Archive for September 5th, 2010

Twitter: @NRL followers vs. @AFL followers

Posted by Laura on Sunday, 5 September, 2010

I’ve wanted to compare the NRL to the AFL on Twitter for a long time.  The problem is that they have a lot of followers.  For other teams, based on where our API is right now, there might be 200 to 300 location fields not filled in.  In both cases, there are were 6,000+ total followers.  Despite having massively improved the tool we’re building,  we’re still missing a lot.  In terms of the NRL data we gathered on September 2, we’re missing 836 locations.  (These may or may not actually result in actual city, state, country locations.)   For the AFL data gathered on the same date, we’re missing 351 locations.  At this would require several more days worth of work to fix, I figured there was enough data to draw some general conclusions and make a map of the comparative locations of AFL fans versus NRL fans.

For the AFL, the city was determined for 5,879 people who are from 891 unique cities.  For the NRL, the city was determined for 3,204 people who are from 493 unique cities.  The following table shows the follow count by city and league for all cities+leagues where the city had more than 100 people identified as from that location.

League City State Location Count
AFL Melbourne Victoria Australia 2372
NRL Sydney New South Wales Australia 1145
AFL Perth Western Australia Australia 443
NRL Brisbane Queensland Australia 402
AFL Sydney New South Wales Australia 399
AFL Adelaide South Australia Australia 369
AFL Brisbane Queensland Australia 270
NRL Melbourne Victoria Australia 187
NRL Gold Coast Queensland Australia 161
NRL Auckland Auckland New Zealand 110
AFL Geelong Victoria Australia 102

The location follow patterns appear to makes sense given what are the traditional strongholds and relative popularity of each league.  (It would be interesting to compare these to the A-League, ANZ Championship, W-League, NBL, WNBL, Super 14/15 and national side related follows to see where cities rank.  That map is a project for another day.)  When mapped with the location by city+league followed, you get the following:

View full map

The map shows that the NRL draws much more heavily in New Zealand than the AFL does. Victoria, Western Australia, Tasmania and South Australia are predominately AFL areas of followers; whereas, New South Wales and Queensland are areas of heavy followers for the NRL.

If the location data is broken down by state instead of city, 3,546 NRL and 6,681 AFL followers have an identifiable Australia state. It reaffirms the observed patterns:

Australian Capital Territory 107 111
New South Wales 2057 724
Northern Territory 16 33
Queensland 1002 587
South Australia 32 565
Tasmania 12 160
Victoria 280 3778
Western Australia 40 723

Both teams appear to have strong follower populations international.  For the NRL, 4,987 followers have an identified country.  For the AFL, there are 8,671 who have an identified country.  With the exception of Uruguay, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, the AFL has the largest amount of followers by country.

Location AFL NRL
Australia 7720 4205
Austria 3
Barbados 1
Belarus 2
Belgium 1
Brazil 16 5
Cameroon 1
Canada 58 9
Chechnya 1
Chile 4
China 26 6
Colombia 1
Denmark 1
Ecuador 13
Egypt 1
Faroe Islands 1
Finland 1
France 14
Germany 10 3
Greece 1
Guyana 1
Hungary 1
India 30 4
Indonesia 7
Iran 7
Ireland 20 4
Israel 4 1
Italy 5 1
Japan 15 12
Kazakhstan 1
Kenya 1
Malaysia 5
Marshall Islands 1
Mexico 4
Nauru 1
Nepal 2
Netherlands 5 3
New Caledonia 1
New Zealand 35 356
Norway 3
Philippines 5 1
Portugal 1
Qatar 2
Romania 3 1
Russia 4
Saudi Arabia 1
Serbia 3
Singapore 19 7
South Africa 9 1
Spain 4 2
Sri Lanka 1
Sweden 6 1
Taiwan 2
Thailand 6 3
Tonga 1
Turkey 5
Ukraine 1
United Arab Emirates 12 3
United Kingdom 166 218
United States 392 124
Unknown 667
Vietnam 3
Uruguay 1

With out knowing much, some of this makes sense.  It is much easier to watch AFL games in the United States and Canada than it is to watch NRL games.  Added to that, the AFL have spent some money trying to develop the sport there.  The United Kingdom is a traditional rugby stronghold.  New Zealand has an NRL team and doesn’t have an AFL club.

On September 2, I also got follower data for the Socceroos and the ANZ Championship.  The scale of followers was much smaller, with something like 4,500 and 250 respectively.  For the accounts, I found the mean, median and mode of ReTweets, Followers, Status Updates, Friends, and Listed.  This data is on the table below.

League Math Retweeted Followers Status Updates Friends Listed
AFL Mean 0.0003 152.49 559.64 223.82 5.14
anznetballchamp Mean 0 92.67 652.14 179.45 4.04
NRL Mean 0.0069 152.96 549.76 214.27 5.19
Socceroos Mean 0 294.26 978.33 386.65 10.76
AFL Median 0 19 20 60 0
anznetballchamp Median 0 22 55 94 0
NRL Median 0 19 25 67 0
Socceroos Median 0 39 109 114 1
AFL Mode 0 0 0 1 0
anznetballchamp Mode 0 1 0 35 0
NRL Mode 0 0 0 1 0
Socceroos Mode 0 0 0 1 0

On the whole, Socceroos fans appear to be more active, have the most followers and follow the most people.  If we only look at the NRL and the AFL, the two sets of followers appear to be very close in composition.  The average number of followers is separated by one. The total status updates differs by a little more than 10.  The total number of friends differs by around 9.  The total number of times each follower appears on a list averages less than one.  If median and mode are used instead, the differences are similar in that there isn’t a significant difference.

In conclusion, there are distinct geographic patterns for AFL and NRL followers but beyond that, the two types of followers are pretty similar.  More analysis can and should be done to see if these patterns hold up country to country, state to state, and city to city.

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Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-09-05

Posted by Laura on Sunday, 5 September, 2010
  • WMF-mailing list has poster that suggests humanities are less collaboratively oriented.Others have similar experiences with that discipline? #
  • Shopping carts do not belong in trees… #
  • I just became the mayor of University of Canberra- Building 3 on @foursquare! #
  • Fun times today with learning how I screwed up. Not all bad as one involves over paying a bill and having a month's phone credit. #
  • If all you do is post from SocialOoomph and don't interact, why are you following others? Anti-social behavior that is. #
  • hm. Location tool missed 960 out of 4,300. Not bad but not good either. #
  • Sydney Swans fans on Twitter : #goswans #afl #
  • Foursquare and gowalla are off by 215km today… #
  • Today's writing so far: Viégas et al. (2007) did a collaboration analysis focusing on Wikipedia. #
  • Frustrated with my @optus dongle. It doesn't want to stay connected @unicanberra #
  • I just became the mayor of Dick Smith Electronics on @foursquare! #
  • Yes, you can say American football is boring because often it is. ;) #
  • Looking at @AFL followers by city: Melbourne: 2363. Perth 443. Sydney 397. Adelaide 366. Brisbane 266. Geelong 97. Gold Coast 84. #
  • Number of followers for @afl popularity by state: VIC 3623, NSW 693, WA 685, QLD 558, SA 547, TAS 156, ACT 111, NT 33. #
  • The more I look at Twitter location field and compare it to time zone? The more it seems like there is ZERO conneciton… #
  • I just became the mayor of Wok It Up on @foursquare! #
  • Best place to look for cheap close to last minutes flights from Australia to the USA? #
  • Bridge repair #
  • Me: "I want a Geelong jumper!" Friend: "The horizontal stripes would make you look fat." (Can you tell he barracks for St. Kilda?) #
  • Dear Justin Bieber fans: Justin's pants, Beiber's bed, Beiberville are NOT legit locations. … Also, disturbing locations. Just say no. #
  • Americans e-mailing me: I love you all but I sleep at night in Australia. Not awake to respond at times. #
  • I just ousted Sharon V. as the mayor of Borders on @foursquare! #
  • I just ousted @ndowney77 as the mayor of Baker's Delight on @foursquare! #
  • Weird guestbook message: germans are meanies. #
  • Busy trying to convince @ShakataGaNai that cookies are awesome and to surrender his kitchen. Because I want home made by my dad cookies. #
  • How do I get city, state, country out of Google Maps Geocoder data? When starting with Latitude and Longitude? #
  • I can't figure out how to select that specific line… #
  • "Why are you using excel? Seems inefficient." "Because for most of my datasets, only 100 people. Don't need processing power." #
  • Working on my lit review this morning. I've written about 200 words. Happy. :) #
  • I don't suppose anyone could provide me with Eric and Kathy Podcasts? :( I think that they are blocking them in Australia. :( #
  • Lunch starter. #
  • Friend: Rule hadn't been invoked since Christ played football. Me: Heard Jesus spoke English so make sense he played Aussie rules football. #
  • Of course the site I wants to use is now down. :( #

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