WFDF Ultimate Rules on your iPhone

iphone-gloves.jpgClaudius Kirsch from Germany just released a small application which brings the WFDF Ultimate Rules to your iPhone. It’s just the right thing if you need a quick look at a certain passage between games. And of course a good chance to show your newest gadget to your teammates!
Here’s the iTunes link which brings you to the free app: http://tr.im/BS5w (make sure you have iTunes installed on your PC before clicking the link)
The app is pretty easy to use and allows to view the rules in portrait or landscape mode. The text is zoomable and you can switch between translations in the app. Right now this includes English and German. More languages may follow.

Twitter and (Beach) Ultimate

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I have been a long-time Twitter skeptic. Especially when it comes to it being a profitable business (in my professional life I help grow and develop start ups). However that is not to say it is not being used. Its use has surprised many people and last week I noticed the first signs of Twitter in the (Beach) Ultimate community.
The biggest contribution was Piers Truter’s tweets at the World Games. They were great to use as additional info while looking at the live and online TV feeds that missed good commentary.The UPA and Jonathan Pottsy (WFDF President) also added good commentary.
Almost at the same time my Filtrbox started sending me alerts that the term “Beach Ultimate” was being tweeted about. Chicago’s Sandblast tournament was the start, soon followed by Parlee Beach (Canada) and now Wildwood tweets are coming in.
Useful? Not really!
Interesting? I think so. I wonder how/if Twitter will have any real impact on Beach Ultimate the way Facebook did? It will be fun to follow. Just don’t follow me. I stopped tweeting a while ago. It was useless!

Ultivillage: bringing Ultimate to the fans

I had seen Ultivillage before and thought it was interesting, but not something to write about on this blog. Ultivillage is a mostly North America focused, grass Ultimate video website. Registered users (a few months ago they had 8106 registered users) can buy DVD’s, watch Ultimate TV, and participate in forums.
However, their coverage of the World Ultimate & Guts Championships last week brought international action to people around the globe. Some people had to stay up late, some had to get up early, some had to skip work. All of them enjoyed the live coverage of what was happening in Vancouver. Our friends from Blockstack.tv were the commentators and suddenly it felt much less “North Americany”. It felt nice and global (like BULA :-).
The quality of the live broadcast was not always perfect, but perfect enough for me and Sofia to be excited seeing the Open final between US and Canada. We loved it and we did not have to pay for it. It was billed as a $7 event (payable by paypal I think) and I would have paid the money (I saw other games for free and decided it was worth it), but somehow I was never asked for payment. Bonus! 🙂
Perhaps a live broadcast is something BULA can have at the ACBU (Asian Beach Ultimate Championships) in 2009, or the World Beach Ultimate Championships in 2011. Ultivillage is bringing Ultimate to the fans, perhaps now they see the international interest they are interested in bringing the beach along… 🙂
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Open Ultimate: online learning and coaching

teachingfrisbee.jpgThe collaborative nature of the internet is starting to work its way deeper into the fabric of (Beach) Ultimate. Open Ultimate (www.openultimate.com) is another example. You will find two primary uses for openultimate.com:

  1. Locating resources that will help you in coaching Ultimate; and
  2. Creating a private online course for you and your team that will help you to create, manage, and disseminate resources to your team, including activities such as journal writing or discussion forums.

The name “openultimate” was chosen because the creator (Dan Cogan-Drew) wants to encourage coaches and players to share their resources (good books, DVDs, websites, blogs, etc., as well as lesson plans and/or drills that they have found useful). They’ve started it off with an initial assortment to “seed” the ground for continuous and robust contributions by the world- wide Ultimate coaching and playing community.
For any who are familiar with Blackboard, you will find this environment to be very similar. It’s built in a free open-source equivalent known as “Moodle”. If you are interested in becoming a “site editor” (like a wikipedia editor), or have other contributions to offer, please contact Dan at dan.cogandrew@gmail.com

Ultipedia

Wikipedia-logo.gifWikipedia has become a standard on its own, and now there are specialized ‘pedias’ showing up everywhere. One of the latest is the Ultipedia. This is a great start for a worldwide collaborative effort to get a repository of tactics, websites, cheers, etc…
That is not to say that there are no problems with ‘pedias’. The originator/moderator has a lot of power. When Ultimate (Frisbee) was added to Wikipedia we tried to get some content for Beach Ultimate included but we were constantly hindered by the ‘moderator’. The moderator decided that he had enough knowledge of the sport and that he could decide what should or should not be included. Also an entry for ‘The Worst’ (the opposite of ‘The Greatest’) was rejected because he had never heard of it before.
Nevertheless, the Ultipedia is a good start. The thing it now needs is enough publicity so that everyone starts to use it and contribute. I hope that this blog posting helps. Good luck to all involved!

New LinkedIn group: Disc (o) Tech

disc-o-tech.jpgDori Yaniv, the organizer of the Israeli BULAFLOW Beach Ultimate tournament just invited me to join the Disc (o) Tech group on LinkedIn. This group combines the passion for Hi-Tech and disc playing. Dori feels like there is a strong correlation between playing disc and working in Hi-Tech. One way to check it is to see how fast this group grows… I joined. What about you?
http://www.linkedin.com/e/gis/58996/3D628C5F8303

Wham-O gets video gamed

Wham-O has signed FOG Studios to exclusive worldwide licensing rights to develop video games based on popular Wham-O toys.
Under the multi-year agreement, FOG Studios, New Brunswick, Canada, will develop video game versions of Wham-O’s classic products like Frisbee, Slip ‘N Slide, Hula Hoop and Hack Sack and other games that are compatible with the Nintendo Wii game console as well as games for Nintendo’s upcoming Balance Board.
Games are in the initial stages of development and are expected to be complete in the next 12 to18 months. (More…)

Screenshot of the Layout Ultimate 2006 video game (not related to the Wham-O game)

Who is searching for “Beach Ultimate”?

googletrendslogo.gifGoogle launched a new service yesterday. It’s another analysis tool (and a good one), that allows you to see how often specific search terms are being entered into the Google search engine.
Up to five terms can be compared. And you can also view queries that contain either or two terms, using a vertical bar “|”. More advanced queries can be done as well – see the FAQs for details. Google also puts markers next to major news events that are about that search query, helping to explain surges. Data can be sorted by time, language, geographic location, etc.
Searching for Beach Ultimate shows that Miami, LA, Chicago lead the pack of people looking for some fun in the sun 🙂

Beach 2.0: The influence of the Internet.

(This is a reprint of the article that appeared in ‘Roar’ the Paganello magazine)
You‘ve heard of Web 2.0? What about Beach 2.0?
flashflight.jpgThe World Wide Web (the name almost sounds old) is, or was, a network developed and run by ‘techies’ (in the broadest sense of the word). To make anything available on the WWW you needed to have at least some knowledge about server configuration, FTP, and of course HTML.
A few years ago this started to change and it became much easier for non-techies to publish pages and communicate on the web. Blogs led the way… Simply put, blogs are like high tech diaries with picture and video possibilities. The big difference is that everyone can find and read them. (A type of exhibitionism that seems to fit well within the Ultimate community: a search on Google for “Ultimate Frisbee” + “Blog” revealed 1.000.000+ entries! 🙂
The media took notice of the rising popularity of blogs and soon the term “Web 2.0” was coined. Yet Web 2.0 is much more than blogs. Take Wikis for example (or is it Wiki?). Wikis allow anybody to publish content on the web and others to collaboratively modify this content. Wikipedia – the people’s encyclopedia – is a huge success (the 18th most popular website in the world).
The recently launched Wikibook of Ultimate Games and Cheers (WUGC) is another worldwide collaboration. This time to create a digital book full of cheers, photos, games, and ”after game” tips. This was not possible a few years ago and will certainly have an influence on the evolution of Beach Ultimate.
I won’t go into why I think Beach Ultimate will evolve differently from grass Ultimate, but no one can deny it is a young sport and is still developing its roots. The very first Beach Ultimate tournament – Death on the Beach in Texas -was only 20 years ago. Paganello, the longest running tournament in the world, started a few years later in 1989… Two years later, the world wide web was born….
In “Beach 1.0” all tournaments had a website (usually run by one of the techies) as well as a mailing list. This was a great way to get the ball rolling, and I can’t imagine running a tournament without it, however technology has evolved and we have now entered the era of Beach 2.0. Power to the players!
Blogs, wikis, photo sharing websites, you name it… More and more players are publishing online and contributing to the growth of Beach Ultimate. Take for example “Vamos a Parlee Playa con Pedro”, a short film by the Mauvaises Herbes Ultimate Club. The video was created as a bid for the Parlee Beach Ultimate Tournament in Canada. After showing the video to the tough judges of the Parlee Beach registration and castration committee, they put the video on video.google.com. This was free and only a few minutes of work. Now players from around the world can enjoy Beach Ultimate silliness from Quebec City by simply searching for “Beach Ultimate” on video.google.com.
Gotta love technology… 🙂
Here is another example: Using the free Google Earth download, and no programming, an online fly-over of the Guarujá beach in Brazil was created in less than 10 minutes. Now everyone can see where the World Championships Beach Ultimate will take place in 2007 🙂
The Beach Ultimate community is taking advantage of Web 2.0: almost half of the tournaments have published their Google Earth locations on the BULA site. It is really cool to see all the beaches where people play: the beach of Magic Maggia in Switzerland, Acapulco, Guarujá, New Zealand, you name it.
It will be interesting to see how Beach Ultimate will co-evolve with new Web 2.0 applications such as Flickr, 30boxes, Ning, and Platial. There are over 10,000 Beach Ultimate players worldwide, 52 tournaments, and a hand full of Beach Ultimate leagues. All of us play hard, play to win, and always have fun. At the end of each game, we get together with our opponent to celebrate the game just played. With new technologies, anyone, in their own creative way, can show how they feel about the sport, and share this with like-minded people. With the help of Web 2.0, Beach Ultimate can be a worldwide sport where the rules are clear and the spirit doesn’t get lost.
Share the joy and keep ‘em flying!