Super Bowl XLVI is in the books and the New York Giants are champions.  While the Patriots and Giants were battling it out on the field, InStat Sports was setting a record.  Our traffic peaked around the 3rd quarter yesterday, and overall, we experienced an 800% jump in traffic.  You read that right, 800%!  During the previous rounds of the 2011 NFL playoffs, InStat Sports experienced significant jumps in traffic, but nothing like what we saw during Super Bowl XLVI.

All of us at InStat Sports would like to say Thank You to our fans, supporters, and everyone who visited and continues to visit (we are still experiencing awesome traffic!).  Having a day like yesterday makes it easier for all of us to continue working hard every single day to bring you, the fans, Answers to Sports Questions.

Next up for InStat Sports is a mobile app.  Be sure to sign up, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter today to stay in the loop on everything InStat Sports.

In closing, this Giants fan would like to say,

THE NEW YORK GIANTS ARE SUPER BOWL CHAMPIONS!

Ok. Now I’m done 🙂

If you do not live under a rock, you know the SOPA & PIPA acts, as currently proposed, would be harmful to innovation on a global scale. There is not much more to say that has not already been said by somebody.   As a company, InStat Sports is dependent on the sharing of others.  As a Founder, I have gained invaluable amounts of knowledge and resources as a result of the open nature of the web.  As a show of solidarity with other start-ups and big companies alike, I have modified the logo on the side of  the main page of InStat Sports to include a link to a petition on the American Censorship website.  Please sign it and do what you can to stop these bills from being passed.

Why am I saying thank you to the Gramatica brothers and Bud Light?  Perhaps you have seen the recent commercial (21+) featuring the two brothers consoling a fan after his atrocious field goal attempt during a tailgate party.  Bud Light played this commercial A LOT during the Thanksgiving day football broadcasts, and like many other fans, I only really knew of one Gramatica brother playing in the NFL, Martin.  So I did what most fans do, I went to Google to find out who this other brother was and what teams he played for.   The top result for me was Wikipedia, but if one scrolls down the page just bit, you will see that InStat Sports cames up as the 8th search result!

As it turns out, a lot of people were curious about the Gramatica brothers, and a lot of people found InStat Sports.  Our traffic started to spike early on Thursday, and reached its highest point early in the afternoon.  We kept a sustained level of traffic throughout the Thanksgiving weekend, no doubt because of the commercial.  I know this because when I look at the Google Analytics summary, I see a majority of our organic search traffic coming from queries regarding the Gramatica brothers.

So Thank You Gramatica Brothers, Bud Light, the NFL, and most of all, Sports Fans.  We are doing this for you, and seeing results like we saw this weekend are what make it worth our while.

I would be remiss if I did not say something about the NBA coming to an agreement to settle their court case.  Although a deal has not been signed, I am confident the season will start on December 25th, as they have previously stated.  All I have to say to that is, YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!

Finally.

You may have noticed a chance on our homepage.  No longer are we teasing you with a message, flashy graphics, or promises of things to come (ok well, maybe not the last one).

If you visit InStatSports.com right now, you now have the ability to ask and answer questions, vote questions and answers up and down, and earn badges and points.

Ask & Answer

Our core product has always been about asking a question and getting you an answer quickly.  My mission as founder of this company has been to provide an easy, fun way to accomplish this.  I believe this latest beta release is getting us one step closer.  It may look like lots of other Q&A systems out there, but I promise you that there is more to it (admittedly, the design could use work, interested?).  We have experts standing by to answer your questions, and we are slowly building a huge knowledge base of sports data and statistics.  We are ready to take your questions.  Challenge us, Ask us.  Try it NOW!

Badges and Points

You will get a point for every question you ask, and every answer you provide.  There are other ways to earn points which we will be releasing in the future.  The badge features are truly a test run to determine if we can make them work in conjunction with points.  As always, we greatly appreciate any and all feedback.

Voting

The voting features will allow you to tell our experts which questions are most important.  This will also help provide stories for the InStat Sports Blog, and provide a way for the most active users to earn points.

 

So there you have it, the first beta release of InStat Sports.  There will be more changes as we figure out what works and what doesn’t, and we encourage you to share your experience with us.  Try InStat Sports today!

 

Last week I attended a few events during the Ford and AT&T sponsored DC Week, also known as Digital Capital Week.  It’s a collection of events, people, and ideas, and it was all a lot of fun.  I was unable to attend as many events as I would have liked, but the ones I did attend were informative and helpful.  My recommendation to future attendees would be to only attend events you are sure you are interested in, and read descriptions carefully.  I ended up at a few events that did not cover exactly what I was hoping for, but all in all it was a good experience.

I even tried to host my own event, called “Geeks Love Sports and Beer: Ultimate Sports Trivia.”  However, the event was not as successful as planned.  It was mostly due to mistakes on my part, but that’s ok, because as a first-time founder, making mistakes is what its all about.  I learned some valuable lessons and met some cool people (Thank you to Touchdown Sports Bar in DC for hosting), and now I am ready to go for it again.

At my next event, which will be promoted right here and over on the main site, will include great prizes, drink specials, free food, and maybe even an appearance by local athletes.  After all, it doesn’t look like the NBA is going to be playing  any games any time soon.

What a week!  After the release of our Alpha version, we received lots and lots of feedback.  I will be honest with you, a lot of that feedback was, “where is the iPhone version”?  I knew the potential for this was high when I decided to start with Android, but the quick development cycle offered by Android solidified that decision.

Besides the iPhone comments, the feedback was positive.Our users really do ask some great questions.  It made me think that we need to have a question of the day/week/month and reward that user with something cool.  Speaking of which, we are brainstorming the rewards and prizes we want to offer.  I am very much enjoying browsing all the sports merchandise available for sale (though if you have ideas, please share in the comments).

We are now 1.5 weeks past the release of our Alpha version and I happy to announce that we are hard at work on our Beta release.  This release will be public, and will be available to users of ALL platforms (yes, even you WebOS).  The best part is, we are almost done.  After the release of the Alpha version, we realized how much people really want this.  Also, Tony LaRussa really F’d up in Game 5, and people need answers when that kind of idiocy shows up (our favorite question on that theme, “What game was LaRussa watching during Game 5 of the World Series?”).

So get ready sports fans!  If you want to be part of the excitement, sign up TODAY!

I am proud to announce that we are launching InStat Sports (alpha) to a limited group of users today.  I will admit, this release is not feature rich.  However, what it lacks in features it makes up in speed and awesomeness.  Where else can you find out how many points Michael Jordan scored during the 1996 Playoffs, instantly, right to your phone? 552, if you are curious.

We still have some open spots, so if you have an Android phone (iPhone version coming soon!), or do not mind texting, and want to help us improve our product, please head over here (link removed 11/14/2011) to find out some more details.

Once we reach a critical mass of testers, which we estimate will be between 100-200 users, we will place remaining requests in the beta-testing pile…

Distilled Intelligence 1.0 was a great success yesterday.  Not necessarily for InStat Sports, but a lot of great companies received great prizes.  The top prize of $15,000 went to Marz Industries, a company in the green space whose first product is a truck engine that reduces fuel consumption using hydrogen.  Second prize went to the company I thought would win, TroopSwap, basically an online discount portal for the military.  Both companies were well-deserving of their awards.  My personal favorite was a company called GeoStellar.  They have mapped out the exact solar output of every parcel of land on earth, combined it with energy pricing data, credit scores, and other historical data, and sells it to various outlets.  There is no way that company doesn’t start printing their own money soon.

InStat Sports received great feedback from the crowd, including some investors who expressed interest.  I truly enjoyed the event and although we did not win, I still consider it a huge success.

Thanks again to everyone at Fortify.VC for putting on such an amazing event.

Big news everyone.  InStat Sports was one of 55 companies selected to be a part of Distilled Intelligence 1.0.  The fund behind the scenes is Fortify.VC, and I can personally attest to their awesomeness.  There are 54 other great companies, and lots of great sponsors, like TIA and Access National Bank.

But that’s not the only big news today.  I am proud to announce that our design and development team is complete.  We hit a few road-bumps along the way, but it was all worth it in the end.  Although I cannot reveal any names yet (you know how it is), I can assure you that you do not know them.  I mean, maybe you do, but what does that matter?  All you care about is that on the development side, we have an experienced mobile developer capable of producing quality apps, quickly.  Our new designer is the best.  Really.

That’s all for now.  Wish me luck at Distilled Intelligence 1.0.

It looks like Quora, the popular Q&A site, is beta testing, “credits” as part of a feature they call “Ask to Answer.”  Alexia Tsotsis at TechCrunch has the scoop here, it’s worth a read.  The article includes the unpublished FAQ and a screenshot.

Frankly, I am surprised it took Quora this long to figure it out.  I know it takes time to figure out a business model (Twitter…cough, cough), but I was under the impression Quora had some bright people at the helm (I kid, they do).  But seriously, I hope their approach works.  The article also mentioned Quora is exploring various game mechanics to help increase usage.  The credits/game mechanics approach is similar to what we are building into InStat Sports.  We are constructing a system which rewards fans with status and other goodies, in order to help them be better fans.  Where I believe Instat Sports holds an advantage over a site like Quora, is that sports are a game.  The acquisition of knowledge and the general curiosity of people could lend itself to being “gamified,” (Jeopardy comes to mind) but the link is not as direct.  Stack Exchange gets around this by concentrating on small communities (ahem!).

InStat Sports is ideal for sports fans in their element.  As a sports fan, I am always on the lookout for exciting plays, interesting stats, and people to debate with about the game.  I also, like many sports fans, have down time while watching the game.  Maybe it is slow, maybe it’s just a normal football game with 17 minutes of action spread out over 3 hours, I don’t know.  I do know that sports fans have information and opinions swirling around their brains, ready for that argument with a friend, or to yell at the TV.  InStat Sports provides a platform for sharing that information with others that want it and rewards those sharing it.

Quora is a solid product, and I hope the credits experiment pans out for them, but I believe their core audience of entrepreneurs and startup junkies will be the only ones to embrace it.  Unfortunately, I do not think that will help Quora make money.  But they will keep trying, and I am sure they will eventually figure something out.

Don’t forget, we still have invitations to be part of our Alpha Test group!  Click here and sign up today!