Archive for January 7th, 2010

The AFL on Yahoo!Groups

Posted by Laura on Thursday, 7 January, 2010

There is a directory for Yahoo!Groups dedicated to the Australian Football League.   There are 276 lists found in it.   There are an additional 195 listed in the Clubs and Team subcategory.  And then there are the following counts for team specific subcategories:

It is possible to get data from some of these lists if you either join them or member data is public.  (scrapheap_afl for instance has 25 members and hasn’t been updated since August 2009.   Eight people list their ages with an average age of 38. Eight people list their country.  Two are from Australia, two are from the United Kingdom and four are from the United States.  Nine people list their gender and all are male.)  For mailing lists that require joining to get the information, most of them have open membership.  Spammers than join and post unrelated, offtopic spam.  This spam problem thus makes the data very suspect.  The number of communities is also suspect because there are several instances of incorrect categorization.  For instance, there is an Indian department soccer team grouped in the Western Bulldogs category.

If we were looking for a reason to use this data, it might be best used for historical purposes: When were these communities created and when were they most active?  When did they go inactive?  This data would have to be currated manually as the suspect groups would need to be removed and periods of high spam posts would need to identified.  Hopefully, in the next day or so, I can provide some data that has the creation dates of Yahoo!Groups to help begin to analyze these patterns.

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