I've been in Seattle this week with some of the people I first met back in 2002, when I started the research for Digital Nations in the making. It's been interesting hearing from David Keyes, the city's Community Technology Officer of developments and plans here and we've started to explore how we might arrange some trans-Atlantic links between Seattle and Manchester. The two cities have a lot in common.

What I hadn't anticipated was the interest that the World Cup was attracting in the US – even the Wall Street Journal this week has had  Wayne Rooney on its front page! The great thing about coming to the west coast is that it doesn't take long for something interesting to show up, if you keep your eyes and ears open. So when I heard about Seattle's latest start up, zillow.com planning an evening training session for their Zillow Edge football squad, I thought I'd head down to the University of Washington grounds to see what their form was like.

As you might expect from a team from a company with 65 million properties on its database and a reputation for already breaking the mould of real estate selling in the US, the 18 players took their training pretty seriously. Not for the faint-hearted to judge by the shin pads!

Photo of Zillow Edge football squad with their coach Christin, at an evening training session at University of Washington grounds.

There were 300,000 hits on its site in the first 8 hours after it went live, so Zillow has been turning heads since it was launched last Feruary. With new releases promised through the year and a team headed up by several of the former executives of the internet travel pioneer Expedia, there's plenty of speculation about what they have in mind next. Could I get an insight about future plans from watching the game?

Well not exactly but I did get an idea in the work-out of the drive coming from two of the Zillow Edge planners who were working the midfield, Lloyd and Chloe (see below).  If they keep on like this, it won't be long before we see Zillow in Europe. So watch out Chelsea and Barcelona! And remember when they arrive, tell your friends you heard about them first here. Or in the Digital Nations in the making book – they're there too!

Photos of zillow edge footballers, Lloyd and Chloe.

Advertisements