Manchester Buccaneers: blog on the bookshelves

You've read the blog… now buy the book. Next week sees the publication of Manchester Buccaneers, the diary of a 12-year-old fan from Tampa Bay. It's a project I had some involvement with, and it's an interesting example of new media moving into old media's territory.
It began as a bit of a laugh. The author, Adrian Sherling, is a friend of mine who had a couple of free weeks as he moved from one job to another. The whole Malcolm Glazer thing was big news, and we thought it would be fun to do something to mock the apparently incensed United fans. We knew a blog could be set up in no time… and so it was. A few well-placed messages on fan forum websites kickstarted the traffic, and the next thing you know, it's receiving thousands of visitors per day and getting mentioned in the national press. We even launched our own range of clothing – since, as we all know, there's nothing Manchester fans love more than merchandise – and sold more than a handful of items over the year. Yes, even a pair of hotpants.
Adrian has done a great job to keep it up through the whole football season and beyond, since – as he admits! – it's basically a one-joke project. All the more gratifying, then, to see it getting a quite complimentary review in Thursday's Daily Telegraph ('a rather successful and often very funny spoof''). It's not the first blog to become a book, and far from the sexiest. But it'll be interesting to see how it's received.