Blogging Tips Archive

1

Make Hattrick United Great Again


Six years ago a handful of managers started to support each others blogs and they began to play friendlies against each other. Little did they know that the mutual support and flamboyant blog post should evolve to many great years together. years with hundreds of creative stories, images, videos and a friendly tournament that more than 50 teams has tried to win in the last six years. The tournament – The Golden League – is a two season tournament and it is still going strong since match number one, six years ago.

Hattrick United and The Golden League was the foundation of the federation HTUM Managers (HTUM). One to two weeks after the start of the federation it has assembled 15-20 members by the end of August 2011. Managers with focus on promoting their clubs on Hattrick United. In the first 2 years stories from HTUM clubs was dominating the daily top five blog posts on Hattrick United. Stories about the greatest players, the best talents, rivalries between club presidents ruled the federation as well as Hattrick United. For more than 10 season awards was given to the best players, the best blogs, the best blog designs, videos and images.

Like everything else in life there is a time for everything and between 3 years the blogging from HTUM faded drastic. Sporadic try from many managers did not kick start the fun we had. Why? Maybe because the activity was so incredibly in the first years so all the creativity had been used. The stories had been made. The drama was over. We had done it all. Still we are some mangers that think was that it? No we want more!

Back in the days every one knew the top players in the other clubs. We knew the talents, the club legends staff members and the managers of the other clubs. What surprised us again and again was the stories on the blogs. Players almost came alive and players like Bosnjak, Llosa, Gu Xianjing, Charlieboy, Baggio, Páleník, Szolc, Coufalík, Heikkinen, Bilon, Kölbl, Gangawane, Venkat Variar, EC10 and Sami Arsal became household names on the same level like Messi, Ronaldo and all the other real life stars. That was what the blogs gave us back then – and we want more. Let’s give it one more try!

With this post i would like to encourage you all to top what we did in the past. Do what you did back then or surprise us all by making something new – and to managers outside the HTU Managers. You are more than welcome to join the fun and you are welcome in the federation too. To give you all some ideas. Here are some posts from the past. Posts woted the best of the season and some with colourful images too.

Stories
The Prodigal son
Bite Me
is there anybody out there
Aggrieved
Zombie

Images/videos
Ufo
GL3 (greatest video of them all)
Lambamania
Waiting for this moment

Try and top that and make hattrick United great again 😉

5

Teamwork at its best: HTUM Managers and the Qatari NT-Blog Makeover

A Georg Casabella (FC Rünenberg) Interview

Georg Casabella

A few weeks ago Leebebbs, manager of the Flaming Wodkas FC, founder of the prestigious Golden League and member of the board of the HTU Manager Federation received a request of the national coach of Dawlat Qatar, CoPredator, asking whether he could give the NT blog a complete makeover. He didn’t hesitate and began the work together with some other members of our federation (every single one a genius :-)) and together they created the new blog design for the Qatari NT within the shortest amount of time. After the work was done, I had the privilege to ask the involved parties – Leebebbs of the Flaming Wodkas FC (Poland), Emo_e_Bushido of AFC Wirschtlstand (Austria), Cuomos of Vi Flæsker jer (Denmark) and Vgrille of Los Mejores Fútbol Club (Brasil) – some questions.

Even though I thought I knew the answers I would get for the first question I still had to ask: what made you decide to help the Qatari NT out?

Vgrille: I think it was the opportunity to work on a blog that is not mine together with some of the ‘experts’ of the FED in a project that can help HTU to become more used.

Cuomos: First of all because I like challenges, in this case it’s both the CSS part and especially the graphical part. Solving “stuff” gives me a kick and I learn from it every time :)

Emo_e_Bushido: Why not? It’s an initiative Lee wanted to involve more people from the fed in. And when I can help and have some spare time to invest, then I do what I can.

Leebebbs: It seemed the natural thing to do, taking into account the range of talents in our Federation. We have people who can handle any aspect of blog design. Our Federation is for HT users who have Hattrick United blogs… why wouldn’t we start moving on to creating high profile blogs, and where better than for national teams?

Interesting answers and I have to say, that I expected answers including the word ‘fun’ but this word wasn’t mentioned once. During the work on this project the involved parties put their minds and skills together and discussed many things in hundreds of posts in a specially created thread on the HTUM forum. Many issues had to be solved, but what was the biggest challenge from their point of view?

Vgrille

Vgrille: Definitely the biggest challenge was to have ideas for what to do in the blog. When you’re designing your club’s blog you already know what you’re going to do, you already know the story behind your club and if you don’t you can create it, but when you’re working on a NT blog it’s completely different, you don’t have a story for it and you can’t create it and as no one was a follower of the Qatari team we couldn’t do some things that we normally do on our own blogs. Fortunately, with 4 of us working together we obtained a great result.

Cuomos: The biggest challenge was to implement the pendant! But also: being somehow green, but willing (LOL sounds corny :P) to learn about CSS, gave (and gives) a huge challenge when you are supposed to do something that you don’t really know how to do. I wasn’t the one solving it (the pendant thing), but I had my go at it and it’s a good feeling searching out what exactly the code should be to make it work. The good thing about CSS is that simply by looking at the source code you can learn – also if you are a complete novice (that’s how I started up with CSS!). Beside that Firefox has a great incorporated CSS tool part that helps you out regarding the CSS code on an internet page.

Emo_e_Bushido: To keep the freaking pendant at a fixed place. The default.css is a bit confusing here. Glad we made it, eventually.

Leebebbs

Leebebbs: The biggest challenge was something that became easy to overcome. In the beginning of the project, I was the only user able to directly access the blog. Now I know that our later solution (adding all the workers as users) was a much more effective way of working. It enabled much quicker resolution of problems that couldn’t always be translated or explained via the Federation forum.

The pendant was indeed a major challenge and I read many posts on the subject in the forum. In every project there are challenges and of course throwbacks, but I was not interested only in the bad but also in the good things that happened during this project. What was the highlight during your work on this design?

Vgrille: Well, I was the one that worked the least, so let’s just say it was the final look of the blog 😛

Cuomos: Answering that a bit teasingly would be to say; the result! :) The result of several people’s teamwork, everything working out and the immense joy about it afterwards.

Emo_e_Bushido: I think we all, and I explicitly include myself here, learned a few things

Leebebbs: We now have a working template with which to quickly redesign any NT blog, and a team of people who are just chomping at the bit to do our next project.

Can you hear the ‘proud-ness’ and the happiness? Since this project wasn’t finished in only a day or two and all of the involved parties are busy in a RL-job, they had to give some (or a lot) of their spare time to do this excellent work. That’s why I wanted to know whether they would join the team again if there would be another job like this?

Vgrille: Without hesitation :)

Cuomos

Cuomos: It’s a plain and simple; Sure! As mentioned before, I love the challenges. One should remember that the deadline for this project wasn’t a couple of days (at all), but as so many contribute, we only work on small pieces each. Sure it takes time, but the time span isn’t that big as if 1-2 people should have fixed everything themselves. Beside that it’s a bit like a snowball effect – when it first starts to roll form top of the hill, it won’t stop until it hits the valley! By that I mean that you get encouraged by the job done by your “team-mates” and things just kind of develop step by step, fast and smooth because so many are helping out. It doesn’t feel like a huge amount of work (at least I didn’t feel it that way) – again simply because it’s teamwork – I love teamwork :)

Emo_e_Bushido: yes, anytime

Leebebbs: Speaking for myself, I would be really disappointed if the NT blog of Qatar was the only blog we put our ‘special’ stamp on. I’m sure in future projects there will be some new guys who help out and the usual suspects as well. We all get a kick out of it, and for different reasons. It’s a brilliant mix.

Great – while most assure that they’ll do it again Lee would be disappointed if there won’t be a following project. As far as I know these guys, I know that if they are working on things like this, they’ll do it with all of their heart and they won’t be happy before the result is perfect. But is it really perfect? The final look is awesome, but would they still like to change something?

Vgrille: I wouldn’t say it’s perfect, but it was the best we could do and I think that this is enough.

Cuomos: Hmm…a good question really. A part of me says that if you really think you can’t do anything better, then you miss something, while another part of me says “it’s okay to be happy and proud of something”. Most of all I think that – No, I would not change anything – but I guess that there can always be small tiny parts where you think that this or that would look nice, but I guess it has to do with taste after all.

Emo_e_Bushido

Emo_e_Bushido: As said in the Qatari thread already, I tend to be a perfectionist. So it’s never done. I was thinking there could be more custom widgets with own images/links. Also the horrific yellowish/green default colors from the hattrickunited logo don’t fit at all to the color scheme. I’d liked it better if we replaced it. However, I can certainly live with how it is now.

Leebebbs: If it was my blog, yes of course I would still be working on it. However, I think at some point when you redesign a blog for someone else you just have to hand it over and let them continue with the content. The NT manager has a beautiful blog now, and will be able to mould it in the direction that he sees fit. I think we took it to a level that he and we can be proud of. Can we take it to a new level on our next project? I think that is all of our aims.

These answers were no surprise at all. As I mentioned above all the involved mates are perfectionists and therefore they may always change something. Usually if a project is done and it is handed over, instructions and advice are included. In this case there won’t be any instructions but for sure every one of the men on duty had something to say. I wanted to give them the chance – I’m sure that the ‘customers’ is very happy about the result. Would you give them some final advice?

Vgrille: Just… Take care of the blog and don’t let it die

Cuomos: Two things. First thing is to remember to keep using the blog and the last thing is don’t hesitate to come back if there’s anything about the blog you would like to do (and don’t know how to do it).

Emo_e_Bushido: yea, don’t use bikini chicks on a banner for a muslim country. Not that it necessarily offends anyone, but still it could. I know its HT. though it still represents the real life country Qatar somehow, and I believe there are a few managers from there. To me it feels a bit like a lack of respect for the culture there, whether I like it or not.

Leebebbs: I think the biggest advice I would give was to keep the blog active. There are a lot of NT blogs out there that died a death shortly after they were created. A regular post and up to date content will keep the Qatari blog active. Their NT manager doesn’t have to worry about the look of his blog any more, but if he does, he knows where to find us.

That’s what I thought when I wrote this question: The most important advice is to keep the blog alive.

Thanks mates for the answers, the excellent work and the outstanding representation of what the HTUM Fed is able to produce! I heard once in a seminar that one thing makes the difference between a solid and an excellent project manager: if he hands over a closed project he already has a plan what would be the next project to do! As I have heard some other NTs are probably interested in help like this. But if there isn’t; what about giving the HTUM Fed Blog a look like this?

Vgrille: If the opportunity comes…

Cuomos: Great idea and honestly I have thought about that ever since I saw our fed blog 😛 But after rethinking it at that time, I kind of liked the clean conservative look and if the HTUM Fed Blog should get a make-over it’s of utter importance that it’s kept clean and conservative, to give it a trustworthy appearance.

Emo_e_Bushido: uhmm, I like the HTUM fed blog as it is atm. There are always improvements possible of course. But I would rather do it for some other NT blog first. And we should not publish not working intermediate steps anymore. Rather make screenies and discuss it in the fed.

Leebebbs: I think the Fed blog is something just calling out for our ‘pimp our blog’ team to work on. I’d like one more NT blog to have a shot at, just to hone all our skills working together… then just wait and see what we can do with our Fed blog. It’s mind-blowing thinking of the possibilities.

This final question wasn’t meant to be answered by the men on duty, but to pose it to the readers. But anyway the answers are very interesting, while some would love to change the look others seem to show a lot of respect for the actual look. To end this story I have to say that it was a great and interesting time following the work and the progress of this project from outside. The job was done in a way which I would call ‘teamwork at its best’!

Originally this story should end here, but then I got the impression that there might be some other fed members who like to share something related to this. And so it was. Here now some short statements of people which were not involved in the project.

* Hojris, the brain behind HU-Press and founder of the HTUM Fed:

I guess that we have just witnessed the ultimate challenge for our federation – to style a blog from outside the federation –  and the final result looks absolutely fantastic. The best of the best designers from HTU Managers, and on Hattrick United, worked together and made a beautiful design for Qatari.

Hojris

The color combination, the logo and every single detail on the blog made it the best design on Hattrick United ever. Qatari is hopefully proud of their new beautiful blog and we, the federation, should be very proud of the work done by Emo_e_Bushido, Lee, Jacob and the other members who have contributed to this project, and the federation should be proud of the work too. The result shows that our federation can do everything we want, when it comes to designing blogs, if we work together. Luckily we always help each other, when needed, and we have now shown that we can and are ready to help others if someone needs it.

I hope that other bloggers and the rest of the Hattrick communities will look at the blog and then maybe we will get another chance to help someone get a beautiful blog design, and maybe… just maybe, more will start blogging, when they look at the possibilities on how to make a beautiful and informative blog for their team.

* Horus, the master of stats and the HTUM Blog:

Although not involved in the project at all, I don’t think I ever visited a NT blog on HTU as much as I have been on the Qatari blog the last fortnight. 😉

Horus70

It was most interesting to witness the intensity and frenzy with which some HTUM fed members got immediately involved in this project. While this might sound like the beginning of a joke – an Austrian, Brazilian, Dane and Englishman joining forces to revamp the Qatari NT blog – it is actually an indication of how far the HTUM fed has come over the last year and a half. The dedication with which they tackled all issues related to the Qatari blog was indeed most impressive. The most important aspect of the entire project lies, in my opinion, however beyond HTUM and HTU: it is an illustration of how people from different walks of life and various corners of the world can work together, share ideas and inspire one another. To me, more than the revamping of the NT blog, this is the major outcome of the project (which will hopefully be only the beginning of more!).

* Lupachuk, awarded best HTUM-manager of season 49 and logo designer:

Lupachuk

The whole project was organized so professionally and it was great that Lee shared the project with us. It was really great to follow the progress and the work rate was absolutely amazing! They did so much in such a short period of time! When you make blog appearances etc. by yourself, you can find it quite boring at times but you could see how great it was to work as a group listening to others thoughts and help each other. Personally, I prefer to work in small groups than alone. It’s just so much fun when you work with others. I really hope we will have these projects more often in the future! :)

And finally I wondered if the coach of NT Dawlat Qatar, CroPredator, has something to say about how he experienced the work and progress of the new blog design. And he had:

I must say that I’m very impressed of great work in NT blog. Quick and professional work, excellent design makes me proud of Qatari NT blog. I will use blog very often to write something. And of course I will recommend HTUM to everyone for creating a blog for U20 or NT team.

Now that sounds great! And there’s nothing to add. Seems like the small team made a lot of managers (including themselves) happy and proud, and they don’t deserve a big round of applause, no – this is calling for standing ovations! Thank you guys and take care!

Georg Casabella / Schluurggi

1

The Joy Of Blogging

You may or may not know our Federation, but chances are that you know Hattrick United. Have you only just stumbled upon the love we call HU or are you an already experienced blogger? Whatever, you are about to go through uncertainties and problems a plenty, or have already been through them and ready for more! What problems am I talking about? The main one we shall start with is how to get people to notice your blog and your team – that’s why we’re blogging right? Hell yeah!

The biggest advice I can give for getting people to notice your blog, is go and notice theirs! It really does go a long way to establish a relationship with another blog owner if you comment on their posts. Be careful though – make sure it is a blog that has recently updated and not one that just ‘looks nice’. There are lots of good and recent blog posts out there on not-so-pretty blogs. The chances are that if you comment on their blog, they will visit your blog and if they are a responsible blogger will no doubt post on your latest story. What do I mean though when I wrote ‘not-so-pretty’ blogs?

One of the big pluses for me in this Federation has been the shared knowledge of like-minded HU Bloggers determined to work out how to make their blogs visually attractive, or how to have useful widgets specific to their club or competitions they may be taking part in. None of us really knew much about how to do it when we started out, and we didn’t start out that long ago… but together we have created a support network that we would be lost without.

In our Federation we have been very lucky, in that people with various talents have come together and from that we have a variety of blogs that best portray each of our teams. Bringing your team alive is all what blogging is about for me, and I guess for many others. In our community we have amazing blogs done in different styles, all valid and all regularly visited. You could get your blog to this stage if you are just setting out on this adventure… you really could! It isn’t that hard, with the right support and help. We know how to do it – so join us and ask. You may be someone who has had a blog for a while and is losing the love and motivation to keep it going… that’s where the next brilliant aspect of blogging and being a part of an active HU Federation like ours can help.

I keep repeating that it is important to bring your team alive. We have a great competition in our Federation and on Hattrick United called The Golden League. It is the 2nd most popular item on HU tags and that’s no mean feat. This competition between teams in our Federation ensures that there is no end to team rivalries, alliances, transfer gossip and even crazier plot-lines involving our teams players, board members and fans. In fact, it has often so inspired us that we have created our own Press Site with statistics about this great and fun competition as well as fictional press releases about various scandals and on-the-pitch battles between these teams from across the globe – and we are seriously talking global.

Although the main language of our Federation is English, our national personalities and outlook on HT come through strongly and enhance the experience. We are a melting pot of creativity and friendship. We’d really love to have you on board too. You’re still reading this article, so you must have read something that has struck a chord. Try us. We can help you get where you need to be to make your blog and team reach wider audiences, or we can re-inject that passion for blogging that may have been slowly draining away from you as the weeks and months have gone by.

I really could write a lot more about the activities in our Federation that help us to keep vibrant and exciting blogs going and going, such as our Youth League rivalries, specially created Federation films posted on YouTube, logo and kit designing, help with CSS programming on your blog and so on and so on. At the end of the day, you’re only going to know if you come along and join in the fun. What have you got to lose? Come and say hi, it could be the best thing you have ever done and we guarantee that Hattrick will never be the same for you again.