Archive for category Western Bulldogs

Most popular AFL related Twitter accounts (November 18)

Posted by Laura on Thursday, 18 November, 2010

I wasn’t intending to run this again until tomorrow.  Things came up.  I’m going away for the weekend and I want to get everyone’s follower information to see if I can’t begin to map that again.  Also, it’s been a month since I last that information.  (It took about five days.  That was back when Shane Warne had only 198,000 followers.)  I like benchmarking that data to see if there are geographic shifts in where people follow are from.  (Has the location of where Team GWS followers come from?)  So yeah, I figured I would run the script this morning instead of a week from now.

This particular list only includes AFL related accounts. (And everyone on it appears on the list of most popular for all of Australia.)   I’m hoping all the labels are right.  If anything is incorrect, players switched team, I’m missing people… let me know and I’ll fix it.  And yeah, I’ve ranked this one so you can more easily see who is popular and who is not.

Rank Account League Team Description Followers Statuses Listed Friends
1 AFL AFL AFL official 16764 5346 571 1269
2 harry_o AFL Collingwood Magpies player 10909 2211 302 534
3 Collingwood_FC AFL Collingwood Magpies official 9742 2095 291 5537
4 jimstynes AFL Melbourne Demons player 9490 145 226 13
5 karmichaelhunt AFL Gold Coast Football Club Karmichael Hunt (player) 9102 5424 293 193
6 Essendon_Fc AFL Essendon Bombers official team (male) 7440 4162 234 7291
7 GaryAblettJnr AFL Geelong Cats player 7051 138 123 34
8 mickmalthouse AFL Collingwood Magpies Mick Malthouse 6875 88 188 27
9 Adelaide_FC AFL Adelaide Crows official 6711 3154 239 6638
10 DT_13 AFL Collingwood Magpies Dale Thomas 6652 286 142 19
11 JobeWatson AFL Essendon Bombers player 6395 140 190 4
12 swandane AFL Collingwood Magpies player (male) 6243 139 109 10
13 sydneyswans AFL Sydney Swans official 6227 2813 253 2451
14 SP_10 AFL Collingwood Magpies player 6057 348 126 66
15 lehmo23 AFL Hawthorn Hawks player 5598 1871 208 591
16 stkildafc AFL St. Kilda Saints official 5494 2892 211 5549
17 BrendanFevola05 AFL Brisbane Lions player 5339 294 146 28
18 AngusMonfries AFL Essendon Bombers player 5241 268 186 18
19 Carlton_FC AFL Carlton Blues official 5213 2509 238 4055
20 tjrharley AFL Geelong Cats former player (male) 5094 912 162 193
21 Richmond_FC AFL Richmond Tigers official 4334 1206 173 4725
22 heathshaw39 AFL Collingwood Magpies player (male) 4318 61 91 7
23 northkangaroos AFL North Melbourne Kangaroos official 4312 1993 163 4724
24 craighutchy AFL AFL journalist (male)(Nine Network) 4266 223 117 655
25 SharrodW_21 AFL Collingwood Magpies player 4211 77 113 25
26 Geelong_FC AFL Geelong Cats fansite 3749 3746 161 1941
27 HawthornFC AFL Hawthorn Hawks official 3748 1052 170 10
28 nathan2jones AFL Melbourne Demons player 3531 1493 147 311
29 SuperCoachAFL AFL AFL fansite 3389 219 169 2305
30 SpidaEveritt AFL AFL former player 3225 240 76 1409
31 DemonsHQ AFL Melbourne Demons official 2934 2051 158 543
32 GoldCoastFC AFL Gold Coast Football Club official 2818 949 150 608
33 marcmurphy3 AFL Carlton Blues player 2665 130 84 42
34 stevenbaker10 AFL St. Kilda Saints player 2630 773 71 125
35 Fremantle_FC AFL Fremantle Dockers official 2612 651 141 164
36 WCEofficial AFL West Coast Eagles 2555 1367 143 1079
37 CamSchwab AFL Melbourne Demons ceo 2553 2122 106 460
38 PAFC AFL Port Adelaide Power official 2550 1253 162 79
39 FitzySA AFL Sydney Swans player (male) 2440 48 50 23
40 AndrewMackieGFC AFL Geelong Cats player 2292 33 97 3
41 chooka_86 AFL Carlton Blues player 2114 1509 77 198
42 triplemfooty AFL AFL Triple M Footy 2089 2860 79 112
43 Rickypetterd15 AFL Melbourne Demons unofficial 2063 340 93 90
44 JeffWhite34 AFL Melbourne Demons former player (male) 2061 7329 108 329
45 Adam0017 AFL Western Bulldogs player 2035 231 60 89
46 westernbulldogs AFL Western Bulldogs official 2034 324 101 53
47 andrewswallow AFL North Melbourne Kangaroos unofficial 1991 386 85 16
48 Beamdogg AFL Melbourne Demons player 1907 147 65 112
49 BradMilzy AFL Melbourne Demons player 1869 151 60 81
50 howcroft AFL Melbourne Demons player 1773 280 71 79
51 anthonyalsop AFL AFL sport media specialist (male) 1700 12487 122 1437
52 Real_ColSylvia AFL Melbourne Demons player 1689 20 56 32
53 AFLStatsGuys AFL AFL 1678 934 100 101
54 bigdyman AFL Collingwood Magpies player 1663 588 88 23
55 Hawks_AFL AFL Hawthorn Hawks unofficial 1631 1085 30 1951
56 SteveAlessio AFL Essendon Bombers former Essendon AFL player 1574 762 80 222
57 warrentredrea AFL Port Adelaide Power player 1537 506 58 93
58 brett_kirk AFL Sydney Swans player (Brett Kirk) (male) 1498 10 27 3
59 kadesimpson6 AFL Carlton Blues player 1495 47 50 13
59 sgrigg88 AFL Carlton Blues player 1495 87 53 19
61 ALFbrisbane AFL Brisbane Lions fansite 1445 38 58 3
62 GWS_Giants AFL Greater Western Sydney official team (male) 1433 268 79 177
63 PeterDaicos AFL Collingwood Magpies unofficial 1419 59 77 678
64 CaleMorton AFL Melbourne Demons player 1234 229 47 63
65 zacd_6 AFL St. Kilda Saints player 1220 115 35 55
66 DrDreamTeam AFL AFL Dream Team (male) 1210 547 50 27
67 AFLphotos AFL AFL official 1200 784 56 96
68 AFL_Shifter AFL AFL talent scout Kevin Sheehan 1191 108 35 12
69 AFLInsider AFL AFL official 1165 54 58 84
70 IanPrendergast AFL AFL AFL Players’ Association General Manager (male) 1100 821 58 289
71 ThaBigRush AFL Melbourne Demons player (male) 1093 35 43 32
72 samjacobs32 AFL Carlton Blues player 1081 53 36 23
73 AFL_JenWitham AFL AFL 1062 884 56 286
74 cornes18 AFL Port Adelaide Power player (male) 1047 183 36 60
75 Rivshouse AFL Melbourne Demons player 1039 10 49 8
76 collingwoodnews AFL Collingwood Magpies unofficial 1004 6 34 1
77 bater06 AFL Melbourne Demons Matthew Bate 986 110 40 63
78 njbrown17 AFL St. Kilda Saints player 982 43 54 19
79 troychaplin30 AFL Port Adelaide Power player 960 316 39 85
80 JasonJohnson14 AFL Essendon Bombers former Essendon AFL player 928 90 36 31
81 championdata AFL AFL Official Statisticians of the AFL. 899 2226 49 2
82 ssalopek3 AFL Port Adelaide Power player 858 200 36 51
83 ChadCornes AFL Port Adelaide Power player (male) 819 72 31 29
84 AFLBrisbaneFC AFL Brisbane Lions fansite 798 1212 34 25
85 Robeddy40 AFL St. Kilda Saints player 785 74 29 52
86 APWelsh AFL Essendon Bombers player 765 59 27 56
87 JaredCrouch AFL Sydney Swans former player 734 693 43 129
88 MattBurgan AFL Melbourne Demons editor 727 1143 32 86
89 JackRiewoldt08 AFL Richmond Tigers player (male) 707 11 22 13
90 tboak10 AFL Port Adelaide Power player (male) 704 38 29 21
91 RustyRussell02 AFL Carlton Blues player (male) 683 19 19 9
92 RTTF_AU AFL Sydney Swans fansite 681 1297 38 952
93 Swatta02 AFL Sydney Swans player (male) 661 542 23 245
94 newto29 AFL Melbourne Demons player 653 193 31 94
95 Freo_Dockers AFL Fremantle Dockers fansite 645 2293 43 380
96 wingsofperth AFL West Coast Eagles unofficial 612 849 9 8
97 hughesy_53 AFL Melbourne Demons player 610 83 24 43
98 PencilsCase AFL Melbourne Demons Jake Spencer 588 36 38 40
99 GraceOf41 AFL Port Adelaide Power player (male) 587 184 16 30
100 chipa__8 AFL Melbourne Demons player (male) 575 31 16 44
101 KurtTippett4 AFL Adelaide Crows player (male) 567 136 11 32
102 MitchMorton AFL Richmond Tigers player (male) 553 50 19 30
103 Sam_Blease AFL Melbourne Demons player 547 69 15 69
104 Maverick_weller AFL Gold Coast Football Club player 546 603 31 77
105 DTTALK AFL AFL Dream Team (male) 520 1574 34 124
106 rgray17 AFL Port Adelaide Power player 517 52 21 42
107 TheBigTicket4 AFL Adelaide Crows player (male) 510 34 22 14
108 Carltonfc AFL Carlton Blues fansite 507 602 19 58
109 TalkingCarlton AFL Carlton Blues fansite 491 2243 33 36
110 FremantleFC AFL Fremantle Dockers unofficial 485 2 13 0
111 BrendanWhiteX AFL Hawthorn Hawks player (male) 482 72 10 30
112 surj9 AFL Port Adelaide Power player (male) 461 63 21 37
113 MitchJbrown17 AFL West Coast Eagles unofficial 460 13 42 6
114 essendonfc AFL Essendon Bombers unofficial 456 2 10 0
115 Harts08 AFL Port Adelaide Power player (male) 455 39 20 43
116 AFL_AdamMcNicol AFL AFL Adam McNicol (male) 449 31 14 149
117 AFL_JasonPhelan AFL AFL AFL employee 445 373 17 99
118 PAFCNews AFL Port Adelaide Power fansite (male) 430 1427 17 151
118 ryanmcrowley AFL Fremantle Dockers player 430 31 26 17
120 Israel_Folau AFL Gold Coast Football Club player 423 204 14 10
121 Tomlogan44 AFL Port Adelaide Power player (male) 402 83 18 28
122 _the_kennel_ AFL Western Bulldogs fansite 382 2775 21 37
123 AFL_LHolmesby AFL AFL 379 514 23 125
123 Blueseum AFL Carlton Blues fansite 379 186 18 1466
125 paulstewy14 AFL Port Adelaide Power player (male) 376 289 19 21
126 bmsew AFL Hawthorn Hawks unofficial 367 0 24 66
127 ChrisLKnights AFL Adelaide Crows player (male) 352 29 14 11
128 bNason47 AFL Richmond Tigers player (male) 351 0 19 4
129 MelbourneFC AFL Melbourne Demons fansite 330 1 9 0
130 Cousins9 AFL West Coast Eagles former player (male) 323 148 3 112
131 mitchF15 AFL Port Adelaide Power player (male) 318 47 14 23
132 WestCoastEagles AFL West Coast Eagles unofficial 315 2 2 0
133 okeeferyan AFL Sydney Swans player (male) 311 34 14 6
134 ccaallward AFL Western Bulldogs player 310 1 33 0
135 bigfootynews AFL AFL fansite 309 139 15 141
136 demonland AFL Melbourne Demons fansite 306 566 12 209
137 go_saints AFL St. Kilda Saints fansite 304 68 13 274
138 Dockerland AFL Fremantle Dockers fansite 295 387 13 0
138 WarnieDT AFL AFL Dream Team (male) 295 1151 10 396
140 Brogsy5 AFL Port Adelaide Power player 294 29 17 49
140 Demonblog AFL Melbourne Demons fansite 294 3453 13 53
142 Brodie_Martin41 AFL Adelaide Crows player (male) 285 195 11 52
143 Lobbe23 AFL Port Adelaide Power player (male) 272 32 16 37
144 Andrew_Crowell AFL Adelaide Crows AFL Ladder Project Officer (Adelaide Crows Emcee) (SANFL Radio Commentator) 271 513 18 258
145 JoeyDaye AFL Gold Coast Football Club player 262 300 26 124
146 AFL_BenBroad AFL AFL AFL employee 256 132 17 97
147 BionicSwan AFL Sydney Swans unofficial 242 415 27 20
148 NABCup AFL AFL fansite 225 2384 23 217
148 SydAFLFan AFL Sydney Swans fan account 225 695 8 646
150 groundwork21 AFL Port Adelaide Power player (male) 213 1 13 1
151 briansham AFL Fremantle Dockers unofficial 212 38 18 12
151 dstewy43 AFL Port Adelaide Power player (male) 212 58 13 32
153 GrandstandAFL AFL AFL ABC 211 31 14 10
154 jpittard29 AFL Port Adelaide Power player (male) 206 28 12 17
155 matesOmelbourne AFL Melbourne Demons unofficial 201 25 14 22
156 6prfootball AFL AFL radio station 200 964 15 16
157 CF_Demons AFL Melbourne Demons fansite 197 344 10 106
158 AFLgf2 AFL AFL fansite 196 150 4 849
158 Saints_FC AFL St. Kilda Saints fansite 196 86 14 8
160 Marcus__White AFL North Melbourne Kangaroos player 180 33 21 27
161 wceaglesfc AFL West Coast Eagles fansite 173 110 5 55
162 MayorDT AFL AFL Dream Team (male) 172 688 12 70
163 matt_jaensch AFL Adelaide Crows player (male) 168 79 8 15
164 swansreserves AFL Canberra Sydney Swans Reserves 167 1732 8 176
165 AFL_Aus AFL AFL fansite 148 157 10 0
165 ftscrazy AFL Western Bulldogs fansite 148 329 12 29
167 adelaidefc AFL Adelaide Crows fansite 146 186 5 0
168 RWBFooty AFL St. Kilda Saints unofficial 141 539 8 79
169 StangerDT AFL AFL Dream Team (male) 137 296 9 49
170 CFC_Multimedia AFL Carlton Blues 133 50 9 112
171 melbfcblog AFL Melbourne Demons fansite 132 156 5 84
172 RoyDT AFL AFL Dream Team (male) 125 26 5 17
173 CalvinDT AFL AFL Dream Team (male) 124 41 6 7
174 ChopperDT AFL AFL Dream Team (male) 123 5 5 21
174 yellow_n_black AFL Richmond Tigers unofficial 123 1130 12 12
176 Nicksy2323 AFL Sydney Swans player (male) 119 14 6 9
177 BF_Lions AFL Brisbane Lions fansite 117 416 5 46
178 thecattery AFL Geelong Cats unofficial 112 478 8 28
179 Bradenstokes AFL AFL Player Relations Coordinator with the AFLPA 111 157 6 158
180 ACT4GWS AFL Greater Western Sydney 96 222 3 58
181 hawkaDT AFL Hawthorn Hawks fansite 94 12 4 474
181 jarrad34 AFL Port Adelaide Power player (male) 94 2 7 34
183 demonwiki AFL Melbourne Demons fansite 92 195 3 76
184 lewis_moss AFL Gold Coast Football Club player (male) 89 54 5 32
184 natskii AFL Brisbane Lions player (male) 89 667 4 173
186 AFL_MarkConway AFL AFL AFL employee 76 330 11 100
186 AFL_MikeRogers AFL AFL AFL employee 76 28 11 24
188 CatmanForever AFL Geelong Cats fansite 71 700 7 6
188 nthmelbourne AFL North Melbourne Kangaroos fansite 71 54 2 92
190 Chippa39 AFLNT AFLNT official 67 972 0 122
191 AFL_MicCullen AFL AFL AFL employee 57 234 8 1
191 VictoriaParkHC AFL Collingwood Magpies grounds 57 98 2 23
193 fake_EssendonFC AFL Essendon Bombers fansite 49 66 4 79
194 NicksBB AFL Collingwood Magpies fansite 46 6 2 64
195 MOORE_26 AFL Port Adelaide Power player (male) 45 7 4 30
196 bc8977 AFL Fremantle Dockers unofficial 42 8 9 10
197 AFL_ChrisPike AFL AFL 41 283 8 0
198 bomberblitz AFL Essendon Bombers player 40 117 1 20
199 AFL_MuzzBelkin AFL AFL AFL employee 35 137 7 0
200 AFL_CamNoakes AFL AFL 29 122 7 1
201 AFL_BenOliver AFL AFL AFL employee 28 534 7 1
201 AFL_Nschmook AFL AFL AFL employee 28 238 6 0
201 AFL_ScottBevo AFL AFL 28 126 8 2
204 AFL_Jbartold AFL AFL AFL employee 26 81 8 0
204 AFL_PaulJohnson AFL AFL AFL employee 26 118 6 4
206 AFL_Undercover AFL AFL fansite 23 27 1 116
207 SwansPerthCrew AFL Sydney Swans fan group 22 182 3 131
208 AFL_KatrinaGill AFL AFL AFL employee 21 0 5 0
208 AFL_SteveRice AFL AFL AFL employee 21 53 7 12
209 bobalski AFL Canberra Sydney Swans Reserves 19 115 3 14
210 jreynojreyno AFL Essendon Bombers player 16 11 1 25
211 AFL_StuWarren AFL AFL AFL employee 12 20 4 0
212 AFL_JOConnell AFL AFL AFL employee 10 53 5 0

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Which AFL team do Canberrans support in the Grand Final?

Posted by Laura on Wednesday, 15 September, 2010

Canberra has traditionally been a place that people aren’t from.  Rather, it is a place that people have traditionally moved to.  When they move, they take their sporting loyalties with them.  For that reason, there is a conflicting mess of sport loyalties in the city.  If you went to see the Sydney Swans play the Western Bulldogs at Manuka Oval this year, you could clearly see these different loyalties on display as it pertains to the AFL.  On the whole, I’ve generally found Canberrans to be pretty good with these loyalties: You can safely wear your team’s kit with out fear that some stranger is going to take the piss out of you.

The Grand Final is soon approaching.  Given the different sporting loyalties, it is interesting to see which team people in Canberra are barracking for.  Is one team more popular than another?  Do Canberran loyalties mirror national loyalties?

One way of measuring loyalty and team identification is to count how many people follow a team on Twitter.  All followers combined, Collingwood 7,381 followers, St. Kilda has 4,492 followers, Geelong has 2,153 and the Western Bulldogs have 1,554.  When Twitter followers for each team are filtered by location using time zones and user listed location, you can get an idea as to how many Canberrans are followers of the various teams playing in the Grand Finals:

Suburb Collingwood Magpies Geelong Cats St Kilda Saints Western Bulldogs
Barton 0 0 1 0
Canberra 62 10 28 17
Canberra International Airport 0 1 0 0
Capital Hill 1 0 0 0
City 0 0 0 1
Dickson 0 0 1 0
Gordon 0 1 0 0
Theodore 1 0 0 0
Total 64 12 30 18

It isn’t that big of a surprise that Collingwood is number one. Roy Morgan Research had them as the most popular Melbourne based team in 2009.  Beyond that, Canberrans on Twitter buck the popularity trend.  Roy Morgan has Geelong at number 2.  On Twitter, Canberrans are the least likely to follow Geelong.  Roy Morgan had the Western Bulldogs last.   Canberrans had them at third.  Overall, when compared to total number of followers for a team, Canberrans don’t  always follow the national patterns.  Again, Geelong and the Western Bulldogs are the ones that don’t match: More people follow Geelong on Twitter but more Canberrans on Twitter follow the Western Bulldogs.  It looks like Canberrans, who don’t have their own AFL team, follow a different drummer than the one that beats on a national level.

Another way to measure team loyalty and team identification in Canberra is to use Facebook.  Facebook says that there are 198,500 users who live in the ACT and 175,900 people who live within 50 miles of Canberra.  What Grand Finals teams do Canberrans like?

Area Collingwood Magpies Geelong Cats St Kilda Saints Western Bulldogs
Canberra – Within 50 miles 4,540 760 1,100 280
Australian Capital Territory 5,080 1,040 1,240 300

Well, not the Western Bulldogs, that’s for sure.  Canberran fans on Facebook much more clearly follow the national patterns as established by Roy Morgan.

Other social networks exist and Canberran sport fans are present on them.  One such network is LiveJournal (and its clones).  There are a number of fans on it who list their teams as an interest on their profile:   4 for Collingwood,  22 for Geelong,  16 for St. Kilda and 23  for the Western Bulldogs.  When broken down by city and state, there are two fans from the ACT who list Geelong as an interest and one fan who lists the Saints as an interest.  This pattern for the ACT does not mirror the pattern for the whole of LiveJournal.  It also doesn’t follow the pattern for team fandom size as identified by Roy Morgan Research.

Over on 43 things, there is one Canberran who has a goal related to an AFL team.  It just isn’t a team in the finals.  (The Canberran has a goal of buying a Sydney Swans jumper.)  On bebo, there are 18 people identified as being from the ACT who list an AFL team as an interest, four of which list a Grand Finals team as an interest.  Two support Collingwood, one supports Geelong and one supports St. Kilda.  This pattern mirrors the national one as established by Roy Morgan Research.  On Blogger, there are four people from the ACT who list an AFL team as an interest.  Of these four, only one lists a finals bound team: Geelong.

What does tell us?  Canberran AFL fans are most likely to be found on Facebook.  Their support of their clubs is similar to the national club support though there are differences.    Different social networks attract Canberrans fans of different teams.  It shouldn’t be that hard to find a like minded fan who will support your team if you’re here for the game.  The easiest time of doing that will probably be for Collingwood Supporters but Bulldog fans shouldn’t be that worried either.  Just go on Twitter Doggies fans and reach out to your fellow Canberrans.

Most of the raw data referenced in this post can be found at

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What #afl related hashtags get the most RT @ ReTweets?

Posted by Laura on Sunday, 15 August, 2010

While on vacation, a friend of mine recommended I read Want to be Retweeted? Add Hashtags to Your Tweets! The article is rather interesting and looks at the #hashtags that led to the most ReTweets.

I have a collection of AFL related tweets that I update semi-regularly. More often than not, I use these for geographic related analysis. My AFL tweet collection has a series of issues though that make me hesitant to always draw definitive conclusions from it. These issues include:

  • Incomplete tweet set for keywords: I only get what is available from Searchtastic.
  • Incomplete tweet set based on keyword limitations: Even supposing I could get all the tweets related to a keyword, I can’t find every reference to the AFL as there are too many possible words that could reference the AFL and its clubs.
  • Incomplete tweet set because of time: Some keywords were searched for earlier and some later. Not all keywords were looked at over the same period.
  • Irrelevant tweets: Keywords like #gosaints may refer to the St. Kilda Saints or the New Orleans Saints. AFL may refer to the AFL-CIO, a union in the United States. Unless every tweet is examined, irrelevant tweets will remain in the data set.

These are major obstacles to doing any sort of content analysis for Twitter when specific subgroups are looked at. Many of these issues are ones that other researchers are likely to have too: You can’t get the complete data set, will include garbage data and may not be entirely timely.

That said, despite these limitations, I still wanted to know what are the most popular #hashtags for AFL related tweets and what type of hashtags are likely to be ReTweeted.

To get my dataset of Tweets, first I went to Searchtastic, ran a series of searches over the course of 6 weeks, and exported those results to Excel. I noted the keyword I searched for and the team that keyword is related to. The keyword searches that were run on Searchtastic during this period included: #afl, #aflbluestigers, #aflcatslions, #afldemonsswans, #afldogscats, #afldogsfreo, #afldogspower, #afleaglesblues, #aflfooty, #aflhawksdemons, #aflkangasbombers, #aflkangasfreo, #AFLPAQUIZ, #aflpiestigers, #aflpowercrows, #aflpowereagles, #aflsaintshawks, #aflswanshawks , #brisbanelions, #dreamteam, #footy, #fremantle, #freo, #freo AFL, #goblues, #gobombers, #Gocats, #gocrows, #gopies, #gosaints, #goswans, #NMFC, #northmelbourne, #sackermanis, #supercoach, #sydneyswans, #teamgws, #thekennel, #wafl, #westcoast afl, ackermanis sacked, ACT4GWS, Adelaide Crows, Adelaide_FC, afl Bombers, AFL GWS, AFL Magpies, afl pies, AFL Tony Lockett, Aker Bulldogs, Akermanis, akermanis dogs, akermanis gillard, Australian rules, blues afl, Brad Johnson, Brad Johnson AFL, Brady Rawlings, brisbane afl, Brisbane Lions, Brownlow Medal, Cameron Mooney cats, Carlton Blues, Chris Judd Carlton, Collingwood, collingwood AFL, Collingwood Magpies, crows afl, Damien Hardwick, DemonsHQ, Dockers AFL, eagles afl, eagles perth, Eric Mackenzie , Essendon afl, Essendon Bombers, etihad kilda, folau afl, folau israel, Fremantle Dockers, fremantle ruckman, GCFC, geelong cats, Gold Coast Suns, harry_o, Hawthorn Hawks, HawthornFC, Jason Akermanis, Jeff Kennett, Judd Blues, kilda, kilda AFL, kilda riewoldt, lions afl, Mark Harvey, mcg kilda, Melbourne Demons, milburn cats, Nathan van Berlo Crows, North Melbourne Kangaroos, PAFC, Peter Szental, Port Adelaide Power, portadelaidefc, Richmond Football, Richmond Tigers, Rodney Eade dogs, roos afl, sackermanis, spoon eagles, spoon lions, spoon tigers, spoon wce, swans afl, swans footy, swans ruckman, Sydney Swans, tigers afl, Travis Johnstone, Trent Cotchin, WCE AFL, West Coast Eagles, and Western Bulldogs. These keywords represent all teams and often include multiple keywords for them.

The next step was to remove all duplicate tweets. As some tweets contain multiple keywords and some searches were run more than once over that 6-week time period, that possibility existed. To do this, three columns were copy and pasted to a new worksheet: Username, Tweet and In Reply To. On Excel, I did this using Filter -> Advanced Filter -> Unique records only. This process took the total tweets from 8,523 to 5,427.

The third step was to identify all the hash tags used in this data set. To do this, I copy and pasted all the tweets to Notepad. I ran a find and replace for [space]# and replaced with [tab]#. I copy and pasted these back, removed all cells that did not start with a #. After this was done, the data set was copy and pasted back to Notepad. Another find and replace was done, this time, [space] was replaced with [tab]. This was pasted back to excel and all cells that did not start with # were deleted. The completed list was 2,833 total hashtags used. Of these, 556 were unique. The following table counts their total usage:

Hashtag Total times used
#afl 724
#gosaints 110
#gocats 84
#DreamTeam 79
#aflswanshawks 53
#aflpiestigers 51
#aflpowereagles 51
#afldogscats 47
#aflfooty 46
#aflsaintshawks 45
#footy 44
#aflhawksdemons 43
#aflbluestigers 41
#aflcatslions 41
#afleaglesblues 41
#aflkangasfreo 38
#brisbanelions 38
#aflkangasbombers 36
#GoSwans 35
#Goblues 34
#ausvotes 33
#gopies 31
#ff 28
#afldogsfreo 25
#Essendon 21
#GoBombers 20
#afldemonsswans 18
#Fremantle 17
#SuperCoach 17
#afllionscrows 16
#adelaide 15
#aflpowercrows 14
#news 13
#thekennel 12
#football 10
#Sackermanis 9
#11BOYS 8
#afllionssaints 8
#Blues 8
#collingwood 8
#Hawks 8
#HNG 8
#Lions 8
#Australia 7
#Dockers 7
#fb 7
#freo 7
#sports 7
#wce 7
#aker 6
#jobs 6
#lost 6
#ABC 5
#aflbluesdogs 5
#Chelsea 5
#Eng 5
#NorthMelbourne 5
#pafc 5
#wafl 5
#aflbombersblues 4
#aflfreoswans 4
#akermanis 4
#blog 4
#bombers 4
#Bulldogs 4
#fail 4
#gopies!! 4
#gws 4
#pies 4
#sport 4
#worldcup 4
#aflcatshawks 3
#aflcrowscats 3
#afleagleslions 3
#argyleman 3
#beer 3
#bj008 3
#Crows 3
#dogs 3
#dss10 3
#footyshow 3
#Freelance 3
#Gillard 3
#goldcoast 3
#Light 3
#Melbourne 3
#plymouth 3
#sagreat 3
#sydneyswans 3
#tcot 3
#travel 3
#wa 3
#17Julay 2
#afl: 2
#aka 2
#akermanis, 2
#alp 2
#Apple 2
#AstonVilla 2
#brisbane 2
#Carlton 2
#CarltonFC 2
#CFL 2
#Chargers 2
#Chile 2
#Cousins 2
#DT 2
#Eagles 2
#economist 2
#FollowFriday 2
#footyfriday 2
#gno 2
#goCats! 2
#gosaints. 2
#Hamburg 2
#Health 2
#Idontthinkso 2
#Illegal 2
#job 2
#kentucky 2
#lastfm 2
#lp’s 2
#magpies 2
#mofo 2
#Monday 2
#monkbeer 2
#NBA 2
#New 2
#Obesity 2
#online 2
#P2 2
#Soccer 2
#Sportal 2
#suns 2
#Sydney 2
#TeamFollowBack 2
#Þ¹ Óù²_ 2
#thefootyshow 2
#throughandthrough 2
#Tigers 2
#TT 2
#WhoDat 2
# 1
#011 1
#1 1
#1, 1
#15 1
#17 1
#2. 1
#2010 1
#3 1
#3DAL 1
#6 1
#6insolidaity 1
#7 1
#ABCnews24 1
#adelaide, 1
#adversity 1
#af… 1
#AFL! 1
#AFL, 1
#afl. 1
#Aflac 1
#aflbulldogscats 1
#aflcatspies 1
#aflcionow 1
#afldemonsbombers 1
#afldemonsswans. 1
#afldogscats101 1
#afldogskangas 1
#afldogspower 1
#afleaglesfreo 1
#AFLfootyshow 1
#aflhawksdogs 1
#aflordapele 1
#aflpiestigers. 1
#aflsaintshawks. 1
#afrodigital 1
#akergate. 1
#Akermanis. 1
#akermankiss 1
#Albania 1
#A-League 1
#alfsaintshawks 1
#AlfStewart 1
#allday 1
#AllieGentry 1
#annoyingquestion 1
#Argyle 1
#ArizonaFallLeague 1
#Art 1
#Astros 1
#aussiemigration 1
#Autocar 1
#avidfan 1
#BagelTuesday 1
#bankshowdown 1
#Barcelona 1
#Basketball 1
#batman 1
#BBB 1
#BBB, 1
#bcfc 1
#BEATthebotssss 1
#beenthere 1
#Belgium 1
#betchaknowem 1
#beu 1
#BigFooty 1
#blessings 1
#bmb 1
#boomers 1
#Bordeaux 1
#boulen10? 1
#breakuplines 1
#Bremen 1
#Briggswentdownlike 1
#BrisbaneLions! 1
#BrisbaneLions. 1
#broncos 1
#brugerdisken 1
#Brumbies 1
#caa 1
#cannes 1
#Canterbury-Bankstown 1
#carnbombers 1
#Celtic 1
#championship 1
#Cheetahs 1
#chi 1
#cliffhanghaunters 1
#Climate 1
#CNNHeroes. 1
#cocaine 1
#Coffee 1
#Collingwood. 1
#Collingwood: 1
#collingwoodfc 1
#Colombia 1
#Conservation 1
#conservative. 1
#cop15 1
#Corvette 1
#cowboys 1
#coworking 1
#crazyideas 1
#cubs 1
#deals 1
#deetrain!) 1
#defense 1
#Demetriou 1
#dicaduca 1
#diet 1
#doublestandard 1
#draft 1
#draw365 1
#DREAMTEAM!!!!!!! 1
#DREAMTEAM!!!!!!!!! 1
#dreamteam(u 1
#DreamTeam, 1 1
#dreamteam2010 1
#dreamteam2010(Ur 1
#drmtm 1
#druggies 1
#Duck 1
#duh 1
#duisburg 1
#dumb 1
#Eagles. 1
#ecommerce 1
#ecommretail 1
#EdeActueel 1
#efficiënt 1
#elmundial 1
#elvisfest 1
#ems 1
#emt 1
#England 1
#epic 1
#EquipedelaRêve 1
#ESPN3: 1
#everyday 1
#everyoneshappy 1
#excitedtweet 1
#faic 1
#fanniemae 1
#fascinating 1
#fat 1
#FCTwente 1
#FcukFranklin 1
#fd10p2m 1
#Fev 1
#fireupdons 1
#fitness 1
#flag 1
#flagship 1
#flash 1
#Flight 1
#flotilla 1
#FollowNow 1
#footyclassified 1
#footyOne 1
#footyshow. 1
#footyteammovies 1
#forçafluminense 1
#FoxFooty 1
#Foxtel 1
#free 1
#Freelancer 1
#freeweezy 1
#freo. 1
#freshen 1
#FridayFwit. 1
#fromtheouter 1
%- %(
#fuckyeah 1
#Gabon 1
#gallery: 1
#game 1
#Gaza 1
#Geelong 1
#GeelongCats 1
#GER, 1
#GoBears 1
#goBears! 1
#gopies!!! 1
#GoSaints!! 1
#gosaintsFC 1
#gostkilda 1
#GoSwans! 1
#GoSwans!!! 1
#gothepies 1
#green, 1
#GroenWerkt 1
#guitar 1
#Haiku 1
#haiti: 1
#HamOnt 1
#handig 1
#Hanley. 1
#HardMan 1
#harry-o 1
#hawks#Hawthorn#AFL 1
#Hawthorn 1
#hcr, 1
#healthybusiness, 1
#healthyliving 1
#hiring 1
#History 1
#hnw 1
#Hockey 1
#hollin 1
#homepark 1
#hotels 1
#HTC 1
#humor 1
#iConfess 1
#i’dliketoseethat! 1
#ihatecollingwood 1
#ihatequotes 1
#ihaveadream 1
#IloveagoodConspiracryTheory 1
#imabitscared 1
#immaturelittleboy 1
#in 1
#inception, 1
#IndianapolisColts 1
#Insiders: 1

The next step was to count the total @ replies and hashtag uses. To do this, all the unique tweets were copied to a new worksheet. A filter was created to list all tweets that did not include an @ sign. These tweets were deleted. This brought the total tweets from 5,427 to 1,844. The next step was to create a filter to show all tweets that did not include a #. These tweets were then deleted. This brought the total Tweets down to 832. The next step was to look remove tweets that did not contain “RT @”, “RT:@”, “retweeting @”, “retweet @”, “via @”, “thx @”, “HT @”, or “r @”. This leaves 458 tweets that are retweets that contain hash tags.

The same process was conducted to count the hash tags that was used for all hash tags and RT @. The following list was created of people who were the most ReTweeted (or mentioned in the ReTweeted tweet) where the tweets contained #hashtags and the #hashtag totals for ReTweets. These were then totaled and counted, resulting in the following table:

Hashtag Count ReTweeted Count
#GOSAINTS 37 @afl 44
#DreamTeam 36 @Carlton_FC 24
#GoCats 26 @stkildafc 23
#AFL 25 @hawthornfc 16
#afleaglesblues 21 @Essendon_FC 15
#pafc 20 @Geelong_FC 12
#aflkangasbombers 19 @sydneyswans 12
#aflpiestigers 18 @iamdiddy 10
#aflsaintshawks 18 @Richmond_FC 9
#aflswanshawks 17 @AFLPA 8
#ausvotes 12 @Adelaide_FC 7
#aflpowereagles 10 @JuliaGillard 7
#AflKANGASfreo 9 @northkangaroos 7
#brisbanelions 9 @_the_kennel_ 6
#NMFC 8 @bigmacvikings 6
#sackermanis 8 @Collingwood_FC 6
#thekennel 8 @dizzyyet 6
#Adelaide 7 @redcafesd 6
#aflcatslions 7 @seanpaull 6
#afllionssaints 7 @aflcio 5
#aflhawksdemons 6 @Gottrocks 5
#AFLPAQUIZ 6 @myfabolouslife 5
#aflpowercrows 6 @PAFC 5
#11BOYS 5 @triplemfooty 5
#GoBombers 5 @AFLStatsGuys 4
#GoPies 5 @AveStarLJ 4
#P2 5 @Bickys 4
#tcot 5 @Bigdroppunt 4
#travel 5 @Blonde_Cheeks 4
#afldemonsswans 4 @CatsInsider 4
#fremantle 4 @crowdiegal 4
#gopies!! 4 @DemonsHQ 4
#goswans 4 @DjPaniic 4
#lions 4 @Fremantle_FC 4
#soccer 4 @jletti 4
#tags: 4 @JOEYCRACKTS 4
#throughandthrough 4 @SENNews 4
#afldogsfreo 3 @tabloidterror 4
#aker 3 @tedwards2 4
#akermanis 3 @THEjennykim 4
#AUG21STCLUBVENUS 3 @themonkbeer 4
#beer 3 @tjrharley 4
#ecfc 3 @aburt 3
#ENG 3 @charlenemay 3
#FF 3 @drwarwick 3
#GUAPGANG 3 @Footyfree 3
#HNG 3 @fromtheouter 3
#monkbeer 3 @garethdn 3
#sewelliscool 3 @mydogateart 3
#SydneySwans 3 @NikkiRoks 3
#WhoDat 3 @pluke17 3
#worldcup 3 @rachii_10 3
#aflbluestigers 2 @rickyrozay 3
#afleagleslions 2 @RTTF_AU 3
#aflfooty 2 @StadiumMustard 3
#aka 2 @TLW3 3
#argyleman 2 @trmash 3
#bj008 2 @afletch5 2
#bulldogs 2 @AFLNewsWire 2
#dogs 2 @AlexBrink10 2
#DOPEVIDEOALERT!! 2 @alexhart7 2
#dreamteam2010 2 @andrewbolt 2
#footy 2 @angiemartinez 2
#footyfriday 2 @annielin 2
#footyshow 2 @BradJohnson6 2
%- %(
2 @BrigandLehmo 2
#Gillard 2 @brotheramos 2
#GoBears 2 @CalAthletics 2
#Goblues 2 @catsman09 2
#Illegal 2 @ChristophHewett 2
#lp 2 @DaRealRoot 2
#nowplaying 2 @Diamonds_Pearlz 2
#plymouth 2 @DreamTeamatl_TK 2
#putthatinyourpipeandsmokeit 2 @DT_13 2
#ROCGiRLs 2 @EdMorrissey 2
#sagreat 2 @emmat18 2
#supercoach 2 @EssendonBomber 2
#thefootyshow 2 @FakeWoosha 2
#TwoDat 2 @globoesportecom 2
#wce 2 @HaroldKuepers. 2
#1, 1 @hawthornfc15 2
#accommodation 1 @iAmRozayyy 2
#aflak 1 @j_carroll7 2
#aflcrowscats 1 @JAE_MILLZ 2
#afldogscats 1 @jasminewright96 2
#aflfreoswans 1 @jazzpafc 2
#AFLPA 1 @jeeziiroqk 2
#alp 1 @jimmywa11 2
#Argyle 1 @jmf27614 2
#Art 1 @jonboy79 2
#bankshowdown 1 @jonpierk 2
#BELIEVE 1 @jrwilliams22 2
#BENNY 1 @JsMiLeZ10 2
#BERBATOV 1 @kaatieee27 2
#BigFooty 1 @keithpitty 2
#BLOG 1 @Ladder_) 2
#boomers 1 @LEGITBOSS 2
#Briggswentdownlike 1 @letoyaluckett 2
#Celtic 1 @Lizziemcbizzie 2
#CERTIFIED 1 @M3lizza 2
#CFL 1 @milo317 2
#Chile 1 @MMMGUNNA 2
#Collingwood. 1 @MRS_MERCHANT 2
#CRS 1 @mstiffington 2
#cubs 1 @NeL_DTF 2
#deetrain! 1 @nick_wade 2
#draw365 1 @NICKIMINAJ 2
#DT 1 @NiKKi_E13 2
#Essendon 1 @noisyinstrument 2
#FERGUSON 1 @plymouthcc 2
#Flecoat 1 @ranyunfei 2
#Flight 1 @reggie_bush 2
#FLYSTLYE 1 @ruanji 2
#FollowNow 1 @SarahStanley 2
#Football 1 @SharinaBurns 2
#GERONIMO 1 @shelleyjames 2
#GGMU 1 @ShunnyBun 2
#glennbeck 1 @StadiumHero 2
#GOGIANTS 1 @SuadeMusic 2
#gop 1 @TalentedInk 2
#GoPies! 1 @TalkingCarlton 2
#GoSaints!!!! 1 @tech45cast 2
#gosaintsFC 1 @tgrant20 2
#gostkilda 1 @the_tony 2
#green, 1 @TheCONDO 2
#GUCCI 1 @therealsmoir 2
#haiti: 1 @TheRealYungBerg 2
#Hawks 1 @TheVoyuer 2
#healthybusiness 1 @thisgirlrox 2
#healthyliving 1 @thisischile 2
#hiring 1 @thisisScoMan 2
#HOLIDAY 1 @timvl 2
#HTC 1 @tip66 2
#ihaveadream 1 @tkpleslie 2
#in 1 @TrendsMelbourne 2
#Inter 1 @UnitedWayTC 2

Based on this sample, (because the whole of the population of AFL tweets is not available and cannot the total cannot be counted to determine the representative value of the sample) the most RTed #hashtag in a Tweet related to the AFL is #gosaints. #dreamteam comes in second. #gocats comes in third. #afl comes in fourth.

The #gosaints tag is popular and the team’s official account has encouraged its use. More recently, New Orleans Saints fans have used it as the NFL pre-season has started. #dreamteam is one of the two most popular AFL fantasy leagues and those fantasy leagues are big into fostering community. Beyond these top four, the most popular tags tend to involve specific match ups. If all tags related to match ups had been included around the time that the games took place, it is highly possible more would be on that list.

In terms of who gets RTed and mentioned in ReTweets, official accounts dominate: The AFL, Carlton, St. Kilda, Hawthorn, the Bombers, Geelong and the Swans. The first non-team account to appear is P. Diddy and he is followed by a number of influential Australian social media people. The next person / non-official AFL account to appear is Julia Gillard. AFL players do not appear to be ReTweeted en masse when compared to their club sides. This isn’t to say that people don’t actively read and follow them. If looking at ReTweets without #hashtags, @harry_o would appear on top with 50 mentions. It is probable that clubs are using #hashtags and players are not; there could be a digital cultural awareness divide between the two.

A copy of the data and some of my step by step process making it workable can be found at RTAFL.xls. I find the whole thing really interesting. If anyone has any tools to make dataming easier or has a suggestion for additional research in this area, let me know as I’d love to hear it.

Related Posts:

The Impact of Jason Akermanis’s Comments on the Western Bulldogs’s Online Fanbase

Posted by Laura on Wednesday, 21 July, 2010

This was originally written on June 14, 2010. It has not been edited since then. There may be some grammatical errors and citation related issues.

The Impact of Jason Akermanis’s Comments on the Western Bulldogs Online Fanbase

On May 20, the Jason Akermanis says gay AFL players should stay in the closet backlash started in response to his column in the Herald Sun. (Akermanis, 2010) The media covered the story on television, in print and online.  AFL fans discussed it on Twitter, created protest pages on Facebook, wiki articles were updated and a lot of people posted about it on the blogosphere.  Management within the AFL and the Western Bulldogs felt compelled to speak out against Jason’s comments.  People talked of reporting Jason to the Victorian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity commission.

From a marketing perspective, Akermanis’s opinions were perceived as damaging to the sport and league.  The Western Bulldogs have an association with VicHealth and the Gay and Lesbian Health Association and Akermanis’s comments seemed to contradict and undermine that support. (Walsh, 2010)  The possibility of negative backlash may not have been apparent to the team prior to the article being published as, according to the Sydney Star Observer, team management signed off on the column. (Noonan, 2010)   The size of the backlash and efforts to try to address it can probably be best evidenced by the suspension of Akermanis from the playing field and talking to the media.

Unlike the Melbourne Storm controversy, Akermanis’s comments do not give the appearance of having activated his personal fan base and the fan base for the Western Bulldogs.  There were no media reports of pastors speaking out on Akermanis’s behalf.  His teammates did not support him.  The media did not dismiss his comments, excusing them because of his otherwise excellent on field performance.  Perhaps had Akermanis made these comments in a different country, his comments would have had the potential to be less damaging to the club he played for.  There is also a general view, at least in the United States, that sport teams are run by conservatives who maintain traditional family values.  The assumption is often that sport fans reflect those same values; those that do not chose to follow other popular culture products like movies, television and video games.   If the fanbase for the AFL had actually reflected those underlying assumptions, the situation could have been much more easily ignored and have had the potential to be much less damaging.

The question is how damaging was the situation for the Western Bulldogs online?  How can this be measured? Did the team lose the potential to grow their audience when compared to other AFL teams as a result of Akermanis’s comments?  Who supported Jason and who did not?

The measurement question is probably the most difficult one to address.  Unlike the Melbourne Storm situation, this does not involve a team: The situation involves a specific player.  Liking or adding the team as an interest cannot necessarily be seen as supporting or condemning Jason Akermanis.  People could like the team because they suspended Akermanis for his comments. It is much harder to attribute page views to Akermanis and/or Western Bulldogs supporters who want to find out the situation in order to justify or reaffirm their allegiances.  Almost none of the media coverage and very few people on Twitter indicated that the fanbase was activated in defense of the team and Akermanis.  Thus, a default assumption for any data is that publicity of the situation will activate a larger audience to be against both the club and Akermanis unless contextual evidence suggests otherwise.

Given the measurement difficulties, this paper will nonetheless try to determine how the online community responded to the Jason Akermanis situation and how this reflects back on the Western Bulldogs.  This will be done by looking at Facebook, Wikipedia, Twitter, bebo, Alexa and a few selected sites.

Facebook is the most popular social network in Australia.  Facebook’s advertising data says that there are over nine million users from Australia using the site.  (1)  The following of some Australian based sport teams and leagues are quite large.  The official fan pages for the Queensland Maroons, Brisbane Broncos, Socceroos, AFL and Essendon Bombers all have more than 50,000 fans.

Given the large number of Australians using the network, the official presence of so many clubs and the amount of media attention paid to the service, a response on network was inevitable.   There are several Facebook metrics that can be looked at to ascertain how the controversy effected the Western Bulldogs and Jason Akermanis.  The first way is to compare the relative growth of the Western Bulldogs’ total fans on their fan page compared to other teams during the same page.  A second way is to examine comparative growth of groups that supported Akermanis versus those that condemned his views.  The third way is to compare demographic and geographic distinctions between fans that support Akermanis, people that condemned Akermanis’s views and Western Bulldogs fans.

If the Jason Akermanis controversy hurt the Western Bulldogs on Facebook, it should have resulted in a loss or slower growth in terms of total and percentage of new fans on Facebook when compared to other teams. Data was collected between March 25 and June 10, 2010 regarding the size of the official Facebook fan pages for several AFL teams. (2)

Table 1

In the period between May 3 to May 30, the Western Bulldogs were in the middle of the teams for number of new fans with 1,453. This was almost three times as many as the bottom ranked Geelong Cats who had 519 new fans in that period and a third of new fans of the top ranked Collingwood Magpies who saw an increase of 4,150 fans. An argument could be made that period had too much time preceding it that could have lessened any potential loss with earlier gains. Thus comparing the period between May 30 and June 5 migh be more helpful as Akermanis was suspended on June 1. That new brought additional attention to the column that led to his suspension. During this period, the Western Bulldogs ranked seven out of nine for total new fans with 213 people liking them. This number may not be that accurate as not all teams that had performed worse than them in the previous period were included in this sample. The better comparison could be between May 3 and June 10, 2010 as it is larger and includes the initial controversy and the suspension use. That data set is also more complete. During this longer period, the Western Bulldogs finish in the middle with a gain of 1,812 fans. This compares to the Carlton Blues who on top with 5,185 new fans and the Geelong Cats who are on the bottom with 657 new fans. All of this supports the idea that, when compared to other team’s growth, the Western Bulldogs were not hurt by the controversy.

Another way of looking at this data is to compare percentage growth of new followers. This number compares a club’s ability to get new followers relative to their own performance as opposed to all AFL fans. Using this number, the Western Bulldogs saw the most growth in the period between May 3 and May 30 with a 22.8% increase. The next highest performing club was the Carlton Blues with 19.5%. The Western Bulldogs growth is impressive when compared to the Essendon Bombers who had 4.5% growth, the St. Kilda Saints who had 3.7% and the Adelaide Crows who had 2.1% growth. In the period between May 30 and June 5, the Western Bulldogs were second only to the Gold Coast Football Club: The Bulldogs had a 3.2% increase in new fans compared to the Gold Coast’s 44.9%. The Western Bulldogs saw .8% more growth to the next highest team, the Richmond Tigers who had 2.4%. The Bulldogs percentage growth was roughly 6.4 times as much as the bottom teams, Essendon, St. Kilda and Adelaide who saw between .5 and .7% growth. For the period between June 5 and June 10, the Western Bulldogs finished second for highest percentage growth. The only team that outperformed them was Greater Western Sydney, another expansion team who had just made a lot of news with their signing of Israel Folau. With the exception of the Gold Coast, all teams had one or more percent less growth than the Western Bulldogs. For the overall period between May 3 and June 10, the Western Bulldogs finished on top with 26.9%, 1.1% more growth than the number two team of Carlton and well above that of the last place performer Adelaide who had 3.3% growth in fans on Facebook. Given these numbers where the Bulldogs led in percentage growth on Facebook, it is hard to argue that the Jason Akermanis controversy hurt their Facebook strategy. It might be argued that the team was able to effectively capitalize on Akermanis related traffic on Facebook and their website to convert some fringe fans into Facebook fans.

Beyond the total fans of official pages, there are other interesting metrics that can explain the fan response to the Jason Akermanis controversy. One involves the creation and growth of Facebook groups and fan pages: Facebook easily allows users to create them and they do. Some of the fastest member growing Facebook groups and fan pages are created to get media attention for an issue, to help people spread the word about breaking news and share knowledge, to express disgust with actions taken by institutions or to express allegiance with a person or organization in response to negative publicity. Once the catalyst for the event is out of the news, many of these groups face stagnant growth and become irrelevant having been abandoned by their creators.

While it is not possible to date the creation of a group, the Akermanis controversy likely resulted in the creation of a number of fan pages and groups. These groups have names such as Jason Akermanis, you are a MORON!, Jason Akermanis: Homophobe and complete fuckwit!, Jason Akermanis is a homophobe., Jason Akermanis is a dick, Jason Akermanis Is Totally Gay, Only Homophobes think Jason Akermanis is a homophobe!, Jason Akermanis should be locked and gagged in a closet!, Don’t you hate it when you’re in the shower and Jason Akermanis comes in?, Jason Akermanis is a homophobe., Jason Akermanis is a F*ckwit, Jason Akermanis Can’t Drive A Race Car, JASON AKERMANIS’S “IQ OF A PLANT”, Jason Akermanis slept with me, Jason Akermanis is a coward, and for people who wanna see Jason Akermanis shove his head up his own Ass. There are a number of pro or neutral Akermanis groups on Facebook. They likely predate the controversy. They include groups named Jason Akermanis, Jason Akermanis Biography, Jason Akermanis Autobiography, The Battle Within by Jason Akermanis, jason akermanis is amazing!, The Jason Akermanis Appreciation Society, Jason Akermanis is a legend, Jason Akermanis handstand appreciation society, and Jason Akermanis for Brownlow 2008. (3)

Some of the anti-Akermanis groups saw relatively impressive levels of growth. Jason Akermanis is a homophobe. is one of the most popular anti groups. It had 126 members on May 20 and had 547 members by May 24. Membership levels stabilized and it had only 627 members by June 12. Don’t you hate it when you’re in the shower and Jason Akermanis comes in? had 171 fans as of May 22. By May 30, it had 482. Most of the other anti-Jason groups sampled had smaller total populations and smaller membership increases. Some of the anti groups were deleted during this period. One such group was Jason Akermanis Is Totally Gay, which had one member when checked on May 20 and was deleted some time between then and June 10. Jason Akermanis: Homophobe and complete fuckwit! had 118 members on May 20 before being removed from Facebook by May 22.

The pro and neutral Akermanis groups in the sample were all smaller than the two largest anti-Akermanis groups as of June 12, 2010. A pro-Akermanis group ranked third for the total number of fans. In comparison to the anti-Akermanis groups, the growth rate was much smaller. The Jason Akermanis Appreciation Society went from 454 members on May 20 to 469 on June 12. Jason Akermanis is a legend saw no growth during that period, continuing to have 201 total members. Jason Akermanis handstand appreciation society saw a growth of one, going from 88 to 89 during that period. Jason Akermanis at is the group that probably saw the biggest percentage increase of clearly established fan pages. It went from 56 fans on May 20 to 165 on June 12. Jason Akermanis at went from 307 fans on May 20 to 382 on June 12. Growth levels for the pro and neutral groups are level compared to the anti groups. The data suggests that people did not respond to the Akermanis controversy by rushing out to assert their support of him and his views by joining communities about him on Facebook. The data also suggests that the anti-sentiment regarding Akermanis was not sustained for a long period of time and that people were not scared to affiliate with Akermanis, despite people’s negative attitudes towards him.

Another way of evaluating the effect of the Akermanis controversy on the Western Bulldogs is to compare the characteristics of Western Bulldog fans, Akermanis supporters and Akermanis detractors. Facebook shows the network membership for people who belong to many groups and fan pages, which allows such a comparison to take place. On June 13, 2010, a list of all the members of the Western Bulldogs official fan page was pulled. While Facebook shows the page as having 6,819 fans, it only provided names and network membership for 3,343 people. Of these fans, 188 or 5.6% belonged to a network. A membership list for Jason Akermanis is a homophobe. (4) was also pulled. As of June 13, 2010, the group had 627 members, of which Facebook lists 428. Of the 428, 28 or 6.5% belong to a network. A membership list for The Jason Akermanis Appreciation Society was pulled. As of June 13, the group had 469 members of which 337 were on the member list. Of these, 27 or 8.0% belonged to a network.

Networks are Facebook created groupings that early in the site’s history allowed people to easily filter content to people who shared an affiliation with other users. These networks cover three broad general categories: Places of employment, secondary schools and high schools. The pro-Akermanis people belong to thirteen networks not shared by detractors or Western Bulldogs fans. That means 48% of Akermanis fans do not belong to a network that is shared by Western Bulldogs fans and highly suggests that Akermanis’s fanbase largely is independent of the Bulldogs. Eight anti-Akermanis fans or 27% of that population belong to networks not represented by the Western Bulldogs or Akermanis supporters. This suggests that Akermanis detractors likely come from with in the Western Bulldogs fanbase.

The differences between Akermanis detractors and Western Bulldogs fans are really clear when network membership is sorted by type (secondary school, university, company) and then tabulated. (5) 78.6% of all Akermanis detractors that list a network belong to a university related one. This compares to 50.0% for Akermanis supporters and 48.6% for Bulldogs supporters. Bulldog supporter network membership suggests that the club’s goal of building a barracker base from the working class has been successful. The pattern of network membership may also suggest that Akermanis detractors are older than the club’s current supporter base. Given these two conditions, the Bulldogs are likely to be unaffected by the detractors as they represent a demographically distinct group that the club is not marketing to.

Twitter is a popular microblogging platform. Many teams, players and fansites have established a presence on the site. Australian sport fans are also actively using Twitter to discuss their club’s performance, celebrity athlete related gossip and to find other sport news.

There are several possible ways to monitor the impact of the Akermanis controversy as it pertains to Western Bulldogs. Sadly, the most important Twitter metrics are not accessible as the author did not get the data in the moment. (6) These include total number of followers before and after the controversy for the official account and total number of tweets featuring certain keywords. The counting the total number of Tweets by the official account was also not done, as it was believed that this data would not have meaningful results. Unlike the Melbourne Storm controversy, the focus was on a player where the media and fan attention appeared to be on him to the exclusion of his club. Given that, the Bulldogs did not have to respond or change their practices in their official fan communication channels and monitoring their Tweet volume would be unlikely to provide any insight into the fan response to the controversy.

As the three of the most popular Twitter metrics are not available or not relevant, the question is what other metrics can be used? One Twitter analysis tool that can be useful in this case is Twitter Venn. (7) The service creates Venn diagrams based on keywords that a user selects. The service uses Twitter’s search API to find Tweets that mention the two or three teams the user selected, determines if the terms were used together or independently, counts the total Tweets and then creates the Venn. (Clark, n.d.) Using this service on June 11, a Venn diagram (Figure 1) was created. The keywords chosen were based on the goal of trying to exclude irrelevant tweets, such as people talking about their pet Bulldogs or other teams named the Bulldogs. Phrases such as gay, homosexual and homophobic were also not included as their usage extends beyond this controversy and would pick up a lot of irrelevant data.

Figure 1. Twitter Venn. This Venn diagram generated by Twitter Venn demonstrates the lack of overlap between use of Akermanis and Western Bulldogs.

On Twitter, people who mentioned Jason Akermanis did not mention his club affiliation, instead referencing the AFL, gay and other words that indicate the controversy involving the column he published. Based on this, it can be concluded that on Twitter, Akermanis’s comments did not result in rage directed at his club.

Wikipedia is one of the first sources of information that many people turn to when a news story breaks. Articles on the site often provide background information and context to an event, and include a summary and links of breaking news. Wikipedia also has an excellent search engine optimization. When people go to Google or other search engines to find out what is happening, Wikipedia often appears as the first, second or third result. Thus, an increase in an article’s views should be expected when controversy happens.

In terms of the Jason Akermanis and Wikipedia, the way to measure the controversy as it impacts the Western Bulldogs would be to compare the total page views between those two articles. If the controversy reflected more upon Akermanis than his team, the expectation is the page view spike would be higher. The chart below contains traffic information to those two articles for the period between May 1 and June 8, 2010. (8) To give perspective to Akermanis’s situation as it pertains to athlete interest connecting to club interest, data for the Israel Folau, Brisbane Broncos and Western Sydney Football Club articles have been included on the chart. (Figure 2)

Figure 2. Article Views on Wikipedia by Date. Graph shows total views of selected Wikipedia articles between May 1 and June 10, 2010.

The Jason Akermanis controversy did not result in increase in attention for the Western Bulldogs: Total page views by date have a correlation of .280, which suggests that interest in the two is not related. This is much different than the situation that exists for Israel Folau and Greater Western Sydney: The two articles move in tandem in terms of total article views by date with a correlation of .943. (9)

There are two other aspects of Wikipedia worth analyzing as they pertain to understanding the fan community’s actions in response to the controversy. One is the total edits. The second is the location of those edits. For total edits, controversial and high visibility stories tend to lead to an increase in editing. For less controversial news stories, where there isn’t much new information and the topic is not one people are passionate about, there tend to be fewer peaks in editing. Below is a chart (Figure 3) that compares the total number of edits to the Jason Akermanis, Western Bulldogs, Israel Folau and Greater Western Sydney articles.

Figure 3. Total Edits Between May 1 and June 8, 2010 for Selected Wikipedia Articles.

The Jason Akermanis controversy resulted in people editing the article about him. The total number of daily edits does not mirror total number of daily edits to the Western Bulldogs. This continues to suggest that people viewed Akermanis’s actions independently of his club. This contrasts with the Israel Folau situation, where the total number of edits appears to be a bit more connected.

The Western Bulldogs are based in a Melbourne suburb. An argument could be made that the Western Bulldogs should be concerned about maintaining or developing a fanbase in their local area; they do not need to worry about the fan community outside their geographic home. The only way to measure the local fan community response on Wikipedia expressed by editing an article is to use geolocation for IP addresses that have edited an article. As the total edits by date chart shows, there have been very few edits to the Western Bulldogs article since the Jason Akermanis controversy broke. Of the five edits made to the Western Bulldogs article, two edits have been made by users who have not logged in and have a visible IP address. Neither of these edits references the controversy. Both edits are from Melbourne. (10) This suggests that the controversy did not impact their local fanbase.

The edit history for the Jason Akermanis article stands in stark contrast to the Western Bulldogs article. It has a lot more edits and almost all of the non-logged in edits involved editing the article to reference the stay in the closet controversy. There were 29 total edits made by 14 non-logged in users. Of these edits, four are from Melbourne, one each from Camberwell and Sandringham in Victoria, two are from Adelaide, three are from Sydney and three are international. Only 42 percent of the edits to the Jason Akermanis article originate from the Western Bulldog’s geographic home. Determining what this means is more problematic. The most obvious conclusion is that the offended population were geographically dispersed and were more interested in the topic because of the homophobic aspects than because of their interest in Akermanis and the Western Bulldogs. These edits should not be seen as being committed by a base who will punish the Western Bulldogs by not watching games on television or in person.

Bebo was a popular social networking site in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and the United Kingdom. Its popularity has slipped in the past year but there is still a large population of AFL fans on the site. It probably ranks amongst the top ten most popular social networks inside Australia
Bebo allows people to search for keywords and interest that appear in people’s profiles, in videos, descriptions of bands, groups, applications and skins. For profiles, the general assumption is that people do not update interests listed on them regularly after they register. Doing so generally requires a strong desire to associate or disassociate with a person or organization. This desire has to overcome general antipathy towards updating. Thus, interest levels remain relatively stable unless something happens that causes a huge emotional response.

What does this mean for the Western Bulldogs? Did the Jason Akermanis situation reach that point, causing people to want to associate or disassociate with the team? As of March 17, there were 93 people who listed the Western Bulldogs as an interest. (11) By June 8, 2010, this number had increased to 95. There does not appear to have been an attitude shift that causes many people to want to change their public allegiances. The small increase may mean something when compared to Melbourne Storm who saw zero interest listing growth during a similar period prior to and after a major controversy. (Hale, 2010)

While no bebo video data is available for the Western Bulldogs prior to June 9, video data is available for the Brisbane Lions. On May 1, 2010, a search was done of videos on bebo for the “Brisbane Lions.” This is a team that Jason Akermanis played for. On that date, there were 74 videos which mentioned the Brisbane Lions. Three of these videos referenced an Australian soccer league team. The rest were about the AFL team. Of these 71 videos, only one contained Akermanis in the title or description. As of May 1, it had only eleven views. When the video viewing statistics were check on June 9, 2010, there were still only 11 views: The Jason Akermanis controversy has not translated into people seeking out video content on bebo featuring him to watch.

There are no groups about Jason Akermanis. This contrasts to Facebook, where there are several that cover several different views of the player. The Jason Akermanis did not inspire anyone on bebo to create any anti-Jason group, which suggests either antipathy towards the situation or fans not being particularly active on bebo any more.

The only other large player/club controversy that occurred during this time period involved Israel Falou, who switched from the NRL and Brisbane Broncos to the AFL and Greater Western Sydney. To put Jason Akermanis’s fan community as it related to the Western Bulldogs on bebo into context, it is worth comparing the two players. The following data was gathered on June 8, 2010.

Table 2

Bebo interests suggest that Israel Folau is much more important to the Brisbane Broncos fan community than Jason Akermanis is. Jason Akermanis’s comments look like, based on these numbers, that they would have less potential to harm the club than Israel Folau’s desertion to the AFL.

Website Traffic and Demographics
There are primarily three services which track website traffic. They are Alexa, Quantcast and Compete. (12) Each one has something different to offer in terms of how they measure and information they provide about a site. None of these sites are perfect in that they cannot convey a completely accurate picture of a website’s traffic or the demographic composition of visitors to the site. Despite these deficiencies, using their data can begin to give an idea to the fan response by looking for traffic movement out of sync with other teams and if there was a major difference in audiences visiting the Bulldogs site.

Alexa ranks websites based on the amount of traffic they get. It measures traffic using a user-installed toolbar coupled with other data. (13) (alberto, 2009) They can differentiate traffic based on nation and will provide ranking information by country for sites that get a majority of their traffic from specific countries. Their data is also updated daily. This makes them more useful than Compete and Quantcast in that Alexa provides information about Australian sites and updates daily so that daily traffic patterns can be examined.

On June 5, June 8 and June 9, 2010, the international and Australian ranking on Alexa was recorded for all official AFL club websites. (14) This is not ideal, as it does not include traffic prior to and immediately after the Jason Akermanis situation. Still, it can provide a picture of what was happening 16 days after the incident broke, a few days after news of Akermanis’s suspension was announced.

Table 3.

The only team with less traffic to their site is Greater Western Sydney, a team that has not started playing in the AFL yet. While only three of the seventeen teams saw an increase in Australian traffic ranking from June 5 to June 9, (15) the decrease in rank between those dates for the Western Bulldogs was the most extreme: It dropped almost 2,000 places. This suggests that something is going on to depress traffic to the Bulldogs when compared to other teams.

Quantcast and Alexa both provide demographic information about visitors to a site. Quantcast can directly measure a site’s traffic and build a better demographic picture if a site inserts Quantcast’s code into their site. (Quantcast Corporation, 2008) Quancast’s data tends to be American centric and does not always provide a picture of international visitors unless a site is Quantified. Alexa’s demographic data comes from a survey users complete when they install the toolbar. (alberto, 2009)

Bearing in mind that the Quantcast’s description is based on American visitors, the site characterizes visitors to the Western Bulldogs’s site (16) as female, middle aged, Hispanic, have children, make between $30,000 and $60,000 a year and are college graduates. This information was based on all of May 2010, including the nineteen days before the controversy broke out. Alexa, which has much more data from Australian users, characterizes visitors to the Western Bulldogs site as generally between the ages of 18 to 24, male, college graduates, childless and visiting the site from work.

The Geelong Cats and North Melbourne Kangaroos are closest to the Western Bulldogs in terms of amount of traffic. They are also based in the same metro area. Thus, it makes sense to compare their audience with the of the Bulldogs to determine if the there are demographic differences between the clubs that could be attributed to a shift in viewing habits as a result of the Akermanis controversy.

Quantcast characterizes visitors to the Geelong Cats site (17) as female, extremely young, Asian, having no children, making between $30,000 and $60,000 a year and being college graduates. Quantcast characterizes North Melbourne Kangaroos website visitors (18) as being split evenly amongst both genders, teenaged, Asian, having kids in their household, affluent and possessing a graduate degree.

Alexa characterizes Geelong Cats website visitors as being between 18 and 24, male, having a graduate degree, having children, and visiting the site from bother home and work. Alexa characterizes North Melbourne Kangaroos visitors as between 18-24, male, having a college degree, childless and visiting the site from home.

There does not appear to be a demographically homogenous group visiting the websites of all three clubs. The major difference appears to be the racial make up of visitors, with the Western Bulldogs over representing in Hispanics. It would be difficult to make a claim, based on available website demographic data, that the Akermanis situation changed the composition of the fanbase.

43 Things, Blogger and Other Small Networks
While smaller and less influential sites like 43 Things, Blogger and BlackPlanet have tiny populations, they are worth monitoring as they can often be one of the first signs of a major public relations problem online that can no longer be controlled. Twitter and Facebook can often be very temporal: Things happen in the moment and are quickly forgotten. Those sites are not set up to record fan responses. Other sites, either because they are inactive, allow for longer posting, have greater visibility to people outside the network the content exists on or because influential fans from those networks may have greater crossover to a wider selection of sites, can hurt a club or league’s reputation. The content does not go away. There are influential people on some of those sites that can spread the message to a totally different audience with a different demographic profile. Also, when you’re talking to some one in a much smaller group, there tends to be more trust and greater potential for people to believe what their friends are saying. While a person reading one hundred tweets by nominal acquaintances may be able to forget and move on as things move so fast, in a one on one environment, the chances are the smaller group may have bigger problems letting go and moving on.
43things is a goal setting site that is relatively popular in Australia. Prior to the Jason Akermanis controversy, there was one goal related to the Western Bulldogs: See the Western Bulldogs win the grand final. One person was trying to accomplish this goal. Since the controversy, there has been no change in people creating new goals related to the club, nor in the number of people trying to accomplish the existing goal. There have been no goals, either positive or negative, created related to Jason Akermanis. This mirrors the non-action taken by Brisbane Broncos, Israel Folau and Greater Western Sydney fans who added no goals in response to the change in code news for Israel Folau.

BlackPlanet is a small social network marketed at African Americans in the United States. It has a small community of Australians on it. The major sport league that Australians are interested on the site is the NRL. Prior to and after the controversy, no one listed the Western Bulldogs as an interest. After the controversy, no one updated their profiles to include Jason Akermanis as an interest.

Blogger is a blogging site powered by Google. It is one of the more popular free blogging services in Australia. Users can create a profile on the site, which is used to link their different blogs and comments on one page. The profile page includes an interest field that users can fill out. As of January 16, twelve people listed the Western Bulldogs as an interest. This number only changed by one as of June 4 and June 8, 2010, with 13 people listing the team as interest. No one listed Jason Akermanis as an interest on blogger as of June 4, 2010. It is unlikely that the Jason Akermanis situation resulted in any behavioral change in terms of public allegiances shown on profiles for the Western Bulldogs.

Care2 is a small social network marketed at people who want to make the world a better place. It hosts blogs, groups, discussions, personal profiles, petitions and photos. Care2 has a small population of Australian sport fans using it. As the site is geared towards making a difference and addressing social problems, it is a bit surprising that Akermanis does not show up when searching (19) site profiles, discussions, groups or petitions. As of June 11, the Western Bulldogs are only mentioned four times in blogs and only included on one person’s profile. While this data was gathered three weeks after the controversy, it seems unlikely that with no mentions of Akermanis, the small community on Care2 turned against the team. ecademy is a niche social networking site that is an alternative to LinkedIn for professionals. With no earlier benchmarks, a June 11, 2010 profile search (20) turned up similar results to Care2: No one listed the team or Jason Akermanis as an interest on their profile. It is unlikely that the controversy had an impact on the small AFL community on the site.

Wikia is an extremely popular wiki hosting company (21) that allows anyone to freely create a wiki. They are home to three small wikis dedicated to the AFL and Australian rules football. (22) These wikis are small and not very comprehensive. Two were created prior to the controversy and one was created after it. None have had any edits to the Western Bulldogs or Jason Akermanis article. Coincidentally, there have been no edits related to Israel Folau and Greater Western Sydney. The Wikia community for the AFL was clearly not activated in response to the Akermanis or Folau situations. This suggests that the community is either inactive or more interested in historical on field play rather than off field player antics.

Based on fan behavior online, Jason Akermanis’s comments did not help the player build his personal brand. He upset some fans in the short term, and motivated people to create long time reminders of views that they consider problematic. Very few fans rushed to his defense by affiliating with him or creating groups to defend his position. While the controversy may be problematic for Akermanis, the controversy was less problematic for his club, the Western Bulldogs. Fans did not link the club and player on Wikipedia or Twitter. People did not remove their Western Bulldogs interest on sites such as Blogger or change their behavior goals on sites like 43 Things. Inactive Bulldogs fans were not motivated to become active in order to express disgust for the team. The people that had problems with Akermanis were demographically distinct from Bulldogs fans on Facebook. The controversy harmed Akermanis but it did not harm his team’s image.

Akermanis, J. (2010, May 20). “Stay in the closet, Jason Akermanis tells homosexuals.” Herald Sun. Newspaper. Retrieved June 7, 2010, from

alberto. (2009, July 13). “How are Alexa’s traffic rankings determined?” Alexa. Retrieved June 8, 2010, from

Clark, J. (n.d.). “Twitter Venn.” Twitter Venn. Retrieved June 11, 2010, from

Hale, L. (2010, May 20). “Online Activity in the Wake of the Melbourne Storm Controversy.” Ozzie Sport. Retrieved June 9, 2010, from

Noonan, A. (2010, May 27). “AFL closet furore continues.” Sydney Star Observer. Newspaper. Retrieved June 7, 2010, from

Quantcast Corporation. (2008, June 28). “Cookie Corrected Audience Data, Leveraging Multiple Data Sources to
Calibrate Unique Cookie, Machine, and People Counts in a Direct-Measurement Media Economy.” Quantcast. Retrieved June 9, 2010, from

Walsh, C. (2010, May 21). “Aker’s viewpoint bizarre: Roos.” The Australian. Retrieved from


  1. Facebook’s advertising page is located at .  As of June 11, 2010, it said that there were 9,300,240 people from Australia.
  2. The urls for the fan pages in this sample are,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, and,
  3. The following is a complete list of URLs for Jason Akermanis related Facebook fan pages and groups that the author looked at:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,  and .
  4. The group can be found at .
  5. The following table lists the network, the type of network and the total members from the three different groups looked at.

    Network Type Supporters Detractors Bulldogs Total
    Victoria AU University 2 1 15 18
    Monash University 2 8 7 17
    University of Melbourne University 2 1 13 16
    RMIT University 0 0 15 15
    State Government of Victoria Company 0 0 11 11
    Deakin University 0 2 8 10
    La Trobe University University 2 0 7 9
    Westbourne Grammar School Secondary school 0 0 4 4
    Bendigo Senior Secondary College Secondary school 0 0 3 3
    Curtin University 0 2 1 3
    Haileybury College Secondary school 1 0 2 3
    MacKillop College Secondary school 1 0 2 3
    St. Paul’s College Secondary school 0 0 3 3
    University of Sydney University 0 2 1 3
    Catholic College Bendigo Secondary school 0 0 2 2
    Essendon Keilor College Secondary school 0 0 2 2
    Hoppers Crossing Secondary College Secondary school 1 0 1 2
    Ivanhoe Girls’ Grammar School Secondary school 1 0 1 2
    James Cook University 0 1 1 2
    Methodist Ladies’ College Secondary school 0 0 2 2
    National Australia Bank Company 0 0 2 2
    St. Bernard’s College Secondary school 0 0 2 2
    Sunbury College Secondary school 0 0 2 2
    Swinburne University 0 0 2 2
    Telstra Company 0 1 1 2
    UNSW University 1 1 0 2
    Whitefriars College Secondary school 0 0 2 2
    Academy of Mary Immaculate Secondary school 0 0 1 1
    ANZ Company 0 0 1 1
    Australian National University 0 0 1 1
    Bacchus Marsh College Secondary school 0 0 1 1
    Ballarat & Clarendon College Secondary school 0 0 1 1
    Ballarat High School Secondary school 1 0 0 1
    Benedictine IL University 0 0 1 1
    Binghamton University 1 0 0 1
    Bowness High School Secondary school 0 0 1 1
    Box Hill High School Secondary school 0 1 0 1
    Braemar College Secondary school 0 0 1 1
    Burnside State High School Secondary school 1 0 0 1
    Cairns State High School Secondary school 0 1 0 1
    Catholic Regional College Secondary school 0 0 1 1
    Central Queensland University 0 0 1 1
    Chairo Christian School Secondary school 0 0 1 1
    Charles Campbell Secondary School Secondary school 1 0 0 1
    Charles Darwin University 0 0 1 1
    Charles Sturt University University 1 0 0 1
    Chelmer Valley High School Secondary school 0 0 1 1
    Clonard College Secondary school 0 0 1 1
    Computer Sciences Corporation Company 0 0 1 1
    Copperfield College Secondary school 0 0 1 1
    De La Salle College Secondary school 0 0 1 1
    Elsevier Company 0 0 1 1
    Emmaus College Secondary school 0 0 1 1
    Esperance Senior High School Secondary school 1 0 0 1
    FedEx Company 0 0 1 1
    Firbank Grammar School Secondary school 0 0 1 1
    Ford Motor Company Company 0 0 1 1
    FRANCE 24 Company 0 0 1 1
    Geelong Grammar School Secondary school 0 0 1 1
    Gisborne Secondary College Secondary school 0 0 1 1
    Governor Stirling High School Secondary school 1 0 0 1
    Griffith University 0 1 0 1
    Guilford Young College Secondary school 0 0 1 1
    Gymnase de Beaulieu Secondary school 0 0 1 1
    Heathfield High School Secondary school 1 0 0 1
    Hellyer College Secondary school 0 0 1 1
    IESEG School of Management University 0 0 1 1
    Illawarra Sports High School Secondary school 0 1 0 1
    John Willcock Senior High School Secondary school 0 0 1 1
    Jones Lang LaSalle Company 0 0 1 1
    Kantonsschule Büelrain Secondary school 0 0 1 1
    Karingal Park Secondary College Secondary school 0 0 1 1
    Keilor Downs College Secondary school 0 0 1 1
    KPMG Company 0 0 1 1
    Launceston College Secondary school 1 0 0 1
    Lowther Hall Anglican School Secondary school 0 0 1 1
    Mac.Robertson Girls’ High School Secondary school 0 0 1 1
    Macquarie University 0 0 1 1
    Melbourne High School Secondary school 0 0 1 1
    Merrimac State High School Secondary school 0 0 1 1
    Metso Company 1 0 0 1
    Mildura Senior College Secondary school 0 0 1 1
    Mincom Company 0 0 1 1
    Mirrabooka Senior High School Secondary school 1 0 0 1
    Mount Carmel College Secondary school 0 0 1 1
    Mowbray College Secondary school 0 0 1 1
    Nazareth College Secondary school 0 0 1 1
    Newcastle University 0 1 0 1
    Newcomb High Secondary school 0 0 1 1
    Northern Beaches Christian School Secondary school 0 0 1 1
    Norwood Secondary College Secondary school 0 0 1 1
    Nowra Christian School Secondary school 0 0 1 1
    Nowra High School Secondary school 0 0 1 1
    Optus Company 0 0 1 1
    Padua College Secondary school 0 0 1 1
    Patterson River Secondary College Secondary school 0 0 1 1
    Presentation College Windsor Secondary school 0 0 1 1
    Sacred Heart AU Secondary school 0 0 1 1
    Sacred Heart College Secondary school 0 0 1 1
    Salesian College Rupertswood Secondary school 0 0 1 1
    San Diego State University 0 0 1 1
    Smithfield State High School Secondary school 0 0 1 1
    St Albans Secondary College Secondary school 0 0 1 1
    St. Aloysius College Secondary school 0 0 1 1
    St. Thomas University 0 0 1 1
    Star Of The Sea Secondary school 0 1 0 1
    Star of the Sea College Secondary school 0 1 0 1
    Strathmore Secondary College Secondary school 0 0 1 1
    T. D. Williamson Company 0 0 1 1
    Tasmania University 0 0 1 1
    The British School Secondary school 0 0 1 1
    The Friends’ School Secondary school 0 0 1 1
    The Peninsula School Secondary school 0 0 1 1
    Trinity Catholic School Secondary school 0 0 1 1
    University of New England University 0 1 0 1
    University of Peradeniya University 0 0 1 1
    University of Zimbabwe University 1 0 0 1
    UT Arlington University 0 0 1 1
    UWA University 1 0 0 1
    Webber Academy Secondary school 0 0 1 1
    Wellesley University 0 1 0 1
    Westpac Banking Company 0 0 1 1
    William Angliss Institute of TAFE University 0 0 1 1
    Wodonga Senior Secondary College Secondary school 0 0 1 1
    Wycheproof College Secondary school 0 0 1 1
    Total Secondary school 12 5 80 97
    Total University 13 22 82 117
    Total Company 1 1 26 28
    Total 26 28 188 242
    Percentage Secondary school 46.2% 17.9% 42.6% 40.1%
    Percentage University 50.0% 78.6% 43.6% 48.3%
    Percentage Company 3.8% 3.6% 13.8% 11.6%
  6. Data regarding the comparative size of total Twitter followers for the Western Bulldogs was initially gathered on June 1, almost a week after the controversy first started.  Twitter follower counts for other official club accounts were not recorded on that.  This further hampers the ability to make comparisons between teams.
  7. Twitter Venn is located at .
  8. Article view information is provided by .
  9. The correlation between the Brisbane Broncos article and the Israel Folau article is .155.  The relationship between page views for each article is close to random.
  10. was used to determine the geolocation of IP addresses.
  11. This number came from visiting , clicking on the people tab and searching for “Western Bulldogs.”
  12. Compete is not being looked at here because they have not updated their data to include May.  They also do not provide free demographic details about visitors to sites that they track.
  13. It is important to note that this tool does not measure direct traffic to a site.  Rather, it involves sampling traffic to the site to get an approximate for this his compares to other sites.
  14. The list of Alexa pages checked include: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and .
  15. There are almost certainly cyclical patterns to the checking of AFL club websites: People check them on game and around game day to keep up with the team.  They are unlikely to check club websites when there is no club news and teams are not playing.
  16. The Quantcast information is from
  17. The Quantcast information is from
  18. The Quantcast information is from
  19. The url for the search that was confused is .
  20. The ecademy search can be found at
  21. As of June 11, 2010, Alexa ranks Wikia as the 312th most popular site on the Internet.  Compete estimates that the site gets around 3.2 million visitors a month.
  22. The wikis are , , and .

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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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Jason Akermanis follow up

Posted by Laura on Saturday, 22 May, 2010

This isn’t much of a follow up. I was out walking after having read a few chapters in The Australian football business : a spectator’s guide to the VFL / Bob Stewart and I began wondering if there were some geographic pattens in who was condemning Jason Akermanis on Facebook, where condemning equals joining a group or liking a fan page that criticized his comment.

There were two real options to create comparisons: Get information from a few of the smaller groups with 10 or fewer members and declare them representative of each position or find a larger sample and get the network affiliation for all members of the larger group. I decided on the second. Jason Akermanis is a homophobe. is a Facebook group that has gained 281 members since May 20 for a total of 427 members. It appears to have been created directly in response to Jason’s comments and could be seen as condemning them. When scrolling through the membership list, I found 24 people who listed a network they belonged to. We’ll call this the dislike Jason group. As a control group of people who “like” Jason, I chose The Jason Akermanis Appreciation Society. It had 457 members on May 22, up only three from May 20. 24 people in this group also had a network listed. This group should be his fanbase. Their lack of quitting should not be read as supporting his comments: Non-action does not imply support. I’m mostly after the idea of are these two separate groups similar based on location. The following table was generated after tabulating how many people from each group listed specific networks:

Network Dislike Like
Ballarat 1 0
Binghamton 0 1
Box Hill High School 1 0
Burnside State High School 0 1
Cairns State High School 1 0
Charles Sturt University 0 1
Deakin 1 0
Esperance Senior High School 0 1
Essendon Keilor College 0 1
Flinders 0 1
Griffith 1 0
Haileybury College 0 1
Heathfield High School 0 1
iiNet 1 0
Illawarra Sports High School 1 0
Ivanhoe Girls’ Grammar School 0 1
La Trobe University 1 2
MacKillop College 0 1
Metso 0 1
Mirrabooka Senior High School 0 1
Monash 9 1
Newcastle 1 0
Overnewton Anglican Community College 0 1
Star Of The Sea 1 0
Star of the Sea College 1 0
University of Melbourne 1 2
University of New England 1 0
University of Sydney 2 0
University of Zimbabwe 0 1
UNSW 0 1
UWA 0 1
Victoria AU 0 2
Wesley College 0 1

The simple answer appears to be yes, there is a difference between the two. Fans of Jason appear to be more evenly distributed across various networks. Of the high schools and colleges I could easily identify, 3 were in the dislike Jason group and 7 were in the like Jason group. 18 university students joined the anti-group versus 13 in the like group. (These numbers are probably off. I’m not completely familiar with all the schools involved so some were not counted.) This suggests that university students were more likely to condemned the comments compared to high school students… or at least, university students were more willing to indicate their displeasure on a public profile. That is a bit interesting. It would be nice to have a Facebook data miner so I could see if larger patterns like this existed.

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Benchmarking: Jason Akermanis on Facebook and Google

Posted by Laura on Thursday, 20 May, 2010

This is a quick data dump post.  I know who Jason Akermanis is because I saw him play this past weekend in Canberra.  I’ve been told he has a tendency to open his mouth and speak frankly in such a way that his previous club didn’t like him.  Thus, it was apparently not that surprising that he opened his mouth and offended people today.  I may or may not be interested in writing about him and the response to his comments at a later date.  It will come down to time and interest.  Still, benchmarks in case I do and data dumping now for those who might want to write an analysis that I’m not keen to write right now.

Google data

This data was retrieved between 6pm and 7pm on May 20, 2010 Canberra time.   It was retrieved using manual screen scraping.  (I visited each page and copy and pasted the number.)  I was not logged in to any account at the time to prevent my previous searches from influencing the numbers.  The API was not used.  The SE stands for search engine that was used to get the number.  (There are sometimes differences between .com and The Jason story is beginning to circulate but doesn’t appear to be widely picked up outside the metro areas so far. I added a by city component because I find geographic patterns interesting.

SE Date Full search term Search term + City State Total results 20-May-10 Jason Akermanis Jason Akermanis 78 20-May-10 Jason Akermanis Jason Akermanis 78 20-May-10 Jason Akermanis Jason Akermanis 62500 20-May-10 Jason Akermanis Jason Akermanis 148 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis Geelong Jason Akermanis Geelong Victoria 269000 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis Mackay Jason Akermanis Mackay Queensland 170000 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis Melbourne Jason Akermanis Melbourne Victoria 47000 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis Brisbane Jason Akermanis Brisbane Queensland 45100 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis Sydney Jason Akermanis Sydney New South Wales 42500 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis Adelaide Jason Akermanis Adelaide South Australia 37800 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis Richmond Jason Akermanis Richmond New South Wales 35200 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis Ballarat Jason Akermanis Ballarat Victoria 34500 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis Bendigo Jason Akermanis Bendigo Victoria 31400 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis Gold Coast Jason Akermanis Gold Coast Queensland 30100 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis Perth Jason Akermanis Perth Western Australia 23500 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis Bunbury Jason Akermanis Bunbury Western Australia 22300 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis Palmerston Jason Akermanis Palmerston Northern Territory 21900 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis Mandurah Jason Akermanis Mandurah Western Australia 21400 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis Tweed Jason Akermanis Tweed New South Wales 20400 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis Warrnambool Jason Akermanis Warrnambool Victoria 18100 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis Launceston Jason Akermanis Launceston Tasmania 12600 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis Wollongong Jason Akermanis Wollongong New South Wales 12600 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis Bathurst Jason Akermanis Bathurst New South Wales 10200 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis Toowoomba Jason Akermanis Toowoomba Queensland 9960 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis Canberra Jason Akermanis Canberra Australian Capital Territory 9460 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis Rockhampton Jason Akermanis Rockhampton Queensland 7030 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis Newcastle Jason Akermanis Newcastle New South Wales 6320 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis Albury Jason Akermanis Albury New South Wales 6130 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis Geraldton Jason Akermanis Geraldton Western Australia 5800 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis Murray Bridge Jason Akermanis Murray Bridge South Australia 5760 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis Shepparton Jason Akermanis Shepparton Victoria 5190 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis Cairns Jason Akermanis Cairns Queensland 5000 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis Tamworth Jason Akermanis Tamworth New South Wales 4950 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis Melton Jason Akermanis Melton Victoria 4590 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis Lismore Jason Akermanis Lismore New South Wales 4570 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis Nowra Jason Akermanis Nowra New South Wales 4290 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis Gawler Jason Akermanis Gawler South Australia 3610 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis Sunshine Coast Jason Akermanis Sunshine Coast Queensland 3210 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis Strathalbyn Jason Akermanis Strathalbyn South Australia 3080 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis Naracoorte Jason Akermanis Naracoorte South Australia 2930 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis Dubbo Jason Akermanis Dubbo New South Wales 2640 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis Orange Jason Akermanis Orange New South Wales 2490 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis Bundaberg Jason Akermanis Bundaberg Queensland 2370 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis Devonport Jason Akermanis Devonport Tasmania 2370 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis Kalgoorlie Jason Akermanis Kalgoorlie Western Australia 2250 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis Darwin Jason Akermanis Darwin Northern Territory 2160 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis Queanbeyan Jason Akermanis Queanbeyan New South Wales 1980 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis Mildura Jason Akermanis Mildura Victoria 1800 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis Windsor Jason Akermanis Windsor New South Wales 1720 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis Hobart Jason Akermanis Hobart Tasmania 1580 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis Wodonga Jason Akermanis Wodonga Victoria 1520 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis Hervey Bay Jason Akermanis Hervey Bay Queensland 1510 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis Maitland Jason Akermanis Maitland New South Wales 1360 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis Townsville Jason Akermanis Townsville Queensland 1300 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis Port Pirie Jason Akermanis Port Pirie South Australia 988 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis Boulder Jason Akermanis Boulder Western Australia 800 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis Loxton Jason Akermanis Loxton South Australia 786 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis Clare Jason Akermanis Clare South Australia 697 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis Burnie Jason Akermanis Burnie Tasmania 650 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis Port Augusta Jason Akermanis Port Augusta South Australia 626 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis Berri Jason Akermanis Berri South Australia 545 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis Gladstone Jason Akermanis Gladstone Queensland 482 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis Alice Springs Jason Akermanis Alice Springs Northern Territory 439 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis Whyalla Jason Akermanis Whyalla South Australia 348 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis Coffs Harbour Jason Akermanis Coffs Harbour New South Wales 273 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis Wagga Wagga Jason Akermanis Wagga Wagga New South Wales 253 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis Mount Gambier Jason Akermanis Mount Gambier South Australia 246 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis Victor Harbor Jason Akermanis Victor Harbor South Australia 245 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis Goolwa Jason Akermanis Goolwa South Australia 219 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis Port Lincoln Jason Akermanis Port Lincoln South Australia 179 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis Millicent Jason Akermanis Millicent South Australia 177 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis Renmark Jason Akermanis Renmark South Australia 176 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis La Trobe Valley Jason Akermanis La Trobe Valley Victoria 174 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis Port Macquarie Jason Akermanis Port Macquarie New South Wales 135 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis Mooroopna Jason Akermanis Mooroopna Victoria 128 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis Bordertown Jason Akermanis Bordertown South Australia 117 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis Wallaroo Jason Akermanis Wallaroo South Australia 95 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis Ceduna Jason Akermanis Ceduna South Australia 85 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis Tanunda Jason Akermanis Tanunda South Australia 71 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis Roxby Downs Jason Akermanis Roxby Downs South Australia 28 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis Moonta Jason Akermanis Moonta South Australia 8 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis Nuriootpa Jason Akermanis Nuriootpa South Australia 7 20-May-10 ‘Jason Akermanis Bomaderry Jason Akermanis Bomaderry New South Wales 4


Before I did Google, I looked at Facebook.  This was done between 5:30 and 6:00pm Canberra time on May 20, 2010.  The Jason situation had already hit Facebook as there was a Facebook group dedicated to being unhappy with Jason by that time.  I found these fan pages by searching for him.  I did not include people or groups in this sample.  None of these pages appear to be officially connected to either the AFL, the Western Bulldogs or Jason Akermanis.

Name Url Total members Type Date checked
Jason Akermanis 56 Page 20-May-10
Jason Akermanis 6 Page 20-May-10
Jason Akermanis 0 Page 20-May-10
Jason Akermanis 62 Athlete 20-May-10
Jason Akermanis 307 Athlete 20-May-10
Jason Akermanis Biography 2 Page 20-May-10
Jason Akermanis Autobiography 2 Page 20-May-10
Jason Akermanis, you are a MORON! 22 Page 20-May-10
The Battle Within by Jason Akermanis 2 Page 20-May-10
Jason Akermanis: Homophobe and complete fuckwit! 118 Page 20-May-10

I’m going to speculate that two of those are likely to see an increase in membership over the next couple of days.  How large an increase, I do not yet know and do not feel comfortable speculating about.

After that, it occurred to me that it would be a good idea to benchmark the Facebook groups. These can be easy to create. When I looked, there turned out to be a number of them dedicated to Jason, some of which were created in response to the situation. As I have no previous benchmarks, I can’t tell when some of the larger groups were created. Still, this is where the groups about Jason stand now.

Name Url Total members Type Date checked
Jason Akermanis 2 Group 20-May-10
Jason Akermanis is a homophobe. 146 Group 20-May-10
Jason Akermanis is a dick 14 Group 20-May-10
Jason Akermanis Is Totally Gay 1 Group 20-May-10
jason akermanis is amazing! 12 Group 20-May-10
The Jason Akermanis Appreciation Society 454 Group 20-May-10
Jason Akermanis is a legend 201 Group 20-May-10
Jason Akermanis handstand appreciation society 88 Group 20-May-10
Only Homophobes think Jason Akermanis is a homophobe! 1 Group 20-May-10
Jason Akermanis for Brownlow 2008 9 Group 20-May-10
Jason Akermanis for Brownlow 2008 9 Group 20-May-10
Jason Akermanis should be locked and gagged in a closet! 10 Group 20-May-10
Jason Akermanis is a F*ckwit 26 Group 20-May-10
Jason Akermanis to win the Coleman medal. 9 Group 20-May-10
Jason Akermanis Can’t Drive A Race Car 2 Group 20-May-10
Anything To Do With Footy. 1041 Group 20-May-10
for people who wanna see Jason Akermanis shove his head up his own Ass 42 Group 20-May-10
Akermaniacs!! 87 Group 20-May-10
It’s All Good – in memory of Andrea Louise Bell 11-4-78 to 19-9-03 97 Group 20-May-10

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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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Western Bulldogs on Yahoo!Groups

Posted by Laura on Friday, 8 January, 2010

This post is part of a series looking at the AFL fandom on Yahoo!Groups.  It focuses on providing general historical information about these groups: When they were founded and activity levels.  For a critique of the problems on Yahoo!Groups in getting demographic information, read Sydney Swans on Yahoo!Groups and The AFL on Yahoo!Groups.

This posts looks at the Western Bulldogs. The Western Bulldogs directory on Yahoo!Groups have ten mailing lists.  Of these, two are actually about the AFL team.  They are westernbulldogsfootballclub and westernbulldogskennel.  The first has 56 members, closed membership, an active moderator and is active.  The second has ten members, open membership and has only had one message posted since its founding.  Both lists were founded in 2000.

I took the monthly total posting volumes from both lists, added them together and created the following chart:

There were two major monthly peaks.  One took place in November 2008 with 24 posts.  The second major peak was in March 2001 with 16 posts.  The November peak occurred a few months after the team finished the season as a preliminary finalist.  The March 2001 peak was at the beginning of a season, after a season where the team had been an elimination finalist.  In between these two peaks, with the exception of 2006, the team performed rather poorly.  Performance here may be indicative of interest in discussing the team.  Another possible cause for these patterns involves the administrator of the mailing list.  As the admin needs to approve new members, it might be possible that from 2003 to 2007 the admin was not active in approving new members.  There just isn’t enough data here to have a definitive conclusion.

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