Friday, June 6, 2008

The Huddle - the Ultimate advice column?

Ultimate-related websites pop up with some frequency; some are good, some are bad, and some are actually useful. The new kid on the block right now seems to be The Huddle.

The Huddle seems to be inspired both by RSD (in its ideal form) and by a couple of blogs out there that have tried to aggregate the wisdom of Ultimate's elite players. ICUltimate started this off with articles and blog posts contributed by a group of high-level women's players who had insight into the women's college division. Since then, blogs have proliferated, and there are now dozens of them attempting to distill Ultimate knowledge to the less knowledgeable (this blog no exception). The Huddle, however, is an interesting variation on the multiple-author blog theme, combining input from many elite players from all over within an editorial framework that makes it feel more like an old fashioned educational advice column - quite refreshing in this age of DIY indiscriminate content-generation and information overload.

Each issue, The Huddle poses a question or situation and publishes responses from its panel of contributors. Currently on issue 3, they've covered the pros and cons of horizontal and vertical stack offense, the tryout process from those on the inside, and how to defend against a hucker who has also been hurting you as a receiver. They include about a dozen "answers", which I think is sometimes too much, since many of them say the same things. Maybe later on they'll do more to ensure that what they publish isn't too repetitive, but this probably involves an extra layer of editorial oversight that they might not want to do. At any rate, The Huddle is good for a couple reads each issue and is packaged very nicely in a clean-looking website that has sweet pictures by Scobel. Plus, good friend Nancy is an author! I'm working on the 5 yr plan for Mischief.

Some other interesting Ultimate websites are:
OpenUltimate - online learning and coaching environment for Ultimate
BananaCut - a Digg for Ultimate content
UltimateTalk - an aggregator for Ultimate-related blogs
ICUltimate - blog, articles, and coverage of college women's Ultimate
The Ultimate Handbook - rules, educational articles, instructional videos, and forums. The videos (Flash animations) are actually pretty cool, they have step by step play by play with written commentary.

No comments: