My Awesome New Job At Horse Racing Nation
I am writing this from Horse Racing Nation World Headquarters in Shreveport, Louisiana!
Wait, you thought that would be in Louisville or Lexington?
Seems like it should be, but that’s right – the home of the most innovative new horse racing fan site is in Shreveport. And I’m not just saying that because I work there.
If you haven’t checked it out already, why not? HRN is set up to be the Wikipedia of horse racing. But unlike the Big Wiki itself, HRN vows to capture info for EVERY horse, from stakes winners to claimers. You will find info on Zenyatta at Wikipedia, but try looking up Great Bernardine. She’s on HRN.
Anyone can add a horse or update the data. It is far from complete, however, especially regarding the historical horses. I recently did some data entry for the legendary runners Ack Ack and Affectionately, two champions of the past. But they are not the only ones who need help.
Aside from the wiki, there is also a raucous community discussion ongoing. Lately it has focused on a retread of Zenyatta’s place in racing history, but there has also been lively talk about US vs Euro runners. It should get even more interesting as more people join and the Breeders’ Cup gets closer. Part of that discussion includes a daily ranking of each horse. On Mondays, the ratings are frozen and a new Power Ranking is generated using a complicated algorithm that I can’t explain (but it’s pretty nifty).
So what do I do for HRN? I write the Weekly Power Ranking Report! Yeah! I get to peek at the snapshot before anyone else & do a report about the latest movers-up and droppers-down. I also monitor our Greatest of All-Time ranking and comment on the way the community views Man O’ War vs Secretariat.
Who are the Top 250 Fillies & Mares of All Time? Rate Them On HRN!
I also get to do some marketing for the site as well – I make email blasts! There is an art to those little emails that you get each week, so do us all a favor and click on them before you trash them, please? I try to put in stuff I would want to read, and there aren’t too many ads.
Temps Below Zero In Hell
I am also learning the secrets to web site success. There is a system that puts the sites you see first on Google, and HRN has mastered it.
Go ahead, search “2011 Travers Stakes” and see how high HRN ranks. That is not by accident, but by a process that began with the construction of the site’s foundation. It continues in small, almost imperceptible ways throughout the wiki and in the blogs, news and links. Even this blog helps HRN secure its standing among the millions on Google.
The search engine system is not really intuitive, though once you learn about it, it seems very simple. And that brings me to the “Cold Day In Hell” moment:
HRN World Headquarters shares a building with an up-and-coming software and web development firm called Twin Engine Labs. The geeks next door developed an iPad app that was featured in an iPad TV commercial, and they were stoked with excitement. They found that they could do even more business if they were higher ranked on Google.
Who did they go to for help in strengthening their Google search results?
They asked Horse Racing Nation. A horse racing company. I don’t need to tell you that horse racing is not known for innovation, and you never hear about other, successful industries coming to racing for advice. But I nearly fell out of my chair when the software developer came over to talk successful strategy with A HORSE RACING COMPANY!
Yes, on that day, Hell’s temperature dropped a few degrees.
Up Next: Total Horse Racing World Domination
And that is just one thing that HRN is doing to up its cred and help horse racing live up to its historic awesomeness. I can’t tell you anything more right now, but if you thought Keeneland’s Facebook app was cool, just wait for what we have coming up this summer! OMG I ttttremble with excitement!
(takes moment to adjust chair back to upright position)
But I will tell you about that when the launch date gets closer.
Shreveport is across the river from Bossier City, home of Louisiana Downs. I’ve been to the races there a few times and even got to watch from the announcer’s booth on Belmont Day. It’s a pretty nice racino, with updated facilities and what is said to be a tasty buffet. I’ll have more on that later, too.
And that’s what’s up with me and The Infield, post-grad 🙂