Ozzie Sport is a blog by Laura Hale that is dedicated to looking at Australian sport culture online, and more specifically at social media. It also contains information about a degree program under way. I can be contacted at laura[at]fanhistory[.]com or laura[.]hale[@]uni[.]canberra[.]edu[.]au. I am h2oequalswater on aim, I’m bouncingpurplepopple on Y!M, email@example.com on MSN, laura at fanhistory dot com on G!Talk, and 807639 on ICQ. I can be reached by e-mail at laura at fanhistory dot com. Additional contact details are available at Laura’s Fan History profile and LinkedIn profile.
I started a research degree in Sports Studies at the University of Canberra in April 2010. My research focuses on online Australian sports fandom. My working title is: AUSTRALIAN SPORT FANDOM ONLINE: the online shaping of demographic, geographic and social characteristics of the Australian sport community . The numbers are framed around events that take place in Australian sport fandom in order to provide a better narrative and to put these numbers into context. So far, I’ve written chapters about the NRL and Melbourne Storm, AFL Roos and Crows fans in the Northern Territory, Jason Akermanis and the Western Bulldogs, Julia Gillard and the Western Bulldogs, Joel Monaghan and the Canberra Raiders, Anna Meares, and Greg Inglis and the Essendon Bombers.
I have data, in some cases going back a year, about over 500 Australian sport federations, leagues, clubs, and non-team athletes. This spans the spectrum from Australian Canoeing to the ANZ Championship and AFL to the Canberra Calvary to Sam Stosur and Stephanie Rice.
I’ve been known to tell people about my research by describing it as “Mmmm. Tasty data. Mmmm.” My whole approach tends to involve around gathering a data set, identifying patterns and seeking an explanations for these patterns. The general framework for how I gather data and approach analysis is based on my professional experiences, my educational background and my involvement in media fandom. My research is a form of creative research: I gather data without the knowledge of if I may need it in the future or not. This is why I so often share my data: I might not find it useful but some one may.
The following is a partial list of papers and analysis that I have posted to this blog:
- Code Flirting and Greg Inglis: Rabbitohs and Essendon Fan Response Online
- Joel Monaghan’s Mad Monday and the Online Canberra Raiders Fan Base
- The Impact of Jason Akermanis’s Comments on the Western Bulldogs’s Online Fanbase
- Online Activity in the Wake of the Melbourne Storm Controversy
- Google, the Melbourne Demons, Port Adelaide Power and that game in Darwin…
- Australian Fans at the World Cup: Foursquare and Gowalla Checkins
- Data absent context can change the meaning: Did Julia Gillard hurt the Bulldogs?
I hold a MSEd in Instructional Technology from Northern Illinois University where I completed two classes on how to conduct research, and have been involved with social media and fandom based research professionally:
- Founded Fan History Wiki, a project dedicated to documenting the history of fandom, in May 2006;
- Consulted for FanLib/Take 180 Studios from June 2007 to June 2009: Monitored the Internet for referenced to the company and advised them on how to handle online response to comments. Developed data sets to help with marketing related activities. Wrote an internal research document determining the percentage of adult fan fiction online;
- Wrote three white papers: Case Study: Fan History’s Proposal For Being Acquired by the WMF, MLB Game Attendance and Alternative Social Network Group Engagement, and Fan Fiction’s Predictive Value for Nielsen Ratings (appendix);
- Consulted for Dunkirk Systems from November 2009 to June 2010: Developed and managed a Twitter and Facebook strategy for an auto dealership, and regularly update a competitive analysis regarding how other dealers used social media to improve their sales;
- Principle organizer in 2009, 2010 Montreal, 2010 Canberra, 2011 Canberra for RecentChangesCamp, an unconference about wikis;
- BarCamp Chicago 2008 presenter with a panel discussing wikis; and
- SocialDevCamp 2008 presenter with a panel discussing wikis.
A more complete copy of my resume can be found at Fan History.
I barrack for the following teams:
- Chicago Bandits
- Canberra Capitals
- Canberra Raiders
- Canberra Roller Derby League
- Canberra United
- Chicago Cubs
- Chicago Blackhawks
- Chicago Red Stars
- Northern Illinois University Huskies
- Rockford Ice Hogs
- St. Kilda Saints
- USWNT : Soccer and ice hockey
The above list mostly includes teams from where I live and where I went to school. When I visited Australia in July 2009, I asked a friend I was visiting who I should barrack for. They told me they were a St. Kilda fan and I adopted them. (I then immediately apologized to my friend for cursing his team forever. I’m a Chicago Cubs fan. We were born to suffer losses for years. Coincidentally, after decided to barrack for St. Kilda, they did not finish their season well and have not been at the top of the ladder in 2010.)
My schedule is available here and includes events, workshops and times I won’t be on campus .