This post is a series of posts looking at the size of Australian sports leagues on LiveJournal and its clones. Three earlier posts were Australian Football League on JournalFen , Australian Football League community on DeadJournal and National Rugby League on DeadJournal and JournalFen. These posts acknowledge that the communities aren’t very big and in the grand scheme of things, this is not very meaningful in terms of understanding sports communities in Australia. Still, hopefully they can lead people to be more curious about online demographics and the activity level of these communities .
Do communities for the AFL exist on other LiveJournal clones? The answer is yes, but for the vast majority of them, they do not. This post examines LiveJournal clones and some of their characteristics. It identifies those networks which have people with an interest in the AFL and then does a deeper examination of those networks.
Outside of JournalFen and DeadJournal, there a number of LiveJournal clones. These include asks.jp, blurty, CrazyLife, Dreamwidth Studios, Inksome, InsaneJournal, Ivanovo, IziBlog, Kraslan, OpenWeblog, Scribbld, Sviesta Ciba and ????????. Each of these caters to a unique audience with its own history.
About half of these are non-English based service. They include asks.jp targeted at a Japanese audience that does not rank for Australian visitors. It also includes Ivanovo which is geared at a Russian speaking audience and does not rank for an Australian audience. Kraslan and ???????? are bot clones aimed at Russian speakers that did not rank for on Alexa for Australian visitors. Sviesta Ciba is a Latvian language based LiveJournal clone that does not rank on Alexa for Australian visitors. Unsurprisingly, none of these non-English based LiveJournal clones have a community that expresses interest in the Australian Football League. (Or the National Rugby League for that matter.)
The English speaking LiveJournal clones include blurty, CrazyLife, Dreamwidth Studios, Inksome, InsaneJournal, IziBlog, OpenWeblog and Scribbld. Blurty was one of the most popular LiveJournal clones that was most active five to six years ago and for a while was one of a series of clones used by fandom_wank. Its traffic has since fallen off a cliff and it has only had 715 users update in the past 24 hours on December 24. It does not rank on Alexa for Australian traffic. CrazyLife is a small LiveJournal clone that only had 5 accounts updated in the past 24 hours and only 62 of its 44,323 accounts include Australians. Dreamwidth Studios is a new LiveJournal clone that launched in May 2009 and caters mostly to a media fandom audience. Of the 468044 accounts on December 27, only 1,797 list Australian as their country of residence. According to Alexa on December 28, the site ranks as 7,337 in Australia. Inksome was originally founded as scribblit and was the first LiveJournal clone created specifically in response to LiveJournal’s Strikethrough event in May 2007. It catered a bit to LiveJournal media fandom and never really took off. As of December 27, 2009, it had only 79 accounts that had been active in the last 24 hours and only 138 of 30,323 accounts list the country of residence as Australia. The site does not rank in Australia. InsaneJournal is one of the most popular LiveJournal clones. As of December 27, 2009, 3,174 active accounts or 890 more active accounts than Dreamwidth. The site has fewer Australians, with only 910 users listing Australia as their country of residence. Alexa ranks the site as 4,885 in Australia. Iziblog is a small LiveJournal clone that had only 8 accounts updated in the 24 hour period around December 24, 2009 and did not rank on Alexa for Australian sites. OpenWeblog is a tiny LiveJournal clone with only 3,780 total accounts, of which two had been updated in the 24 hour period on December 27, 2009 and the site does not rank in Australia. Scribbld is another small LiveJournal clone. It has 33,343 accounts as of December 27, 2009 of which 77 of those accounts were active in the last 24 hours. Only 32 of those accounts list their ountry of residence as Australia, where the traffic does not rank on Alexa.
Of these clones, Blurty, CrazyLife, Dreamwidth Studios, Inksome, and InsaneJournal had communities which listed AFL as an interest. None of the others, as of December 24, 2009, listed AFL as an interest, neither were teams listed as interests on these services.
28 people list the AFL as an interest on blurty. Of these, only two people are from the United States and one does not list a country. The rest are Australians. Of these, seven list their year of birth. The median year of birth is 1982.7, median is 1984 and mode is 1985. None of these users have updated recently, with the most recent update happening 196 weeks ago and five of them never having updated. They represent a number of states: 8 from Victoria, 3 from New South Wales, 2 from South Australia, Queensland and the ACT, 1 from Tasmania and Western Australia, and 4 Australians who did not list a state of residence. Blurty has four teams where people list them as an interest. They include the Adelaide Crows, the Brisbane Lions, the North Melbourne Kangaroos and the Sydney Swans. The Swans have three fans who list them as an interest, the Lions have two fans, and the North Melbourne Kangaroos and Adelaide Crows both have one fan who lists them as an interest. This represents a total of seven individuals. With the exception of the Swans and one fan, all the fans are from the state that the team plays in.
CrazyLife has five people who list AFL as an interest. Three of these are the same person. Two are from South Australia and one does not list a state. One lists an age of 1985 and the other 1986. Of the three, the most recent update was 234 weeks ago. Two people list specific teams as an interest: One listing the Fremantle Dockers and the Hawthorn Hawks, the other with three accounts listing the Adelaide Crows.
Twelve people list the AFL as an interest on Dreamwidth Studios. Of these, three are from Victoria, two are from New South Wales and Queesnland and one is from Western Australia. Only three of these twelve accounts have updated in the last week. Two have been been updated and five have not been updated in the past 28 weeks or more. There are four teams that are listed as interests: The Adelaide Crows with five people, Brisbane lions with one person, the Fremantle Dockers with one person and the Brisbane Lions with one person. The Adelaide Crows may have the largest group of fans but only one has updated in the past twenty weeks. The fan of the Brisbane Lions has never updated. The Fremantle Dockers fan updated in the past week. The fan of the Sydney Swans last updated 32 weeks ago.
The Inksome community had one user from South Australia who listed the AFL and the Adelaide Crows as an interest. They have never posted a blog entry on their inksome account.
On InsaneJournal, fifteen people list the AFL as an interest. Of these, one lists the US as their country of residence and are clearly a fan of the American Arena Football League. The other does not list a country and it cannot be determined by other information available on their profile. Of the remaining thirteen, Three are from Western Australia, two are from Victoria and one is from Queensland. The rest do not list their state of residence. One last updated in the past week. Another last updated eleven weeks ago Four have never updated. Four last updated between 85 and 124 weeks ago. Six last updated between 41 and 58 weeks ago. Five people list their year of birth: 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985 and 1986. Twelve people list interest in nine teams: Three for the Adelaide Crows, one for the Brisbane Lions, two for the Freemantle Dockers, one for the Hawthorn Hawks, one for the North Melbourne Kangaroos, one for the St. Kilda Saints, three for the West Coast Eagles and one for the Western Bulldogs. There are several fans of teams located outside their home state: The Fremantle Dockers have a fan from Victoria, the North Melbourne Kangaroo have a fan from Western Australia and the Western Bulldogs have a fan from Minnesota in the United States. With the exception of one Fremantle Dockers fan, none of the people listing specific teams as interest has updated earlier than 48 weeks ago and five of those have never updated.
One of the problems with this little analysis is that there are often inconsistent uses of a team’s name that can make it hard to distinguish fans of a team from a city or another sports team. For example, people might include Brisbane or Lions as an interest when they are actually fans of the Brisbane Lions. As both are so common, it is a problem when trying to compile a data set like this. What it means is that in actuality, the fan base for a team might actually be larger than the listing of interests indicates. In general, it is why I tend to use membership in communities dedicated to a source to evaluate a community’s size and interest on a LiveJournal clone. This is problematic as these clones are so small that they do not have a user base that is interested in creating communities for their teams. With larger social networking sites or dedicated sites, this should be less problematic and the data should be more reliable.