I started at TSN in January 1997, just two years after the site launched. The internet was still fairly new, and most of us weren’t quite sure what we were doing. Every day we would scour the news wire, and promote stories to the site. At night we would update all of the scores (by hand), compile stats, and hand-bomb them into HTML pages.
After three years of learning the ropes, understanding how the site was built, and taking part in an entire infrastructure rebuild, moving from a single Sun box to a farm of Dell servers in an actual server room, I moved on to another opportunity elsewhere.
Eighteen months later, I was asked to come back to help project manage a huge undertaking for TSN. I was to be the lead front end designer on the all new TSNMax, a product that would play a key role in TSN’s convergence strategy. My team was sequestered away from the main TSN campus, and our days became a blur of meetings, design decisions, and rapid implementation. I learned how to build templates in Java, and began the long process of building an amazingly interactive site. We launched on October 3rd, 2001, just in time for the regular season opening.
Six months later, the grand experiment was dead, and I returned to the main campus with new orders, we were to salvage all of the best parts of TSNMax and return them to TSN.ca.
I assembled a new team, and got to work, building a brand new TSN.ca, working with the designers of 70Main Street, as well as some outsourced partners to round out my core team of two developers and two front end developers.
On August 26th, 2002 we launched the all new TSN.ca. It featured a new Content Management System that we christened “Sunshine” in deference to the naming scheme of the Globe and Mail’s technology team. In addition to all of the sports features you could wish for, a searchable database of every major sports league’s players with up to the minute statistical information, we also debuted a brand new feature, a fully customizable Highlight Package Creation Tool.
In the process I hired and developed an incredible team of two designers and three developers.
I worked closely with the sales team to create co-branded areas of the site and helped to be part of the team that grew advertising revenue from $1million when I started in 2001 to $8million dollars by the time I left in late 2006.