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How to follow the World Cup from your desk

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The world and its dog are beaming World Cup insight and inanities into the web sphere. Here are our picks for insight.

For fixtures, results, interviews, player information, statistics, ticketing info, venue info and more you'd be a fool not to go straight for Fifa's site and its Twitter feed. It's also got a decent amount of global fan comment.

For that constant news stream of the minutiae and occasional big stuff from the tournament the unofficial Fifa tweets are good. On the alternative side you can check out World Cup Blog and Goal.com for match reports, blogs, and interviews. Goal.com also has a useful instruction guide on how to blow a Vuvuzela. Then for the master class, self-styled half-decent football mag When Saturday Comes has a useful Vuvuzela tunes guide.

Weighing in heavily on the side of inanity are the players themselves, abusing their Twitter accounts (“All I can say is WOW! Thanks for all of the support!”, tweets USA's Edson Buddle), but others are less schooled in saying nothing.

Holland's World Cup squad has been banned from using Twitter during the tournament after winger Eljero Elia sparked a racism row with ill-judged comments about Moroccans on a live streaming video. This promptly shut up the tweets of defender Gregory van der Wiel, ultra-chatty Ryan Babel (who got into trouble at his club Liverpool for tweeting about being left out of the side) and Elia himself. England's manager Fabio Capello banned all social media activity well before the tournament got underway, and Spanish players are also not allowed to use Twitter during the event.

But for a comprehensive list of verified player Twitter accounts, check out World Cup Blog.

As a Reg reader, a side of this sporting spectacle you're likely to be interested in is the internet traffic it's generating. Web managed services business Akamai has put a tool online monitoring the real time traffic of global broadcasters delivering World Cup traffic over its network. The snapshot, at the time of writing, was 20,002 page views per minute, with http hits per second for raw requests at 59,830.

Google is kicking around the search trends on the competition, which is off to a slower start than the 2006 event, based based on global trends for queries – but the Vuvuzela angle might boost things. Portugal captain Christian Ronaldo is the most searched player by a country mile.

A different side of the spectacle is revealed as investment bankers look at the World Cup and Economics 2010, which it describes as a companion to the competition. Contributors include former South African Central Bank Governor Tito Mboweni and Andy Anson, CEO of England's 2018 World Cup bid.

From another angle, following the money being bet on matches can add an interesting perspective to the tournament. At the betting exchanges, where individuals can act as bookies, you can watch huge sums slosh around in real time as the games unfold.

Betfair is the biggest exchange site with the most money on it (rising from more than £10m to £12m in just the first 30 minutes of Italy v Paraguay on just the win/lose/draw market), with Betdaq its rival.

Just squint a bit and pretend it's your own bank account. That way you'll get just a hint of what it's like to be one of the top flight players down there in SA.®

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