Archive for March 11th, 2010

Australian sports fandom on Gaia Online

Posted by Laura on Thursday, 11 March, 2010

Gaia Online is an anime, role playing themed social network aimed at an English speaking audience.  According to Alexa, the site is ranked the 2,988th most popular in Australia.  Given the target audience, I was curious as to how large the Australian based sports fandom was.  I went to the search page, selected interest and then searched every team on my list.

The list of teams on my list include: Collingwood Magpies, Carlton Blues, Queensland Maroons, Melbourne Victory, Brisbane Broncos, West Coast Eagles, Essendon Bombers, NSW Blues, Parramatta Eels, Adelaide Crows, Melbourne Storm , Wests Tigers, St. Kilda Saints, Sydney Swans, Fremantle Dockers, New South Wales Blues, Richmond Tigers, Sydney Roosters , Gold Coast Titans, Pretoria  Bulls (Northern Bulls), St. George Illawarra Dragons, Victorian Bushrangers, Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks, Johannesburg Lions, South Sydney Rabbitohs , Newcastle Knights , Brisbane Lions, Adelaide United, Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles, Geelong Cats, North Queensland Cowboys , Durban Sharks (Coastal Sharks)(Natal Sharks), New South Wales Waratahs, Sydney FC, Canberra Raiders, Penrith Panthers, North Melbourne Kangaroos, Melbourne Demons, Central Cheetahs (Vodacom Cheetahs), Western Australia Force (Western Force), New Zealand Warriors (Auckland Warriors), Wellington Hurricanes, Port Adelaide Power, Adelaide 36ers , Hawthorn Hawks, Central Coast Mariners Football Club, Brisbane Roar (Queensland Roar), Newcastle Jets, Perth Wildcats , Western Bulldogs, ACT Brumbies, Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs , St. George Dragons (defunct), Perth Glory, Melbourne Vixens , Australian Diamonds (national team), Canterbury Crusaders, Balmain Tigers (defunct), Gold Coast Football Club, North Sydney Bears (defunct), Barbagallo Perth Heat, Gold Coast United, South Australia Bite, Western Sydney Rollers, Wellington Phoenix, Illawarra Steelers (defunct), North Queensland Fury FC, Melbourne Tigers , Cape Town Stormers (Western Stormers)(Vodacom Stormers), Wollongong Hawks , Queensland Reds, Waikato Chiefs, South (Melbourne) Dragons, Australian Boomers, Tassie Tigers (Tasmanian Tigers), Townsville Crocodiles , Sydney Olympic , Cairns Taipans , Queensland Firebirds, Perth Blitz, South Australian Redbacks (Southern Redbacks), Western Suburbs Magpies (defunct), New South Wales Swifts (Sydney Swifts), Northern Eagles (defunct), Melbourne Rebels, WA Raiders, Box Hill Hawks , Casey Scorpions , North Ballarat Roosters , Auckland Blues, Sydney United , Australian Flames (national team), New Zealand Breakers , Queensland Bulls, Old Xaverians , Adelaide Thunderbirds , West Coast Fever, Sydney Kings , Mountains Kariong Cricket Club, East Bentleigh Cricket Club, Sydney Tigers , Penrith City Outlaws (UWS Outlaws), Gold Coast Blaze , Preshil Cricket Club, Western Warriors, Sydney Windies Cricket Club, Manly United , Otago Highlanders, Dandenong Jayco Rangers (Dandenong Rangers), Jinnah Cricket Club, Petersham RUFC Netball Club, ACE Netball Club, Orcas Netball, Australian Opals, Brisbane Bullets, Logan Thunder, Port Melbourne Borough , Fitzroy Lions, Newtown Jets (defunct), Alberton Cricket Club Inc., Australian Institute of Sport, Highett Cricket Club, Werribee Tigers , Gold Coast Seagulls (defunct), Canberra Capitals, Tuggeranong Hawks, Cumberland (defunct), Melbourne Phoenix , West Sydney Berries , Central Pulse , Gold Coast Chargers (defunct), Wollongong Wolves, Adelaide Lightning, Belconnen Magpies, Gold Coast Giants (defunct), Northern Bullants , Southern Steel , Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic, West Sydney Pirates, Adelaide Rams (defunct), Ainslie Football Club, Eastlake Football Club, New South Wales Waratahs, Perth Lynx, Queanbeyan Tigers, SA Fire, Sydney Uni Flames, Townsville Fire, UTS Gridiron, West Sydney Razorbacks , Western Reds (defunct), Bendigo Spirit, Fitzroy Reds, Newcastle Rebels (defunct), Northern Mystics , NT Stingers, Old Melburnians , Perth Orioles , Perth Reds (defunct), Queensland Sundevils, Tassie Tigers, Victoria Aces, Victorian Eagles, Victorian state team, Wollongong Mustangs, ACT Monarchs, Adelaide Thunder, AIS Canberra Darters , Annandale Dales (defunct), Bankstown City Lions , Bendigo Bombers , Blacktown City Demons , Bondi Raiders, Bonnyrigg White Eagles , Brisbane Spinning Bullets, Bulleen Boomers, Canberra Labor Club Lakers, Canterbury Tactix , Coburg Tigers , Collegians Football Club , Collingwood Magpies , De La Salle Old Collegians , Frankston Dolphins , Geelong Cats , Glebe Dirty Reds (defunct), Hunter Jaegers , Hunter Mariners (defunct), Marcellin Old Collegians , Marconi Stallions , Melbourne Kestrels , New South Wales Patriots , Northwestern Predators, NSW Wolfpack, Old Brighton Grammarians , Old Scotch , Old Trinity Grammarians , Perth Wheelcats, Queensland Blades, Queensland Rams, Rockdale City Suns , Sandringham Zebras , South Coast Wolves , South Queensland Crushers (defunct), Southern Hotshots, St Bedes/Mentone Tigers Football Club , Sutherland Seahawks, Sutherland Sharks , Sydney Swans Reserves, Sydney University Lions, University Blues , Victoria Vikings, WA Thundersticks, Wenty Leagues WheelKings, Williamstown Seagulls , and Wollongong Roller Hawks.

It is not a short list.  (At the same time, it isn’t all that comprehensive. It only includes about 215 teams of the over 3,000 various teams I know exist in the country.)  I found only seven teams had people eleven total who listed a team as an interest.  The teams included 4 from the NRL, and 1 from the AFL, A-League and Super 14.  Gaia Online is different in league representation that FaceBook, blogger, Twitter, LiveJournal and its clones, where the AFL dominates.

The teams represented on Gaiai Online include Brisbane Broncos (1), Parramatta Eels (1), Sydney Roosters  (3),  Sydney FC (2), Canberra Raiders (1), Western Bulldogs (1), and ACT Brumbies (1). The 11 team interests listing include 9 people using 10 accounts.

If the duplicates are taken out, the network is the youngest where age can easily be determined.   The average of all users on Gaia Online is 18.5.  This compares to 24 on bebo, 26 on LiveJournal and its clones, 28 on orkut, and 29 on blogger.

Three people list their city of residence.  Two of those are in New South Wales and one is the ACT.  This could explain the favoring of the NRL.   Everyone who lists a country of residence lists their location as Australia.  This is also unique when compared to other networks because except for the smaller LiveJournal clones, there is some one from another country who is a fan of an Australian based team.

Four people list their gender: Three female and one male.  This ratio is nearly inverse of what bebo and blogger are where 66% of bebo users listing an Australian team as an interest are male and 70% of blogger users are male.

Gaia Online’s unique audience has an impact on the type of Australian sports fans on it.  They are younger, more New South Wales based and much more female.

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Problem league is problem: VFL

Posted by Laura on Thursday, 11 March, 2010

I’ve mentioned the name problem in a few posts before.  One league I hadn’t looked at or gathered data before today was the VFL.  There are a few feeder teams in the VFL that share the name of their AFL counterparts.  This includes the Collingwood Magpies and the Geelong cats.  As it is impossible to distinguish the AFL fans from the VFL fans, I’m going to assume that all fans are primarily fans of the AFL based team.  Exceptions except for Twitter, where the account says VFL.  Other exceptions would include groups where profile information could indicate allegiance to the VFL.  For interest based listings though, these VFL teams which share a name with the AFL will be listed under the corresponding  AFL teams.

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WNBL on LiveJournal and bebo

Posted by Laura on Thursday, 11 March, 2010

After I finished with my Yahoo!Groups look at the WNBL, I decided to look at the WNBL on other services.  They included LiveJournal, bebo, orkut, blogger, Facebook, Dreamwidth Studios, InsaneJournal, Crazylife, scribbled, JournalFen, blurty,  and DeadJournal.   Only LiveJournal and bebo had people listing a WNBL team as an interest.  Some of these teams have corporate names and possibly spelling variations.    We tried to use those variations to make sure that everyone who included them as an interest was included.  With the Australian Institute of Sports WNBL team, it is possible that some individuals aren’t interested in the team but rather the Institute itself.  (Which is pretty cool based.) The following table was produced when the search was completed:

WNBL fans on bebo and LiveJournal

Service Team Username Last updated Gender Age Year of Birth City State Country  
bebo Adelaide Lightning Olivia Smith   Female 31   Adelaide South Australia Australia  
LiveJournal Adelaide Lightning t2incorporated 171 weeks ago     1988 Brisbane Queensland Australia  
LiveJournal Adelaide Lightning abster7 265 weeks ago       Adelaide South Australia Australia  
bebo Australian Institute of Sport Rayno Ellis                
bebo Australian Institute of Sport Chris Roper   Male 22   Sydney New South Wales Australia  
bebo Australian Institute of Sport Blair H   Male 21   Bendigo Victoria Australia  
bebo Australian Institute of Sport Sam Pickett   Male 25   Noosa Queensland Australia  
bebo Australian Institute of Sport Lieke Schaap   Female 18          
bebo Australian Institute of Sport Daniel Walker                
bebo Australian Institute of Sport Ben Hall   Male 25   Adelaide South Australia Australia  
bebo Australian Institute of Sport Lauren Jackson   Female 28   Albury New South Wales Australia  
LiveJournal Australian Institute of Sport erg_grrl 183 weeks ago       Los Gatos California United States  
LiveJournal Australian Institute of Sport x_roxysnow82_x 282 weeks ago       Dundee Illinois United States  
bebo Bendigo Spirit Lisa Clark                
bebo Canberra Capitals Lauren Jackson   Female 28   Albury New South Wales Australia  
LiveJournal Canberra Capitals beloved_zara 1 week ago           Australia  
LiveJournal Canberra Capitals amyfoxyfox 2 weeks ago     1990        
LiveJournal Canberra Capitals the_seether_is 130 weeks ago     1984 Brisbane Queensland Australia  
LiveJournal Canberra Capitals kristenvealfan 176 weeks ago     1982 Canberra Australian Capital Territory Australia  
bebo Dandenong Jayco Rangers Vanessa Lacey                
bebo Dandenong Jayco Rangers J-E-S-S                
bebo Logan Thunder Loganthunderisda   Male     Logan Victoria Australia  
bebo Logan Thunder Logan Thunder - Mens DLeague   Male            
bebo Logan Thunder Laura Mc Dermott   Female 22   Lismore New South Wales Australia  
bebo Logan Thunder Patty                
bebo Logan Thunder Scotty   Male     Logan Victoria Australia  
bebo Logan Thunder Emmyy                
bebo Logan Thunder Leisa C                
bebo Perth Lynx Tash Nichols   Female 18   Perth Western Australia Australia  
bebo Perth Lynx Liam Dunn Kellock   Male     Perth Western Australia Australia  
bebo Sydney Uni Flames Vlad Alava   Male            
LiveJournal Sydney Uni Flames lelak 8 weeks ago     1975 Sydney New South Wales Australia  
bebo Townsville Fire Rebecca   Female 20   Townsville Queensland Australia  
bebo Townsville Fire Reece Dowleans   Male 21   Townsville Queensland Australia  

The places were then put on a map.  The only hiccup was Noosa, Queensland.  It was skipped.  The United States was also left off because it seemed likely that those fans were not fans of the team, but rather the Institute itself.   The map seems to reinforce the idea from earlier posts that Australian sports teams largely come out of a regional fan base.

WNBL on Bebo and LiveJournal by Australian city
WNBL on Bebo and LiveJournal by Australian city
Overview map

WNBL on Bebo and LiveJournal by Australian city

Adelaide Lightning
Australian Institute of Sport
Canberra Capitals
Logan Thunder
Perth Lynx
Sydney Uni Flames
Townsville Fire

Regarding Facebook, I did check them using their advertising data that pulls from people’s interest lists.  There were none.  In fact, no one even listed the WNBL as an interest on Facebook.  There may be a number of Fan pages and groups on Facebook dedicated to these teams but this doesn’t look at them, just like when doing interest based research, I don’t look at LiveJournal or bebo groups.

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WNBL on Yahoo!Groups

Posted by Laura on Thursday, 11 March, 2010

I badly hadn’t looked at the WNBL until I found a few accounts for teams and players on Twitter. The teams weren’t on my list and I had no data for them. There are no fans listing teams as an interest on LiveJournal clones or on blogger. There are a few people who list teams as interests on LiveJournal and bebo. I’ll eventually get around to posting that data. First, I wanted to look at Yahoo!Groups.

There are no mailing lists dedicated to any specific team. There are two dedicated to the WNBL. They are wnbl and pastandpresentwnblplayers. Both have three members.  The second has never had a post made to it.  The first has only had one post.

While there are no lists dedicated to specific teams in the WNBL, there are several mailing lists dedicated to Australian female basketball players.  One such list is tullybevilaqua. Another is laurenjacksonrules.  Neither of these lists are currently active.  (Both are being over run by spam and have been for years.)  The lists don’t highlight the player’s career in the WNBL but rather seem to focus on the athlete playing in US’s WNBA.  Given that, it is hard to slot these player based lists by team.

I’m not entirely certain what it says about Australian women’s basketball that there is an absence of lists for teams but not for players.  Did mailing lists predate a greater emergence of the WNBL?  Are people more interested in star athletes than in any sort of team allegiance?  Is the focus on Australian players who made it into the WNBA more of an issue of Australian pride in players who made it on a big stage? It could be all of those.

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