It is clear that Matt’s digital artifact is just as much personal interest as it is academic. Drawing from his heritage as well as his passion for football, the real kind, he has created ClassicoCalcio, a streamline blog filled with content from 80s, 90s and 2000s Italian football. Although I have studied with Matt for multiple years now it does not take long at all to realise that he is a die-hard football fan, whether that be through the Claudio Marchisio wallpaper on his phone or his regular Official Juve’ retweets among other things, this curatorial project accurately represents his interest in this area.
Matt’s aims for this digital project were made clear and stayed true from the moment he delivered his pitch in week 6. He wanted to build a digital home for nostalgic Italian football related content, through analysing legendary players, teams, kits, games and the fandom surrounding them. However he wanted to go further then just curating content and highlighting big moments of the memorable era, he wanted to really to convey the passion and love for the game that the fans during this time had, and still have and bring out those nostalgic emotions.
One other key notion Matt made sure to mention in his pitch was his desire to create this product for an English speaking audience. Having full blood Italian heritage and being able to understand the Italian language, Matt can get by reading via the Italian written blogs but understands how hard it would be for an English speaking fan to get to know the history of Serie A. This is where I believe he has struck gold and his digital artifact is most unique. There is a clear gap in the market for this brand of footballing history for an English speaking audience and there is huge potential to gain an audience with the rate of which football in Australia is continually growing.
Watching ClassicoCalcio take shape over the semester has been an interesting and enjoyable task. Unlike a handful of our classmates this was not a pre-existing artifact, or concept for that matter, and was not until weeks after the pitch that his idea fully developed and he understood how it would be presented. However the end product Matt presented should be something he is very proud of, he has produced a beautifully designed, user-friendly blog curating and creating content covering a variety of subtopics, that I will dive into eventually, with the potential to continue on very successfully after this semester. I fully intend to follow the development of the blog over the next year as Matt begins to make his way into the world of sports writing, I hope he keeps building this project because it will look great on any resume.
As outlined earlier the overall concept of ClassicoCalcio is to be a place for an English speaking fan of not just Italian football but any league, to read about the history and stories coming out of the golden years of Serie A. However to achieve this he splits the blog up into four sections: “Classic Teams”, “Cult Heroes”, “Kit Collection” and “Stories from the Ultras”. I think this is a very professional decision resulting in a much more organised and easy to access collection of content, rather then having just one long feed of articles which would end up being very overwhelming for a first time viewer as more posts are added.
There are several different methods Matt undertook to achieve what he had presented as the beta version of ClassicoCalcio. Firstly all the writing is based off his own independent research and interviews with other Italian football lovers, and the blog itself is hosted on WordPress using an existing template that he has altered slightly. Unfortunately for Matt as a class we could not help supply any content as seen in some other digital artifacts, this meaning the use of his seminar time was not as useful as others.
All the video and images were sourced from hours of searching through content, in which he admits he would “get lost” in the abundance of old footage on YouTube that he loves. Within the “Classic Teams” category he supplies a graphic highlighting the formation of the certain team, this was created using online software on the site footballuser.com and sourced images to match, this I thought was a very creative addition to the posts. Lastly, the logo used as the header throughout the blog was Matt’s original concept but created by his graphic design savvy friend, incorporating a very professional and suiting typeface and includes the same ball graphic used in the Serie A logo in the 90s.
Possible Improvements and Moving Forward
Matt has created a strong product however in terms of the potential that ClassicoCalcio has long term, the version presented is still in Beta form.
There are a handful of very minor things that if possible to be changed would make for a more polished artifact all over.
Firstly, although I believe that the design of the blog is very clean and streamline, if he is to use this as leverage for possible job opportunities I think it is important to remove the WordPress headers and functions visible to the audience. Along the same lines, I think it would be received much more professionally if a custom URL such as classicocalcio.com is used instead of the .wordpress domain.
Additionally, if he were looking for more categories to break up the site I would love to see insights into the famous stadiums of the Italian football league. Being some of the largest and most prolific on the planet this would not just interest football lovers but fans of all sports. Also embedding a request page for fans to request specific content would be a very engaging tool to think about adding.
Moving forward into the long-term goals of the blog, the most vital element to this artifact being a success long term is building an audience. I have encouraged Matt to advertise his blog via his personal social networks, but also on pages and forums of related footballing sites. Matt also plays at a high level in the local Illawarra league so advertising ClassicoCalcio there whether it is through word of mouth or emails to individuals around the clubs would be a great place to begin building an audience.
All up though I am very impressed with the product and concept Matt has put forward. It has clear potential to grow into something far greater then a university assignment, which is a clear goal, excuse the pun, of this subject. You can really tell Matt has a deep passion for Italian football through how the artifact is presented and I am really excited to see where it goes in the future!