After reading World Cup 2010: England players banned from Twitter , I was curious as the social media usage policy for the Socceroos. When I met with Canberra United, I asked about their own social media policy for players and the W-League. I also asked if they knew about the social media usage policy for the Socceroos. They weren’t sure at the time but they followed up with the FFA and gave me an answer. (I love the people at Canberra United. When the season starts, I’ll definitely be seeing a few games. ) What I was told was that members of the Socceroos are not allowed to use social media while they are in training camp. What this means is that you’re not going to see them on Twitter or Facebook. Members of the Socceroos are also subject to Hyundai A-League and FFA code of conduct, which can limit some of their activities. There are good arguments to allow players and ban players from using social media. I’m happy to know what’s official going on as it can put other metrics into context.
If you don’t know, I’m doing research on online Australian sport fandom. My focus is on demographic, geographic and social patterns. In doing that, I’ve been gathering a lot of random data. Get it now, analyze it later because you don’t know what matters until after the fact. Foursquare is one of those sites I’ve been getting data for, so I can see if say the AFL has more checkins than the NRL or if Sydney folks are more likely to check in than Brisbane fans.
The Socceroos have been big news in Australian sport for a while. Around May 19, I searched Foursquare to create a list of all the World Cup venues so I could monitor checkins. (I got the venue list from Wikipedia and then verified addresses elsewhere.) I wanted data before the Cup and during the Cup to see if some venues and teams had more checkins than others. (My existing data can be found at http://ozziesport.com/WorldCup.xls .) Back when I first got this data, I was a bit surprised that despite a lot of searching, not all the venues had been created. I was certain there would have to be some sort of badges going to be in play as this is the biggest sporting event in the world.
This morning, I found a Mashable article which said, YAY! BADGES! CNN was doing. There are some issues as a researcher that bug me. First, in one case, CNN created their own venue, while an existing venue had 17 checkins. (Maybe they’ll merge later. ) In another case, CNN appears to have merged http://foursquare.com/venue/964020 with http://foursquare.com/venue/4410404 and in the process stripped -1173277 of their mayorship. http://foursquare.com/venue/278284 , http://foursquare.com/venue/593221 were not impacted. http://foursquare.com/venue/2070295 was passed over for http://foursquare.com/venue/4410678 . Did they include Mbombela Stadium? I can’t find a CNN logo in a description. http://foursquare.com/venue/1816219 passed over for http://foursquare.com/venue/4408569 , with http://foursquare.com/venue/4570899 and http://foursquare.com/venue/4454189 also existing. http://foursquare.com/venue/655677 with 6 checkins passed over for http://foursquare.com/venue/4410289 with 1 checkin. Not merged. Peter Mokaba Stadium and Royal Bafokeng Stadium appear to be missing from CNN’s list? Soccer City has http://foursquare.com/venue/593339 with 18 checkins, http://foursquare.com/venue/4410569 with 12, http://foursquare.com/venue/4650733 with 1. None of those three appear to be tagged by CNN.
I’m just having a moment of boggling and puzzlement here. I’ll probably get over it shortly. I just think that if Foursquare and CNN were going to do this, they should have planned it out earlier by creating the venues prior to the start of friendlies, should have merged all venues into one venue before the announcement and kept mayorships intact as they did multiple locations for the same venue mergers.