, I thought it might be a good idea to do a small push to see if we can’t pick up some of the sports fans who use RSS primarily to consume sports news. I used to use Google Reader for my sports news, but LockerPulse is such an upgrade that I long abandoned that. For my non-sports feeds I’ve transitioned over to Feedly, an awesome service in it’s own right.

Yesterday I wrote a post on the LockerPulse blog entitled Looking For a Google Reader Replacement? We’ve Got Your Sports Covered. The nice thing about LockerPulse is that you don’t need to know the RSS feed of a site to add a subscription. We’ve got over 4,000 news sources pre-loaded so subscribing or unsubscribing is as simple as a click. If we are missing a source that a user needs, we almost always get it added into the system for them in less than 24 hours. There’s the familiar j/k Google Reader keyboard shortcuts too. But then there are all the added features like video, fantasy player tracking, live score, standings, schedules, and more. For someone who used Google Reader solely for sports I really feel like it’s a pretty significant upgrade.

So, after writing the post I decided to do a mini promotional push including:

  • Tweeting it out to our 43k+ Twitter followers across all of our accounts (as well as posting to our other social media accounts)
  • Setting up campaigns in AdWords and Bing Ads for people searching for Google Reader replacements
  • Setting up Facebook Ads for anyone who likes Google Reader
  • Contacting the tech media, pitching “hey, if you’re going to do another Google Reader alternatives article, here’s an option for sports fans”
  • Contacting the sports blogging community, pitching “hey, if you use Google Reader to track news and stories, here’s another option”
  • Putting it in our daily newsletter that goes out to over 3k subscribers
  • Creating a custom banner to rotate in our on-site ad platform

Those last two are to hopefully spark our current users to tell friends they know who use Google Reader about LockerPulse.

Some of that list is done, and the rest I plan on wrapping up by the end of the week. Hopefully something comes of it. I’ll be sure to post an update if anything of significance happens. If not, it was certainly worth a shot. All told we’re talking only a few hours of work total. If you have any other ideas, certainly let me know in the comments.

A lot of RSS aggregators were blindsided by the Google Reader announcement because they piggy backed on their API. We put a ton of work on the back-end to make our aggregator efficient. It took years instead of weeks or months like I thought it would. But it ensured that our service would exist as long as RSS existed, and potentially created this growth opportunity when Google decided to shut down the API.

Update 7/5/2013: – this didn’t really end up amounting to much. A few members of the press wrote back but none picked the story up. The ads were shown and clicked upon, and a respectable percentage of those people signed up for accounts, but nothing significant. Oh well, it was worth a shot.

7 comments on LockerPulse as a Google Reader Replacement For Sports Fans?

  1. Rob says:

    Sounds like a solid list, hope it gets you some new subscribers!

    The only things I can think of are to look at independent sports bloggers – either doing promo pieces for them or buying ads (perhaps through projectwonderful.com) and (a bit off the wall, this) doing some kind of funeral video/service for Google Reader – perhaps have people dressed up in various sports kits and mourning and see if you can get it to go viral.

    • Adam McFarland says:

      Good ideas Rob, thanks. I like the funeral for Google Reader 🙂

      • Rob says:

        Think I must have been asleep when reading the original post where you mentioned sports bloggers… Sorry!

        • Adam McFarland says:

          No worries, I appreciate the comment and ideas. I certainly don’t read every line of every article I comment on so I don’t take it personally at all.

          • Rob says:

            Had another idea – what about doing posts on HN/Reddit talking about the demise of Reader or perhaps buying ads in relavent subreddits?

          • Adam McFarland says:

            Good idea, I’ve been meaning to experiment with Reddit ads. I might not get to it for this specific project but I do want to try it, especially for DI on the car detailing subreddits. Have you ever tried advertising on Reddit Rob?

          • Rob says:

            I’ve not tried advertising there, no. Last time I looked the targeting for the UK was pretty poor.

            Another thing you could try is advertising in the RSS feeds of some blogs- I’ve seen ads for “the old reader” on a personal finance RSS blog feed which lead me to give it a go (not as good as feedly but more lightweight).

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