Archive for June 27th, 2010

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-06-27

Posted by Laura on Sunday, 27 June, 2010
  • Day two of no swarm badge for the World Cup. #
  • 611 fans of UCanberra StalkerSpace on Facebook: #
  • Based on member interests, looks like Ghana's Black Stars are the most popular #worldcup team on BlackPlanet. #
  • Based on profile interests, Italy's national team is the most popular on LiveJournal. #worldcup #
  • Off task task for the day: Getting social media stats for #worldcup teams. #
  • No #foursquare Swarm badges awarded at any of the 4 #worldcup matches today. #
  • South Africa moved out of the top rankings for total #worldcup #foursquare checkins. Honduras now claims that spot. #
  • The dreaded vuvuzela claims its first victim : #
  • Socceroos merchandise on sale at belconnen mall. Guess stores think they will lose… #
  • Anyone have details about IFAF World Cup of Women’s tackle gridiron? #
  • Australian PM news has killed my productivity for the day. :( Still working on typing up interview notes. #
  • An interview with the @RaidersCanberra : #
  • Booked accommodation for #dss10 and got confirmation that funding is coming shortly for it from my department! Yay! #
  • Paper I need to write on Sunday: The effect ofJulia Gillards being PM on Western Bulldogs fan base. #
  • For the #PAR #NZ game at the #worldcup More checkins on Foursquare than on Gowalla. I boggle. #
  • RT @PressSec POTUS on the phone with US soccer team congratulating them on their big win yesterday – hoping for another big win on Saturday #
  • Ealy stats suggest Western Bulldogs/Julia Gillard news did not help Bulldogs grow their online community. #
  • Are Labor people not Western Bulldogs fans? This will seriously bug me all weekend. #
  • Through 3 #worldcup rounds: Netherlands averaging most per game checkins on Gowalla. #ger 2nd, #gre last. #
  • #gre on bottom of the ladder for average per #worldcup game checkins on Foursquare. South Africa & #mex ranked 1, 2. England 4. #USA 11. #
  • Support USA Soccer, add a #twibbon to your avatar now! – #
  • Is there a list of AFL/NRL players on Facebook? #
  • Why is web traffic down so much for AFL clubs? #
  • Tonight's question: When to wake up to see #usa play #gha in the #worldcup ? 4am start times are slightly better than midnight. #
  • Conclusions I had about Julia Gillard negatively impacting the Bulldogs? Doh! Weird drop patterns in the AFL. Do not understand. #
  • Data absent context can change the meaning: Did Julia Gillard hurt the Bulldogs? #spill #

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Data absent context can change the meaning: Did Julia Gillard hurt the Bulldogs?

Posted by Laura on Sunday, 27 June, 2010

I’m not writing this up as a particularly long post, although I could. I was curious as to the impact that Julia Gillard had on the Western Bulldogs. Her name had been linked with them a lot the day of and after she became Prime Minister. I have a paper that I’m trying to figure out what to do with that shows that Jason Akermanis’s comments regarding how gays should stay in the AFL closet didn’t hurt his team. (Though it could have hurt him. That’s a different story.) The US media also made a big deal of Obama being a White Sox fan and there is some evidence to suggest that his presidency helped the team.

The ways I wanted to determine this were to measure the Alexa traffic for the Western Bulldogs site, the number of followers for Bulldogs related accounts on Twitter, the number of fans for the official page and unofficial fan pages on Facebook, the number of and membership increase for fan pages that mention both Julia Gillard and the Western Bulldogs, possibly demographic differences between the Gillard groups and Buldogs only fanpages, the number of mentions for the Western Bulldogs on bebo, the number of people listing the team as an interest on LiveJournal and its clones, the number of pages mentioning Julia Gillard and the Western Bulldogs on, and the number and geographic location of edits to the Western Bulldogs article on Wikipedia.

Some of this data on its own might suggest that Julia Gillard hurt the Bulldogs.  Heck, that was my initial assessment.  One of the Western Bulldogs fan pages on Facebook lost 30 people, an anti-Akermanis group lost two people, a pro-Akermanis group lost two people, the Twitter growth was almost non-existent despite Tweets mentioning Gillard, and the Western Bulldog’s site rank on Alexa for Australia fell almost 2,000 places between the 25th and 26th.  Toss in the fact that the Gillard created communities on Facebook were fewer and had much less growth than the anti-Akermanis over the same period.   All of these appear to be really good indicators that Gillard’s effect on the team online was not a great one.

I really want to draw that conclusion.  I almost think I could make a really strong argument that this is exactly the case.  The problem involves putting this into the context of the rest of the AFL.  The Brisbane Lions don’t appear to have an official Facebook fan page but one of their biggest ones lost 30 members the day after the Bulldogs lost 30 members.  Between June 22 and June 26, only one AFL team hasn’t had their Alexa traffic rank for Australia rise; that is the Melbourne Demons.  For that period, three teams saw a rank drop of over 1,000.  Twitter follow gains are about even for all teams.  Official Facebook fan page growth is also pretty close.  In that context, it is hard to say that Julia Gillard had much impact at all.  In fact, for the Alexa data, the big drop could probably be attributed to the fact that they only had half the teams playing a game for this weekend and the weekend before that.  The impact of Gillard on the growth of the Western Bulldogs just probably isn’t there.

In the wider context, no effect.  In a limited context of the team she barracks for, possible effect.  Which conclusion is the right one?

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