I did not plan to write another post this week, but my attention was called to a new development that may be of interest of the delegates to the General Assembly meeting in Prague this weekend.
Live Orienteering.com redirects to Cleeng, a commercial video streaming provider for live streaming and to the event website for results, all with a somewhat cryptic message: “due to the problems with payments and access to the IOF LIVE Orienteering platform”.
The core functionalities of liveorienteering.com do not work: the pay per view and the one-stop result services, that is, the objectives why it was built and then completely rebuilt after 2 years with high expenses and lots of management time involved.
After all the above, it is just a little added colour that the “free of charge” event costs €6 per day if you want to see it.
Problems with Live Orienteering are nothing new. Last year it struggled with the WOC and the first round of the World Cup. This year I did not follow its performance, but I heard various comments about its non-reliable performance.
All this makes you wonder: is this the beginning of the end for Live Orienteering? Will the IOF Leadership abandon its venture into the money-sink of IT platform development?
In any case, here are some cornerstones for the Obituary of Live Orienteering based on Council minutes:
- January 2014 (Point 23, Council minutes #168) – Leho presented the idea of the IOF LiveCentre to the Council as the platform for pay per view services. The cost of development was not mentioned, but rumour says that it was in the tens of thousands of euros with hundreds of hours of management time added.
- October 2015 (Point 27, Council minutes #176) – the proposal to create a new digital platform (that is to replace the recently developed LiveCentre) with a hint about “cost-of- ownership issues, i.e. support and content management costs”. In plain English that means that the original development was not thought through beyond the initial enthusiasm.
- June 2016 (Point 28, Council minutes #179) “A beta test version could be expected for JWOC and WOC internal testing. […] The contract with the vendor of the current LiveCenter had been extended until November 30th, 2016 to guarantee a functioning LiveCenter for WOC.” – sounds like unexpected delays in development.
- July 2017 (Point 7 and 20, Council minutes #185) “LIVE Orienteering had been released and it was noted that quality still needed to be improved. […] Council briefly discussed LIVE Orienteering status and noted that investments needed to continue and primarily to improve the reliability of the platform.” (that is, the platform still did not work, see also some screenshots here)
- January 2018 (Point 10.3, Council minutes #187) “Investments were to be made in the development of Eventor, LIVE Orienteering and an update to the IOF webpage.” (that is, even more money was required)
- June 2018 (Point 7, Council minutes #189) “3 issues were found during the use of LIVE Orienteering at EOC. 2 of the issues were solved early in the week, but one issue in the livestream.com platform remained unsolved. Focus now is on securing the performance for WOC.” (sounds like more money needed)
- October 2018 – Live Orienteering does not work at all as a platform for pay per view live streaming.
Looks like the perfect showcase for the IOF’s workings and an explanation for the financial performance of the IOF. It looks like lots of money and lots of management time (also an expense) wasted with very little to show for.
Will there be questions from Member Federations on the General Assembly about how much money and human resources were spent on Live Orienteering, and the reasons that it looks like an abandoned venture?