iPloughLane and WDON

It seems people really don’t know what makes up the services available from within iPloughLane and other AFC Wimbledon-centric media sources. Let’s try to shift the fog, as it presently stands. iPloughLane isn’t run by WUP, WDON or another third party: It is a service in its own right.

iPloughLane is a virtual stadium that acts as a portal to other services too. The terraces, chat, predictions and scoreboard are all self-contained within iPL. How a member of the crowd appears is down to their status as either a non-paying attendee or a paid ticket holder.  The top tier of ticket holders look down upon all others from their lofty fence elevation and from behind their bespoke avatars. Two stand/terraces are available, with segregation for away fans, though both are policed by stewards to ensure good behaviour and respect for others. Kicking and banning powers over miscreants are available to stewards, and do get used. Rules are in place and certain activities are frowned upon that might affect peoples’ enjoyment.

iPL has its own Twitter feed which appears within iPL as its text update service. This is provided by roving reporters at games, or sometimes sourced by listening to WDON coverage when a reporter cannot  travel. As a normal Twitter feed, you can follow it for updates without having to be within iPL to read it. Other contributions to content come from Paul Raymond, Warren Harvey and Zoe Linkson, and sometimes from the WDON team. Terrace chat, shouts and predictions don’t appear anywhere else apart from iPL, within its easy to navigate layout.

iPL features an embedded link to WDON. WDON and iPL are separate entities enjoying a mutually beneficial working relationship. iPL doesn’t own WDON and vice versa. WDON does employ iPL as its main channel of communication during coverage, as it’s really the best place to be when you’re not at a game.

Radio WDON is effectively AFC Wimbledon’s official audio service. A small team provide live commentary for pretty much every game, home and away, including county cup games. WDON tries to maintain a healthy, but objective, bias in commentary and attempts to give insights into the club through management and player interviews published on the Wimbledon OS, and WDON’s own Facebook page and Twitter feed.

WDON is delivered by volunteers, from a single commentator or a small team at a ground, through remote relay outposts when needed (in Hampshire, Essex, Scotland or Virginia, USA). Coverage from home games isn’t normally relayed unless the unfortunately frequent connectivity problems occur and a major change in transmission method is required. Constant development behind the scenes tries to improve sound quality and reliability but it’s a very difficult environment to operate in and sometimes seems impossible to deliver but something usually gets out.

WDON has tried to make its service available on many platforms, including portable and handheld devices. There is a hints page available with different methods to try in case something isn’t working.

Both iPloughLane and WDON are dependent on donations to fund them, given servers, equipment and bandwidth aren’t free. There are a couple of hoardings in iPloughLane but no virtual corporate boxes with virtual prawn sandwiches for those less enamoured with the virtual terrace life.

Hopefully, this gives a better view of how these small parts of Wimbledon media fit together, and indicates not everything is produced from a single place. It might also give an idea of how you can contact the correct body if there’s something you might want to raise.