Posts Tagged bebo

Bebo and Australian/Kiwi women’s sport

Posted by Laura on Friday, 26 November, 2010

Bebo is a social networking site that is popular in Australia, Ireland and the United Kingdom. The site’s traffic has been down in the past year or so. It traditionally has has a fairly large contingent of Australian sport fans, with most people being fans of the NRL. It has a smaller population of fans for other sports like the AFL and NBL. There were questions regarding bebo’s viability for most of 2010, when there were rumors that the site would be shut down if it failed to find a buyer. This and a variety of other factors, such as the popularity of Facebook and YouTube, have led to a lot of once active users becoming inactive.
Despite the issues regarding inactivity, it is a site worth looking at to begin to give a snapshot of sorts back in time, to understand the size of Australian and Kiwi women’s sport fandom four years ago to a year ago, when activity levels dropped off. It might be possible to determine where these fans migrated to by looking at growth on other niche networks, which could be useful for determining engagement strategies. This data can also give an idea as to what was popular. If the comparative levels of interest on other networks are not similar, it could suggest that clubs have failed with their marketing strategies or have found a method to really engage in their audience that other clubs could benefit from.

When looking at bebo, there are a variety of ways to do that. One of the first is to use search result totals, and compare the size of the community to other teams and over time. The second way is to look at the size groups/views for videos. The third way is to look at the demographic data for people who lit the team as an interest. This will be broken down by league/federation.

Search: ANZ Championship
The ANZ Championship is the most successful women’s (semi) professional league in Australia.  It makes sense that the team would have the largest amount of interest on bebo.  While this is true,  the community size, the number of groups and videos created by these fans is still extremely limited.  (Their counterparts in the AFL often have 200 to 400 people who list them as an interest.)

Interest People Video Music Groups Apps Skins Date gathered
Melbourne Vixens 3 4 0 0 0 0 19-Nov-10
Melbourne Vixens 3 4 0 0 0 0 26-Nov-10
NSW Swifts 2 0 0 0 0 0 19-Nov-10
NSW Swifts 2 0 0 0 0 0 26-Nov-10
Queensland Firebirds 0 0 1 0 0 0 19-Nov-10
Queensland Firebirds 0 0 1 0 0 0 26-Nov-10
West Coast Fever 0 0 0 0 0 0 16-Aug-10
West Coast Fever 0 0 0 0 0 0 19-Nov-10
West Coast Fever 0 0 0 0 0 0 26-Nov-10

Search: AWIHL
This is a niche league, where the men’s team also fail to have people who list them as an interest. If there is an ice hockey fan base in Australia, it is not on bebo.

Interest People Video Music Groups Apps Skins Date gathered
AWIHL 0 0 0 0 0 0 19-Nov-10

W-League
Somewhat surprisingly, the W-League fanbase on bebo appears to be a bit larger than that of the ANZ Championship. One possible factor for this could be that the overall fan community for soccer is really large on bebo. Another contributing factor could be that the Canberra United attract male fans to the sport that a W-League team may not otherwise get because the United do not have to compete with an A-League club in their city: If you love soccer in Canberra, you support the top level competitions here. Bebo also has a community of people who uploaded videos. Soccer videos are really popular across the whole of the network. Given that, W-League fans may be part of a larger part of video uploading culture that ANZ Championship fans are removed from.

One issue at play with W-League results is that Canberra United content is easier to pull out than the Melbourne Victory, because secondary keywords are needed to differentiate Melbourne Victory W-League results from A-League results. This means that real numbers for the W-League teams could be understated. Similar issues of a sort exist for the W-League, which shares a name with an American women’s soccer competition. This could lead to an over representation when just that term is counted.

Team Interest People Video Music Groups Apps Skins Date gathered
Adelaide United Adelaide United W-League 0 0 0 0 0 0 1-Jul-10
Brisbane Roar Brisbane Roar W-League 0 0 0 0 0 0 1-Jul-10
Canberra United Canberra United 4 7 1 2 0 0 16-Aug-10
Canberra United Canberra United 4 7 1 2 0 0 3-Jun-10
Canberra United Canberra United 4 7 1 2 0 0 15-Jun-10
Canberra United Canberra United 4 7 1 2 0 0 25-Jun-10
Canberra United Canberra United 4 7 1 2 0 0 1-Jul-10
Canberra United Canberra United 4 7 0 0 0 0 24-Oct-10
Central Coast Mariners Central Coast Mariners W-League 0 1 0 0 0 0 1-Jul-10
Melbourne Victory W-League Melbourne Victory 0 1 0 0 0 0 1-Jul-10
W-League W-League 41 53 48 58 0 0 25-Jun-10
W-League W-League 41 53 48 58 0 0 1-Jul-10
Canberra United Canberra United 4 7 1 2 0 0 26-Nov-10
Adelaide United Adelaide United W-League 0 0 0 0 0 0 26-Nov-10
Brisbane Roar Brisbane Roar W-League 0 0 0 0 0 0 26-Nov-10

WNBL
The WNBL is the premiere women’s basketball competition in Australia. Unlike the NBL, it does not include a New Zealand team. The problem with one of the teams looked at, the West Coast Waves, is that the name is a rather common phrase and almost none of the video results look relevant to the WNBL team. This type of issue can be a huge problem for women’s (and men) sport when doing promotion and reputation management for the club’s brand beyond the players.

Interest People Video Music Groups Apps Skins Date gathered
Perth Lynx 2 1 0 0 0 0 16-Aug-10
West Coast Waves 5 18 0 2 0 0 16-Aug-10
Perth Lynx 2 1 0 0 0 0 25-Nov-10
West Coast Waves 5 18 0 2 0 0 25-Nov-10

WNCL

The WNCL teams being looked at do not share the name issues that their WNBL counterparts share. Unfortunately, they may suffer a problem with not all results being shown as they often have names with sponsors in them. Official and player content may pull up sponsor named related names. The average fan is less likely to use them as fannish identities are not based around who sponsors them.

Interest People Video Music Groups Apps Skins Date gathered
Victorian Spirit 2 1 0 0 0 0 15-Jun-10
Victorian Spirit 2 1 0 0 0 0 16-Aug-10
Western Fury 1 2 0 0 0 0 16-Aug-10
Victorian Spirit 2 1 0 0 0 0 26-Nov-10
Western Fury 2 1 0 0 0 0 26-Nov-10

Search: Women’s World Cup Soccer
The Matildas are Australia’s national women soccer team. As the W-League is larger than the ANZ Championship, it is not surprising that there is a comparable elevated amount of interest in the team.

Interest People Video Music Groups Apps Skins Date gathered
Matildas 22 21 6 1 0 0 1-Jul-10
Matildas 22 21 6 1 0 0 16-Aug-10
Matildas 22 21 6 1 0 0 26-Nov-10

Videos: W-League
Only the W-League Canberra United team were checked. Some of the videos for the team had quite a number of views. bebo’s stagnation is quite clear when looking at this data as the number of views for all videos failed to increase between June 3 and November 26.

Video Total Description Date checked
W-League Final 2009: Queensland Roar V Canberra United -… 0 Viewers W-League Final 2009: Queensland Roar V Canberra United – Goals – 17jan09 3-Jun-10
W-League Final 2009: Queensland Roar V Canberra United -… 0 Viewers W-League Final 2009: Queensland Roar V Canberra United – Goals – 17jan09 26-Nov-10
W-League: Canberra United V Melbourne Victory – Report -… 5 Viewers W-League: Canberra United V Melbourne Victory – Report – 20dec08 3-Jun-10
W-League: Canberra United V Melbourne Victory – Report -… 5 Viewers W-League: Canberra United V Melbourne Victory – Report – 20dec08 26-Nov-10
W-League: Canberra United V Sydney FC – Report – 6dec08 95 Viewers W-League: Canberra United V Sydney FC – Report – 6dec08 3-Jun-10
W-League: Canberra United V Sydney FC – Report – 6dec08 95 Viewers W-League: Canberra United V Sydney FC – Report – 6dec08 26-Nov-10
W-League: Central Coast Mariners V Canberra United – Rep… 8 Viewers W-League: Central Coast Mariners V Canberra United – Report – 13dec08 3-Jun-10
W-League: Central Coast Mariners V Canberra United – Rep… 8 Viewers W-League: Central Coast Mariners V Canberra United – Report – 13dec08 26-Nov-10
W-League: Newcastle Jets V Canberra United – 26oct08 445 Viewers W-League: Newcastle Jets V Canberra United – 26oct08 3-Jun-10
W-League: Newcastle Jets V Canberra United – 26oct08 445 Viewers W-League: Newcastle Jets V Canberra United – 26oct08 26-Nov-10
W-League: Perth Glory V Canberra United – Report – 30nov08 0 Viewers W-League: Perth Glory V Canberra United – Report – 30nov08 3-Jun-10
W-League: Perth Glory V Canberra United – Report – 30nov08 0 Viewers W-League: Perth Glory V Canberra United – Report – 30nov08 26-Nov-10
W-League: Perth Glory V Canberra United – Report – 30nov08 64 Viewers W-League: Perth Glory V Canberra United – Report – 30nov08 3-Jun-10
W-League: Perth Glory V Canberra United – Report – 30nov08 64 Viewers W-League: Perth Glory V Canberra United – Report – 30nov08 26-Nov-10

People: ANZ Championship
The table below includes the demographic data for people who listed ANZ Championship teams as interests on bebo. This data tends to confirm that teams have local interest and don’t have national fan bases.

Interest Name Gender Age City State Country
Adelaide Thunderbirds J A M E S Male 18 South Australia Australia
Adelaide Thunderbirds LiL-Miss-Sharna
Central Pulse Jacinda S Female 19 Tauranga New Zealand
Central Pulse Kaz Hagedorn Female 25 Wellington New Zealand
Central Pulse Magics BOp Female Waikato New Zealand
Central Pulse Rebecca Female 21 Tauranga New Zealand
Melbourne Vixens Chelsea Tobin Female
Melbourne Vixens Elise.
Melbourne Vixens Mrs Lutz. Female Wellington Wellington New Zealand
New South Wales Swifts (Sydney Swifts) ~~mrs~~orlando~~bloom~~ Female 20
New South Wales Swifts (Sydney Swifts) Keegs L Male Parramatta New South Wales Australia
New South Wales Swifts (Sydney Swifts) Kirsten R Female Sydney New South Wales Australia
New South Wales Swifts (Sydney Swifts) Phoebe Zapletal Female Maroota New South Wales Australia
Northern Mystics Keshia Grant Female 23 Eltham Taranaki New Zealand
Southern Steel Ian K Male 18 Coonawarra South Australia Australia
Southern Steel James N Male 19 Christchurch Canterbury New Zealand
Southern Steel James Robinson Male 21 Stafford England United Kingdom
Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic Jacinda S Female 19 Tauranga Bay of Plenty New Zealand
Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic Magics BOp Female Waikato Bay of Plenty New Zealand
Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic Rebecca Female 21 Tauranga Bay of Plenty New Zealand

People: Basketball Australia
The Australian Opals have a similar issue with a few other Australian sport teams: People could use these words but not mean the team. This makes a bit of sense, given that one of the people who list the Opals as an interest is not from Australia.

Interest Name Gender Age City State Country
Australian Opals Lauren Jackson Female 28 Albury New South Wales Australia
Australian Opals Marc Zillmer Male 54 Salem Oregon United States

People: W-League
Some what surprisingly, the people who list a location are not from Canberra. A possible explanation for this is that Sydney bebo users are friends or family of players, who themselves may not be from Canberra.

Interest Name Gender Age City State Country
Canberra United Jack
Canberra United Missunderstood Female Sydney New South Wales Australia
Canberra United Faz Male 21 Sydney New South Wales Australia
Canberra United R.i.p steve irwin R.i.p Male

People: WNBL
Like the ANZ Championship, most fans are from areas near where the team is based. Fans also tend to be young and there is an even mix of male and female fans, which suggests that the WNBL could grow by working to attract that male audience in communities under served by NBL teams.

Interest Name Gender Age City State Country
Adelaide Lightning Olivia Smith Female 31 Adelaide South Australia Australia
Australian Institute of Sport Ben Hall Male 25 Adelaide South Australia Australia
Australian Institute of Sport Blair H Male 21 Bendigo Victoria Australia
Australian Institute of Sport Chris Roper Male 22 Sydney New South Wales Australia
Australian Institute of Sport Daniel Walker
Australian Institute of Sport Lauren Jackson Female 28 Albury New South Wales Australia
Australian Institute of Sport Lieke Schaap Female 18
Australian Institute of Sport Rayno Ellis
Australian Institute of Sport Sam Pickett Male 25 Noosa Queensland Australia
Bendigo Spirit Lisa Clark
Canberra Capitals Lauren Jackson Female 28 Albury New South Wales Australia
Dandenong Jayco Rangers (Dandenong Rangers) J-E-S-S
Dandenong Jayco Rangers (Dandenong Rangers) Vanessa Lacey
Logan Thunder Emmyy
Logan Thunder Laura Mc Dermott Female 22 Lismore New South Wales Australia
Logan Thunder Leisa C
Logan Thunder Logan Thunder – Mens DLeague Male
Logan Thunder Loganthunderisda Male Logan Victoria Australia
Logan Thunder Patty
Logan Thunder Scotty Male Logan Victoria Australia
Perth Lynx Liam Dunn Kellock Male Perth Western Australia Australia
Perth Lynx Tash Nichols Female 18 Perth Western Australia Australia
Sydney Uni Flames Vlad Alava Male
Townsville Fire Rebecca Female 20 Townsville Queensland Australia
Townsville Fire Reece Dowleans Male 21 Townsville Queensland Australia

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Appendix A: Data Gathering Site Specific Methodologies (draft 1)

Posted by Laura on Wednesday, 24 November, 2010

And just to mix it up today and support the idea that I actually do write things, this would be a draft of some methodologies that will be headed into my appendix. A lot of it feels really simple, already gets stated inside existing chapters as I use the data and would eat up word count in my methodology in a really unhealthy way. (I’ve got about 20 of these methodologies to do. I should really do a summary about each particular site I’m using too. We’ll see. This section first.)


Appendix A
Data Gathering Site Specific Methodologies

43 Things
User information
To get user information from 43 Things, the first step was to identify goals that related to an Australian or New Zealand based sport club.  Searching using various keywords, reading the goals that related to the keywords and determining if they related to the search accomplished this.  Once a goal was identified and people were identified as having completed the goal or intending to complete the goal, the goal was recorded on a row in a 43 Things specific spreadsheet.  In a separate column, the team and league to which the goal related to were also recorded.  After this was completed, the user pages for people with that goal were visited.  Their username, city, state, country, birthday, website, and date joined were all recorded.  The last notation to the row was to include the date that this information was gathered.
During the time that this data was gathered, 43 Things changed the information that was available on the profiles.  This was done sometime between early June 2010 and  early November 2010.  Subsequently information such as city, state, country, birthday, website were not available on user profiles.  Only data gathered prior to this time exists except in cases where the data was checked at a later date and the user’s information had previously been recorded.

Total user information
Attempts were made to benchmark the level of interest in a team by recording the number of relevant search results on 43 things.  This was done by documenting the league and team that were being searched for in a row.  After that, the keyword used for the search was recorded in the same row.  The search was then completed and the total results were recorded.  A textual analysis of the search results was conducted and the total number of relevant results was recorded.  Of those relevant results, the total number of people working to accomplish them was then recorded.  Finally, the date the search was conducted was recorded.

Alexa
Site rankings
A list of websites related to Australian and New Zealand sport was created.  This was recorded on a spreadsheet, with columns that listed the league and team that the domain featured.  For every domain on the list, the page about the domain on Alexa was checked.  The Alexa page URL for the domain was also recorded on the relevant row.  When visiting the page, the world rank was recorded.  If an Australian rank was also available, it was recorded in a separate Australian specific column.  Next, the date that this information was gathered was recorded.  After that, any notes the author had regarding the site were recorded.  This was mostly to identify the type of domain or if it ranked in a country outside Australia.  Lastly, in some cases, the paragraph of information provided by Alexa regarding the site’s traffic and demographics was recorded.

Bebo
User  information
Profile information from bebo users was gathered by running a search related to a specific team or league.  The league and team that the search was related to was documented.  Once this was done, the people search results were copy and pasted to Notepad.  The search results were then formatted for pasting to the bebo user spreadsheet. Once copy and pasted, the author attempted to convert user-inputted locations into real locations of city, state, country.  The location field results were then found in columns for city, state, country instead of a location column.  The columns that existed then were league, team, name, gender, age, city, state, and country.  A final column was added that recorded the date this data was gathered.

Videos, Groups, Band information
There are three different search tabs on bebo beyond people that have information about the community size and audience for Australian and New Zealand sport.  They are Video, Groups and Bands.  Searched related to a specific team, player or league were run.  The relationship between the searches and the league and club were recorded.  The search results were then copy and pasted to Notepad where the results were formatted so they could be pasted on to a separate bebo related spreadsheet.  Once this was done, the following headers where information could be found included type, total (fans/viewers/members), loves, profile views, group created, genre, city, state, country, uploaded, uploader, and description.   The city, state and country information was documented using the same methodology as the bebo profile information.  Finally, a column was added that included the data that this data was gathered on.

Total search results
Total search results data came by recording the search term used, and recording the team and league that connect to that search term.  Once that was done, the total results were recorded for People, Video, Music, Groups, Apps and Skins. The date the search was conducted was then recorded.  Finally, any notes regarding the search or its results were recorded.
When recording the results, in almost all cases, the total results were included.  In a few select cases, generally when the results were 20 or less, the total number of results deemed relevant were recorded.  This was deemed important for smaller sport fan communities where one or two videos or groups may represent the whole community.  An example search where this was done involved a search for “Giants Football Club” because the results picked up rugby league teams and the New York Giants.

BlackPlanet
User information
User information was gathered once a search had been conducted and resulted in a user appearing.  If a user appeared for that search, the league and team related to that search were recorded.  The user name was then recorded.  The user page was then opened and the following data was collected: Country, gender and age. Lastly, the date this information was gathered was documented.

Total user information
To gather total user information, a search phrase was thought of and recorded.  In separate columns, the league and team the search related to were recorded.  The profile search was then conducted and the total number of results were recorded.  Finally, the date the search was conducted on was recorded.

Blogger
User information
User information was gathered once a search had been conducted and resulted in a user appearing.  If a user appeared for that search, the league and team related to that search were recorded.  The user name was then recorded.  The user page was then opened and the following data was collected: Age, Gender, Astrological sign, City, State, Country. Lastly, the date this information was gathered was documented.

Total user information
To gather total user information, a search phrase was thought of and recorded.  In separate columns, the league and team the search related to were recorded.  The profile search was then conducted and the total number of results were recorded.  Finally, the date the search was conducted on was recorded.

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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 csv.ozziesport.com/.

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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
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 https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jason-Akermanis/107712129252191 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 https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jason-Akermanis/301148780410 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
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
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
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.

Conclusion
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.

References
Akermanis, J. (2010, May 20). “Stay in the closet, Jason Akermanis tells homosexuals.” Herald Sun. Newspaper. Retrieved June 7, 2010, from http://www.heraldsun.com.au/sport/afl/stay-in-the-closet-jason-akermanis-tells-homosexuals/story-e6frf9ix-1225868871934

alberto. (2009, July 13). “How are Alexa’s traffic rankings determined?” Alexa. Retrieved June 8, 2010, from http://www.alexa.com/help/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=17&sid=70b7eee4fd8d92a4f74c66e3680d1275

Clark, J. (n.d.). “Twitter Venn.” Twitter Venn. Retrieved June 11, 2010, from http://www.neoformix.com/Projects/TwitterVenn/view.php

Hale, L. (2010, May 20). “Online Activity in the Wake of the Melbourne Storm Controversy.” Ozzie Sport. Retrieved June 9, 2010, from http://ozziesport.com/2010/05/online-activity-in-the-wake-of-the-melbourne-storm-controversy/

Noonan, A. (2010, May 27). “AFL closet furore continues.” Sydney Star Observer. Newspaper. Retrieved June 7, 2010, from http://www.starobserver.com.au/news/2010/05/27/afl-closet-furore-continues/25965

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 http://www.quantcast.com/docs/display/info/Cookie+to+People+Translation+Overview

Walsh, C. (2010, May 21). “Aker’s viewpoint bizarre: Roos.” The Australian. Retrieved from http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/sport/akers-viewpoint-bizarre-roos/story-e6frg7mf-1225869370860

Footnotes

  1. Facebook’s advertising page is located at https://www.facebook.com/ads/create/ .  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 https://www.facebook.com/adelaidecrows, https://www.facebook.com/AFL, https://www.facebook.com/pages/Brisbane-Lions/21301860172, https://www.facebook.com/OfficialCarltonFC, https://www.facebook.com/collingwoodfc, https://www.facebook.com/Essendon, https://www.facebook.com/fremantlefootballclub, https://www.facebook.com/GeelongCatsInsider, https://www.facebook.com/GoldCoastFC, https://www.facebook.com/teamgws, https://www.facebook.com/hawthornfc, https://www.facebook.com/MELBOURNEfc, https://www.facebook.com/northkangaroos, https://www.facebook.com/portadelaidefootballclub, https://www.facebook.com/Richmond.FC, https://www.facebook.com/stkfc, https://www.facebook.com/sydneyswans, and https://www.facebook.com/pages/West-Coast-Eagles/38862387223, https://www.facebook.com/Western.Bulldogs
    .
  3. The following is a complete list of URLs for Jason Akermanis related Facebook fan pages and groups that the author looked at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jason-Akermanis/107712129252191, https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jason-Akermanis/105738419448658, https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jason-Akermanis/373300971735, https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jason-Akermanis/376142636801, https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jason-Akermanis/301148780410, https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jason-Akermanis-Biography/106142142741832, https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jason-Akermanis-Autobiography/106446502709782, https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jason-Akermanis-you-are-a-MORON/109009685810123, https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Battle-Within-by-Jason-Akermanis/110570445624262, https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jason-Akermanis-Homophobe-and-complete-fuckwit/105067262872425, https://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=124872100865630, https://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=118380594866779, https://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=118537708183794, https://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=118573961511057, https://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=344061166761, https://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=20900401086, https://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=10308061363, https://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=19647855868, https://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=128825660465576, https://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=16522463154, https://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=109095775801131, https://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=18564050741, https://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=21877556009, https://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=123972501889, https://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=107444465957654, https://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=38642639632, https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jason-Akermanis-slept-with-me/115552025153010, https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jason-Akermanis-is-an-idiot/125326927493237, https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jason-Akermanis-is-a-coward/105337389512086,  and https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dont-you-hate-it-when-youre-in-the-shower-and-Jason-Akermanis-comes-in/124465230905493 .
  4. The group can be found at https://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=118380594866779 .
  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 http://www.neoformix.com/Projects/TwitterVenn/view.php .
  8. Article view information is provided by http://stats.grok.se/ .
  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. whatismyipaddress.com/ was used to determine the geolocation of IP addresses.
  11. This number came from visiting http://www.bebo.com/c/search? , 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: http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/afc.com.au , http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/afl.com.au , http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/lions.com.au , http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/carltonfc.com.au , http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/collingwoodfc.com.au , http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/essendonfc.com.au , http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/fremantlefc.com.au , http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/gfc.com.au , http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/teamgws.com.au , http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/hawthornfc.com.au , http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/melbournefc.com.au , http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/kangaroos.com.au , http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/portadelaidefc.com.au , http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/richmondfc.com.au , http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/saints.com.au , http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/sydneyswans.com.au , http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/westcoasteagles.com.au , and http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/westernbulldogs.com.au .
  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 http://www.quantcast.com/westernbulldogs.com.au#demographics
  17. The Quantcast information is from http://www.quantcast.com/gfc.com.au#demographics
  18. The Quantcast information is from http://www.quantcast.com/kangaroos.com.au#demographics
  19. The url for the search that was confused is http://www.care2.com/find/site#q=%22Jason+Akermanis%22 .
  20. The ecademy search can be found at http://www.ecademy.com/module.php?mod=member&q=%22Western+Bulldogs%22&op=Search+People
  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 http://afl.wikia.com/wiki/Australian_Football_League_Wiki , http://aussierules.wikia.com/wiki/Main_Page , and  http://aflpedia.wikia.com/wiki/AFL_Wiki .

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Canberra Raiders data

Posted by Laura on Wednesday, 30 June, 2010

I’m a little late with this so I figured I would have a new top level post rather than edit my existing post.  If you wanted to see the data I presented the Canberra Raiders, it is available here in PDF format. It includes some Foursquare data, Gowalla data, Facebook data, Twitter data and some general NRL data.

If you want similar data related to a specific club, let me know and we can see if we can work out some sort of arrangement.  I’d love to be able to talk to more Canberra based professional, state and national teams.

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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 google.com.au, 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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An interview with Ben Pollack from the Canberra Raiders

Posted by Laura on Thursday, 24 June, 2010

On Wednesday, June 23, 2010, I had the pleasure of talking to Ben Pollack and another staff member at the Canberra Raider.  I really appreciated the opportunity to talk to them as it was provided additional insight into how sport clubs view fandom and social media. I’ve tried to convey as accurately as possible what they have told me based on my memory and I asked their permission to reference them in my blog and paper while I met with them.

If you’re not familiar with the Canberra Raiders, they are a Rugby League team that competes at the top level in the National Rugby League in Australia.  They are based in Australia’s capital, Canberra, and play their home games at Bruce Stadium.  The NRL has a profit sharing scheme, where revenues are shared between all teams.

My purpose in talking to them was to help provide background knowledge for my literature review and to generally enhance my understanding of Australian team sport as it may apply other parts of my research.  Going in, I had four questions I wanted answers to.  These questions were:

1. How do you define fandom?
2. How do you reach out to the fan community?
3. How much influence does league management provide in terms of defining fandom and how to engage in outreach?  Do they give guidance on social media policies?
4. How much do other sports, teams and leagues play a role in development and implementation of concepts related to fan engagement and social media?

The Canberra Raiders define fandom very broadly as people who barrack for them and who attend games.  Their goal is to have this definition encompass all ages, both genders and across the demographic spectrum.  They focus on the Canberra area. They want to take interest in the club and translate that into getting people into the stadium, with bums on seats.  They did not mention trying to get fans to watch on television or buy their merchandise.  It may be something that they define as fandom but I did not follow up to ask about that.

When I inquired about the regional aspect in the NRL helping teams by enabling them to develop a local fanbase, they said that this worked a lot in their favor as the Canberra area was very supportive of the team.  This may not be as true for some of the Sydney based teams where there is much more market overlap and a few teams play at the same venue.  There, clubs need to market more towards traditional understandings of who composes their fanbase.  Sydney based teams are much like many of the Melbourne based AFL clubs in this regard.

I had some data from Facebook that said that there were roughly twice as many UCanberra students and alumni who were fans of the club compared to ANU.  I asked them why their fanbase was stronger at the University of Canberra, if it had to do with different cultures or possibly class related affiliations that each university has.  The club responded that they thought they probably had more fans at UC because the university has a well-known sport program and tends to attract more sport fans than ANU.

I had some bebo related geographic data.  It showed that there were a number of fans from the Brisbane area.  I asked the Raiders if they could explain that.  They told me that this geographic fanbase dates to the club’s founding, when several of the players came from Brisbane.  The club has managed to maintain this fanbase in Queensland over time.

The club primarily reaches out to their fanbase using traditional advertising: Newspapers, television and mail outs.  They have a member list and every week they send out a newsletter to their members.  The newsletter contains injury information, game summaries and information on any special deals that the club has.  They do some outreach on social media, but that is primarily confined to Facebook.

The NRL is a huge influence in how the club handles their website and their social media.  The league requires that clubs post certain types of web and video content every week.  This includes a match report and the post-game press conference.  The NRL has incentivized clubs to try to draw traffic to their websites; at the end of the season, revenues earned by the clubs on their sites are distributed to the clubs.  According to the Raiders, the league brought in Bernie Mullin to help it develop a plan regarding their online activities.  The NRL also guides clubs by encouraging them to push to increase their membership.  Some of this push is based around the idea of local clubs and increasing attendance at local grounds and keeping that local identity.

The Canberra Raiders thus use social media as a way to drive traffic to their site.  Based on our conversation, I did not get the feeling that using social media to develop a fanbase was a goal unto itself.  Rather, I was left with the impression that social media was a tool to drive traffic to their site to help increase their revenue.

The NRL does watch other leagues to see what they are doing in terms of social media.  The Raiders do less of this and spend less time developing their own social media strategy.  This is largely because the Raiders feel the NRL has better resources and more money to handle this.  The Raiders also do not have much time to do this on their own.

One of the major areas where the team has acted regarding social media is in giving in their players training in the use of social media training.  The Australian Federal Police conducted this training.  Details about the training can be found on the club’s website at www.raiders.com.au/default.aspx?s=article-display&id=27038 .  This was something the club felt was important because a number of their players are on Facebook.  Some have 2,000 to 3,000 friends, many of whom they do not know personally.  There have been a number of high profile incidents involving players getting negative media attention as a result of their comments on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter; they want to avoid that.  In general, the club advises players to be careful, not to talk about the team and to keep things personal.  The club does not ban the use of it and the NRL is aware of these problems and is encouraging training.

After getting my questions answered, I asked the Raiders about specific aspects of their social media strategy and asked the club if they had any questions based on the data packet I had provided.  The club does have an official Facebook page and Twitter account.  Ben is most familiar with Facebook, which is one of the reasons they use it more than Twitter.  The club’s original Facebook strategy involved creating a user account, friending people and trying to convert these friends into fans of the official fanpage.  The conversion rate was very low and they did not find it very effective in accomplishing their goals.

They are not entirely certain how Twitter fits into their social media strategy and there is a question of how they chose people to follow.  (Compared to other teams in the NRL, they follow almost no one.)  They were interested in increasing their number of followers but were not certain how to do it.  They also did not think that anyone had replied to them or reTweeted them, though this could be a result of not being familiar enough with the site.

We also discussed Foursquare and Gowalla, how they were used and if it was worth it for the team to explore using them.  They were unsure in this regard, as their time is limited.  If it is the next big thing, it might be worth them investigating.

I asked the club about their web traffic, citing some traffic data from Compete.  They said that a number of teams in the NRL share names with other sport teams.  In the case of the Canberra Raiders, it is the Oakland Raiders.  During the season for the other team, they often see an increase in traffic from US based visitors who mistakenly find their site.

I asked if the club had considered using YouTube.  They had.  One of their ideas involved uploading preview clips to Youtube, with attached notices that the full clip could be viewed on their site. They were not certain of the potential ROI and in the end did not use it.  I then asked them if visitors could embed official Raiders videos on their own blogs.  They were not certain but said that fans could definitely link to their videos.

While social media is a big potential audience for the club, most of their dedicated fans online congregate on a message board not controlled by the club.  They do monitor it and find it occasionally to be a concern because of that lack of control.  The club is aware of the fact that the media also monitor this message board and occasionally use it to generate less than favorable story ideas about the site.

In preparation for talking with the Canberra Raiders, I completed an overview of the size of the online community for the team.  If you are interested in this document, please contact me at laura[@]fanhistory[dot]com or my university e-mail address, [email protected]

One of their ideas involved uploading preview clips to Youtube, with attached notices that the full clip could be viewed on their site.  I then asked them if visitors could embed official Raiders videos on their own blogs.

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Socceroos: A creative research data dump (part 1)

Posted by Laura on Saturday, 12 June, 2010

I’ve been busy collecting all sorts of bits of random, creative data for the Socceroos in the lead up to the World Cup.  There is a whole lot more that I want to get but I’ve only so much time.  And time is what is holding up my ability to do an analysis prior to the World Cup regarding what some of this data could mean.  I figured I would share it so that others like you might use it to do your own analysis.  Just a word of caution: Random data is random.

43 Things
This data was checked again on June 12, 2010. These are all the questions where people mentioned Socceroos. They were found by searching 43 Things for Socceroos.

Service League Team Goal User City State Country Birthday Website Member since Date checked
43things.com World Cup Soccer Socceroos meet the socceroos nymphamadria Mount Isa Queensland Australia 5-Jul http://www.nymphamadria.com/ 9-Apr-05 14-May-10
43things.com World Cup Soccer Socceroos live to see the socceroos make it to the semi-finals xinatra Adelaide South Australia Australia 31-Oct 30-Jun-06 14-May-10
43things.com World Cup Soccer Socceroos say socceroos jeremyong 13-Sep-06 14-May-10
43things.com World Cup Soccer Socceroos play for the socceroos fun_boy 13-Aug-07 14-May-10
43things.com World Cup Soccer Socceroos play soccer for the socceroos fun_boy 13-Aug-07 14-May-10
43things.com World Cup Soccer Socceroos play for the socceroos i have liked soccer since i was 8 and i am 12 and a great straker avpr 20-Jul-08 14-May-10

Alexa
I’ve been getting data for other sport teams since early May. It took me a long time to consider adding this one…

League Team Site Alexa World Rank Rank in AU Date collected Notes
World Cup Soccer Socceroos footballaustralia.com.au http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/footballaustralia.com.au 233 130 2 575 12-Jun-10 Official page

Bebo
I wanted an idea as to the demographic make up of fans. Bebo data is often the easiest to get. (And it didn’t close down like it was rumored to have on June 1 if AOL didn’t find a buyer. Yay!) The other benchmark is for the change in total people listing them as an interest or related keyword.

Service Interest Name Gender Age City State Country Date gathered League
bebo Socceroos Off The Wall Female 18 Sydney New South Wales Australia 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Anna Female 18 Adelaide South Australia Australia 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Irnafareen Mohd.Sah Female 18 Singapore Singapore 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Maddi p Female 18 Geelong Victoria Australia 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Jade Bishop Female 18 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos JAZjaz Female 19 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Telesha Ferguson Female 19 Medowie New South Wales Australia 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Katelyn Jenkins Female 19 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Cassy Ciampa Female 20 Oakdale New South Wales Australia 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Hue Huynh Female 20 Cabramatta New South Wales Australia 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Kayla R Female 20 The Shire England United Kingdom 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos **aImEe ** Female 20 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Mrs Camel Female 20 Bathurst New South Wales Australia 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Katherine Galata Female 20 Melbourne Victoria Australia 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Mrs TeraiseWerravong Female 21 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos MiSS NiKKi Female 21 Penrith New South Wales Australia 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos SydneyFC till i die Female 22 Bankstown New South Wales Australia 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Liz Reed Female 25 Lord Howe Island New South Wales Australia 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Delta Lea Goodrem Female 25 Sydney New South Wales Australia 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Caro G Female 29 Adelaide South Australia Australia 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Alex Beekmeijer Female 30 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Jo Turner Female 45 Queensland Australia 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos NaT AnToNi Female Epping New South Wales Australia 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos -Sweetaussiechic21- Female Grays Point New South Wales Australia 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Petrea Production Female Australia 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Annette Kingston Female Elliott Northern Territory Australia 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Ruby Kennedy Female Melbourne Victoria Australia 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Namira Rahman Female 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Ella Female Northern Territory Australia 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Charlotte Smith Female Sydney New South Wales Australia 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos ToRii- i think you know im dam preacious X3 Female Townsville Queensland Australia 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Sidonie Prentice Female Williamstown Victoria Australia 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Qantas Socceroos Female 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Katie B Female 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Murphs Female 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Louisa me Female 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Some One Female 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Jenny Fleay Female 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Hugh McDonald Male 18 Sydney New South Wales Australia 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Nigel Taylor Male 18 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Lachlan Hemsworth Male 18 Dungog New South Wales Australia 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Dahir S Male 18 Melbourne Victoria Australia 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Tariq Abawi Male 18 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Sam Manny Male 18 Deception Bay Queensland Australia 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Ash Wood Male 19 Australia 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Pratik Narayan Matainaboutini Nanuku Male 19 Sigatoka Nadroga-Navosa Fiji 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Souljah Male 19 Adelaide South Australia Australia 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Kual A Male 19 St. Albans Victoria Australia 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Joshua Stoodley Male 19 New South Wales Australia 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos James R Male 19 Eden Hills South Australia Australia 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Nick Bruce Male 19 Sydney New South Wales Australia 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Cameron Bioz Male 19 Gosford New South Wales Australia 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Fred Wilkinson Male 19 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Capitol T Male 20 Sydney New South Wales Australia 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Gabodinho Male 21 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Tim Howard Male 21 Rockingham Queensland Australia 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Dan Delaney Male 22 Northmead New South Wales Australia 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Tiago Pinto Male 23 Marrickville 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Noel Richardson Male 23 Hobart Tasmania Australia 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Michael Puglisi Male 23 Sydney New South Wales Australia 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Lived to Surf Male 23 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Abomb Male 24 Blacktown New South Wales Australia 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Dukes V Male 24 Adelaide South Australia Australia 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Antonio Male 25 Sydney New South Wales Australia 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Thai Meatpie Male 25 Chadstone Victoria Australia 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Shaun 359 Male 26 Adelaide South Australia Australia 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Simon Hawasly Male 27 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Mike Zaluski Male 28 Morphett Vale South Australia Australia 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos SexyMarz26 Male 30 Adelaide South Australia Australia 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Ian W Male 30 Adelaide South Australia Australia 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Harry Pascoe Male 31 Sydney New South Wales Australia 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Damien Lewandowski Male 32 Adelaide South Australia Australia 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Frank Farina Male 43 Brisbane Queensland Australia 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Arthur Maroun Male 83 Merrylands New South Wales Australia 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Tomas Male Adelaide South Australia Australia 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Soccer Roos Male Australia 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Cameron Wright Male Bendigo Victoria Australia 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos The Original Ranga Male Blacktown New South Wales Australia 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Jared Lane Male Brisbane Queensland Australia 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Aidan Male Canberra Australian Capital Territory Australia 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Thy Whose Fern Is Red Male Canberra Australian Capital Territory Australia 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Daniel S Male Coburg Victoria Australia 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos DJ Male Darwin Northern Territory Australia 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Jackson Bova Male Illawong New South Wales Australia 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Belardo Male 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos ∂ιѕн ωσυℓ∂ вє…….. zα¢ Turner Male Ingleburn New South Wales Australia 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Kingy K Male Charlestown New South Wales Australia 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Joshua Kitson Male Melbourne Victoria Australia 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Eric Justin Male Melbourne Victoria Australia 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos A M Male Newcastle New South Wales Australia 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Hudson Jones Male Perth Western Australia Australia 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Chris Male Tamworth New South Wales Australia 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Brendan M Male 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Jakob Male Wyoming United States 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Australia Socceroos Male 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Robert Davies Male 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Arif H Male 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Maxie Kelvin Male 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Mitch Rylands Male 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Raymond Lee Male 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Jollze Jolly Male 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Nathan D Male 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Brooke H Male 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Harry Kewell Male 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Luke Redo 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Australian Socceroos 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos go socceroos roses r red crystals r blue i am lonly coz of u 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Socceroos Winner 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos i like Soccer espiacially Socceroos 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Zaz Zazzie 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Aj 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Oliver Awesome 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos DannY C 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Tim . 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Gracie-Lu 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Xx Jessa Xx 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Haydos 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Ashley A 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Lochie 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Louise 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Josh 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Sharon 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Richard G 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Danny 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Cameron Jones 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Emily H 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Adam B 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Ben P 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Meg.Loves.Tim 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Daniel Dilger 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos ….XxXluvin CenaXxXall the WAYXxX…. 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Eloise R 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Adam Evans 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Jack Lions 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Jordan 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Em 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Drifter is in the House 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Toby * 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Cherry 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Natto 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Garath M 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Amy Nguyen 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos I think you all know im damm preaciouse 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos HoOdO HeRsI 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos karley 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Jaiden V 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos James Simpson 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Jordan Fleming 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Anthony Dang 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Morsal 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Sharna McLeod 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Bodi Richmond 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Nadia A 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Hayden M 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Meaghan Nepomuceno 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Stephanie Ghirxi 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Ates San 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Emilio Martini 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Adriana James 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer
bebo Socceroos Sakhidad D 3-Jun-10 World Cup Soccer

Changes in interest listing on bebo

Service League Team Interest People Video Music Groups Apps Skins Date gathered
bebo World Cup Soccer Socceroos Socceroos 167 169 56 29 0 0 14-May-10
bebo World Cup Soccer Socceroos Socceroos 167 169 56 29 0 0 3-Jun-10
bebo World Cup Soccer Socceroos Socceroos 167 169 56 29 0 0 12-Jun-10

Black Planet
It isn’t entirely surprising that no one lists the team as an interest on Black Planet.

Service Interest Total Members Checked
BlackPlanet Socceroos 0 3-Jun-10
BlackPlanet Socceroos 0 12-Jun-10

Blogger
At some point, I will get demographic data off blogger…

Service League Team Interest Number Date gathered
blogger World Cup Soccer Socceroos Socceroos 13 14-May-10
blogger World Cup Soccer Socceroos Socceroos 14 3-Jun-10
blogger World Cup Soccer Socceroos Socceroos 14 4-Jun-10
blogger World Cup Soccer All Whites All Whites 0 4-Jun-10
blogger World Cup Soccer Socceroos Socceroos 14 12-Jun-10

Care2
Included the All Whites. They tend to pick up a lot of irrelevant data.

Service League Team Keyword Petitions Discussions Members Groups Photos Blogs Healthy Living Ecards Date checked
care2 World Cup Socceroos Socceroos 0 0 1 0 0 3 0 0 12-Jun-10
care2 World Cup All Whites "All Whites" 4 0 0 0 0 3 1 0 12-Jun-10

Compete
Tracking your traffic… only limited information, and month by month. If you pay, you get access to better data. I can’t afford it so limited is what you get.

League Team URL Compete
World Cup Socceroos footballaustralia.com.au http://siteanalytics.compete.com/footballaustralia.com.au/
footballaustralia.com.au
Date Unique Visitors Growth
Apr-09 753 -47.31
May-09 236 -68.66
Jun-09 2175 821.61
Jul-09 1374 -36.83
Aug-09 713 -48.11
Sep-09 830 16.41
Oct-09 636 -23.37
Nov-09 1200 88.68
Dec-09 17 -98.58
Jan-10 43 152.94
Feb-10 3790 8713.95
Mar-10 3069 -19.02
Apr-10 5084 65.66

Related Posts:

Online Activity in the Wake of the Melbourne Storm Controversy

Posted by Laura on Thursday, 20 May, 2010

A copy of this can be found in PDF form at : ozziesport.com/storm.pdf .  The pdf version that includes footnotes that explain the methodology used and contain additional links.


Online Activity in the Wake of the Melbourne Storm Controversy

By Laura Hale, University of Canberra

On April 22, 2010, the news of salary cap violations on the part of the Melbourne Storm broke online in such publications as the Fox Sports, on television including ABC news and on multiple social networks including Facebook and Twitter. By April 23, the news was available in various print publications including The Australian and the Sydney Morning Herald. During the news coverage, NRL fans learned that the team had been fined $1.8 million, stripped of two premiereships and were not eligible to earn points towards 2010’s premiership. (“Melbourne storm stripped,” 2010) The team was being punished for salary cap violations over the past five years, where the total cap violation in that period was $1.7 million with $400,000 of that total cap violation occurring in 2009. (“Melbourne storm stripped,” 2010)

Early in the coverage of the Melbourne Storm, several issues were discussed including the impact this would have on the fan base for the team, the subsequent economic fallout for Storm and other clubs in the league, and if the players would try to leave the club or lower their performance level. The consequences that people feared have yet to bear out: The fan base for the Melbourne Storm has grown, attendance has not fallen, membership is up and players have not left the team and the team continues to win.

This article will examine the online response to the Melbourne Storm controversy. Specifically, it will look at the interest patterns on several networks, follow patterns on Twitter and Facebook, and activity levels on 43things, wikis and Yahoo!Groups. It will prove that, on the whole, the controversy has not eroded the online fanbase for the team and has resulted in an increased profile for the team in ways can have a net positive for the team and their sponsors.


Profile Interest

One way to quickly gage online interest for a team is to check the number of people who list them as an interest on social networks that include that option. The level of interest on a network will, in general, increase over time. Including an interest is a rather passive activity that most people do at the time that they signup on a service. They may update their interests once a year when they do an overhaul on their profile. Other factors may result in an update of interests, most notably a desire to associate or disassociate with certain people and organizations. The latter can generally require a certain amount of rage and disillusionment and does not happen that often. For adding interests, it can require a certain degree of wanting to stand in solidarity with some one or thing in the face of perceived oppression. Adding or removing an interest will generally require a large emotional response in people to motivate them to change their interests on social networks where an individual has not been active in the past six months. These conditions mean that numbers for interests are relatively stable or increase. A big shift downward is possible but unlikely.

Did the Melbourne Storm controversy result in people being motivated to update their interests to include or exclude the team? Yes and no, many people added them as an interest on Facebook but the numbers remained level across several other networks.

As of January 9, 2010, 17,020 had listed the Melbourne Storm as an interest on Facebook. By May 9, 2010, this number had increased to 41,240, or 24,220 new people. From January 9 to May 9, 2010, there was also an increase of roughly 120 fans within fifty miles of Hobart adding the team as an interest, going from less than 20 to 140. Canberra saw a similar increase in fans, going from 140 on January 9 to 1,020 by May 9, 2010, an increase of 880 new people listing the team as an interest. For fans within fifty miles of Cranbourne, there was an increase of 5,540 fans going from 7,140 fans on January 9 to 12,580 fans on May 9, 2010. Some of this increase on Facebook can be possibly attributed to a change in Facebook in mid-April, where people were encouraged to add their interests as likes of fanpages and vice versa. (Albanesius, 2010) It cannot entirely explain the shift as the official Melbourne Storm page is a user page, not a fan page so the interest to liking will not be automatically converted. At the same time, the number of people listing the team as an interest is roughly ten times as many who follow the Storm’s official Facebook profile and suggests that interest listing is independent of following the official team presence.

In addition to the Melbourne Storm interest on Facebook, there have been two new interests related to the storm created in the wake of the controversy: “Shame On You Melbourne Storm” with fewer than twenty people listing it as an interest, and “Sucked In Melbourne Storm Haha” with 3,240 people listing it as an interest. The latter definitely connects to a Facebook fanpage with the same name, which has 8,432 people who like it.

While Facebook saw an explosion in growth of people listing the team as an interest, other sites allowing interest listing on profiles remained stagnant or saw limited growth. This includes bebo, where there has been no change as of April 28 and May 9 from 402 people that was originally recorded on March 18, 2010. Blogger saw some growth for the number of people listing the team as an interest. As of January 18, 2010, four people had listed the team. By May 9, 2010, six people had listed them as an interest. As the time frame is wider than that of bebo, it might be possible to account for the increase as a pre-season boost, rather than in response to the controversy. Either way, this was an increase of fifty percent for new people listing the team as an interest.

LiveJournal saw no growth in people listing the team as an interest between January 10 and May 9, 2010. Of the 25 LiveJournal accounts listing the Melbourne Storm as an interest, only five have updated since the controversy broke. LiveJournal’s clones including Dreamwidth, Blurty and DeadJournal also saw no growth as of May 9. This contrasts to the Brisbane Broncos on LiveJournal, where one person removed the team as an interest during a similar period. Dreamwidth had two users listing the team as an interest as of January 9, Blurty had one user as of January 9, and DeadJournal had one user as of December 23, 2009. None of the people on LiveJournal’s clones who list the Storm as an interest have updated their journals since the controversy happened. The most recent updates occurred on Dreamwidth, taking place in early March 2010. The other account last updated in April 2009. The Blurty account last updated in November 2005 and the DeadJournal account last updated in January 2006.

One or two smaller niche networks have limited interest for specific teams or where people only list the NRL as an interest. This includes BlackPlanet, generally targeted at African Americans inside the United States. There was one person who listed the NRL as an interest on the network as of February 15, 2010. This has not changed as of May 9. Care2 is a social networked targeted at people who wish to make the world a better place. As of March 20, 2010, no one had listed the Melbourne Storm as an interest. This changed by May 9, when three people listed the team as an interest. Given the names, limited profiles and join dates, it is possible that these accounts are all tied to one individual. Gaia Online is a small, niche network for role players. As of March 11, 2010, no one had listed the Melbourne Storm as an interest. There is interest in the NRL on the network as people listed the Brisbane Lions, Canberra Raiders, Parramatta Eels and Sydney Roosters as interests. There has not been any change for any of these teams as of May 9. The limited growth and lack of pull back could suggest that larger interest in the NRL has not been diminished on smaller networks as a result of the controversy.


Wiki Activity

Wikis are, at their most basic, web sites where visitors can easily edit the content of the site. Sometimes, there are limits to who can edit put in place by the creator of a wiki. These include requiring users to register or confirm an e-mail before they edit, or to get their account approved by the admin before they can edit. Some wikis have policies when breaking news happen or an article gets trolled to lock down the article so only registered users can edit or wiki admins can edit. The culture of editing on specific wikis thus develops around the who can edit process as locking down wikis to prevent edits can effect the frequency that an article is updated.

For comprehensive wiki articles, the ideal is to have to have editors who approach the topic from different perspectives, where there is inherent conflict in the content and perspective being presented. If this situation does not exist, an article can be highjacked by one or two editors who seek to push their own perspective. The more edits and people involved in contributing to the article, the less likely the article will be biased. This also makes vandalism less problematic as people are incentivized to quickly remove that material.

Wikis can be a good tool for gauging interest in a particular topic over time as most wiki software keeps a record of all edits to a page. For some of the big wikis, like Wikipedia, data also exists for how many views an article has over a certain time period. This can help track more passive community interest in a topic.

Wikipedia’s English language article about the Melbourne Storm is probably the most visited wiki article about the team and appears third in Google’s search results for the team. The article, found at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melbourne_Storm , was created on May 23, 2004. As of May 9, 2010, the article had 1,732 total edits made to it. The controversy involving the Melbourne Storm broke on April 22, 2010. 1,471 of the edits were made prior to that. In the period between the article’s creation and the day before the controversy broke, an average of .681 edits per day were made to the article. In the eighteen-day period since the controversy broke, an average of 14.5 edits per day were made to the article. The vast majority of these edits were made in the first three days, with 90 edits made on April 22, 56 edits made on April 23 and 69 edits made on April 24. On April 24, in response to repeated vandalism, the article was semi-protected; this meant that only registered users who had confirmed their e-mail could edit the article. The protection had the effect of reducing the total number of daily edits to the article. After that, peak editing days included April 26 and May 3 with seven edits, and April 25 and May 5 with six edits. There were zero edits on April 28, May 6, May 7 and May 9. The controversy certainly caused an increase in the number of edits. If the day that the controversy broke and the next two days are excluded, the average number of daily edits is 3.06 edits per day. This is still higher than the period prior to the controversy and the trend will probably continue at least until the end of the season.

The article views per day mirrors the total edits by day. Based on data provided by Henrick (2010, May 1 and May 9), there is a correlation of .904 between the total daily edits and the total daily page views. According to Henrick (2010, May 1) during April 2010, the article was viewed a total of 49,540 times. Of these views, 40,355 views were between April 22, when the story broke, and April 30. The peak day for visits was on April 22, when the article was viewed 14,800 times. The average page views between April 22 and April 30 was 4,482 views per day. If this period is extended out to include data provided by Henrick (2010, May 9) for May 1 to May 8, the average views per day is 2,700. If the three days around when the controversy first broke are excluded, the average edits per day drops to 1,143. This stands in contrast to the period between April 1 and April 21 where the average page views per day was 438. The above average page views trend appears to be continuing. There has not been a decrease in overall interest in the Melbourne Storm on English Wikipedia.

In addition to the English language article about the Melbourne Storm on Wikipedia, there are articles in two other languages: French and Italian. The French language article, http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melbourne_Storm , was created on March 1, 2006. Since the controversy started on April 22 and May 8, there have been 35 total edits to the article. Unlike the English language article, total edits per day peaked on April 24, 2010 with 19 with the second highest editing day occurring on April 23 with 7. The average total edits per day during this period was 2.1. In April, prior to the controversy, the average edits per day was zero. Also unlike the English language article, it was not locked because of vandalism. According to Henrickhe (2010, May 1) peak views per day happened on April 23 and April 24 with 59. The next day with the greatest number of views in the period between April 22 and May 8 is May 8 with 34. The average viewed per day in the April 22 to May 8 period was 17.4 and the average viewed per day in April prior to the controversy was 3.4. The correlation between the total edits per day and views per day in the period between April 1 and May 8 is .7740. The French Wikipedia article saw an increase that was proportionally bigger than the English article but the total views and edits were much smaller on the French article.

The Italian language Wikipedia article, http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melbourne_Storm , was created on December 21, 2007. The article had two edits in 2008 and one in 2009. Since the controversy broke on April 22 and May 8, there have two edits to the article. These two edits are the only edits made during 2010. According to Henrickhe (2010, May 1) , the total number of article views from April 1 to April 21 was 30. According to Henrickhe (2010, May 8), the total number of page views per day was 58. The day with the most views was April 23, with 14 views. The next day with the most views was May 3, with 8 views. The Italian Wikipedia article saw an increase in the total number of edits and page views as a result of the controversy. It might have been larger but the Italian interest in the team is much smaller to start with than the French or English language communities.

Outside of Wikipedia, there are a few small wikis that focus on the NRL and Rugby League. These wikis generally lack detailed information on the daily total page views but still provide information on the editing history. One such wiki is the NRL Central Wiki that is hosted on Wikia. It has an article about the Melbourne Storm located at http://nrl.wikia.com/wiki/Melbourne_Storm. The article was created on August 13, 2009 and was last updated on October 10, 2009. It has not been updated since the controversy. The wiki the article is hosted has only had three non-bot edits in the past 30 days so the lack of updates is not surprising. A few other wikis have articles that mention the Melbourne Storm. Most of these are institutional wikis where article histories are not available or where content is posted by its creator and never intended to be edited by a wider audience. There does not appear to be a movement by wikis to create additional content in response to or to try to capitalize on interest in response to the controversy.


Twitter

Twitter is a microblogging service. Users can post 140 character messages , called tweets, that are shared with anyone who chooses to follow them. Twitter is one of the most well known and popular social networks in Australia.

There are two main ways to measure Twitter activity. The first is to keep track of the total followers an account has. The second way is to monitor the total number of daily tweets posted about a topic posted across the whole network and by specific accounts.

The Melbourne Storm have an official Twitter account at @MelbStormRLC . There is an unofficial Melbourne Storm Twitter account run by a fansite at @MelbourneStorm_ . As of March 9, 2010, the official account had 458 followers. This contrasts with @MelbourneStorm_ which had 605 followers as of March 8, 2010. By May 10, about nineteen days after the controversy broke, the official account had 1,037 followers and @ MelbourneStorm_ had 720 followers. That was an increase of 579 and 115 followers respectively. The situation has not hurt growth for either account and people are still interested in keeping up with the team and what they are doing.

When compared to the official Twitter accounts for the NRL, Gold Coast Titans, Manly Sea Eagles, North Queensland Cowboys, Parramatta Eels, Canberra Raiders, South Sydney Rabbitohs and New Zealand Warriors, the follower growth for the Melbourne Storm suggests a potential connection to the controversy creating additional interest or a fanbase that has become much more interested in Twitter in a short period of time. (Table 1) The only account with a greater increase in total number of followers is the NRL, which picked up 942 followers. The Melbourne Storm saw a fifty-five percent increase in the new followers. The next closest team of the aforementioned in the same period was the Canberra Raiders who saw a forty-two percent increase. In this context, it reaffirms that additional interest in the team was likely generated by the controversy.

Table 1

Twitter Follower Counts by Official Club Accounts and Date
Team Account
9-Mar-10

10-May-10

Difference

% increase
Gold Coast Titans GCTitans
1,616

1,950

334

17.13%
Manly Sea Eagles manlyseaeagles
888

1,073

185

17.24%
Melbourne Storm MelbStormRLC
458

1,037

579

55.83%
North Queensland Cowboys northqldcowboys
1,403

1,588

185

11.65%
NRL NRL
4,231

5,173

942

18.21%
Parramatta Eels parramatta_eels
618

780

162

20.77%
Canberra Raiders RaidersCanberra
202

349

147

42.12%
South Sydney Rabbitohs SSFCRABBITOHS
761

1,139

378

33.19%
New Zealand Warriors thenzwarriors
434

507

73

14.40%


Detailed statistics regarding the total number of references for the Melbourne Storm by day on Twitter are not available. It makes it harder to determine the total daily volume of conversation involving the team in the days surrounding the news leaking about the salary cap violations. People were interested in the Melbourne Storm as the team was briefly trending on Twitter when the story broke. Manual counting can be done but Twitter search only goes back around one week What can be more easily tracked is the posting volume per day of specific accounts related to the Melbourne Storm to compare their activities before and after the controversy broke. In the case of the @MelbourneStorm_, the account does not update regularly with about twenty tweets made during the past year. Their last tweet was on March 24, 2010; they have not posted since the news broke. @MelbStormRLC has posted several tweets since the controversy and has mentioned it. From April 22 to May 9, eighteen days after the story broke, the Storm have made eleven total tweets. Prior to that, the team had made thirteen tweets. The difference in tweet totals is inconsequential. Neither account made changes to their Twitter posting in response in to the controversy.

Searching through Twitter, it is very clear that people are still tweeting about the team and, as of May 10, are tweeting about them at a comparatively higher rate than other teams in the league. One popular way of indicating a tweet is about a certain topic is to include a hashtag in front of a word. This makes the whole phrase easily searchable on Twitter. For example, a person who is tweeting about the Melbourne Storm may include #melbournestorm to indicate the tweet is about the team. There generally fewer of these tweets as a great many accounts on Twitter come directly from RSS feeds. These feeds were not originally created for Twitter and are absent some of the cultural practices and do not use coding tools to help make finding posts easier. Thus, tweets tagged with a # are fewer and more readily countable in search. This allows for comparisons to be made between teams over a short period. For the period between May 3 and May 8, 2010, #melbournestorm beat out all the other teams that were sampled for most the most discussed NRL team. (Table 2) There were twenty-one references for the team on May 5. This is sixteen more than #manlyseaeagles on the same date and the only other team with five or more tweets with a hashtag on a single day. The controversy can likely be seen as the cause for the increase in the number of tweets when compared to other teams in the league.

Table 2
Hashtagged Marked NRL Team Tweets
Team Keyword
3-May-10

4-May-10

5-May-10

6-May-10

7-May-10

8-May-10
Brisbane Broncos #brisbanebroncos
0

0

0

0

0

1
Canberra Raiders #canberraraiders
0

0

0

0

0

1
Gold Coast Titans #GCtitans
0

0

0

1

0

0
Gold Coast Titans #goldcoasttitans
0

0

0

1

0

0
Manly Sea Eagles #manlyseaeagles
0

0

5

0

0

0
Melbourne Storm #melbournestorm
0

2

21

2

3

1
Newcastle Knights #NewcastleKnights
0

0

0

0

0

0
North Queensland Cowboys #NQCowboys
0

0

0

0

0

0
North Queensland Cowboys #NQldCowboys
0

0

0

0

0

0
North Queensland Cowboys #NorthQldCowboys
0

0

0

0

0

0
North Queensland Cowboys #NorthQueenslandCowboys
0

0

0

0

0

0
Parramatta Eels #ParramattaEels
0

0

0

0

0

0
Penrith Panthers #PenrithPanthers
0

0

0

0

0

0
Sydney Roosters #SydneyRoosters
1

0

0

0

0

0
Wests Tigers #WestsTigers
0

0

0

0

1

0



Facebook

Facebook is one of the largest social networks in Australia and it arguably has the largest population of Melbourne Storm fans online. Outside of interest monitoring, the easiest way to monitor the activities of fans is to examine the fan community’s growth on official pages and groups, and activity levels on these groups.

The Melbourne Storm has an official user profile on Facebook. The profile is for their mascot, Storm Man. It has a limited profile view so only people who have friended the account can view posts and interact with content posted by Storm Man. When the profile was checked on April 6, 2010, the account had 3,203 friends. Checked again on April 28, the account had 4,154. On May 9, the account had 4,401 friends and on May 10, it had 4,494 friends. While the total new friends for their account was fewer than other clubs such as the Brisbane Lions over the same period (Table 3), the team had the largest percentage increase in: 28.7% versus 13.5% for the next closest team, the North Queensland Cowboys. The controversy did not cost the team any friends and resulted in a higher percentage gain when compared to other teams. It has resulted in a net momentum gain that continues almost three weeks after the controversy first broke out.

Table 3
Facebook Fan Counts by Club and Date
Official Facebook account
6-Apr-10

10-May-10

Difference

% increase
Melbourne Storm
3,203

4,494

1,291

28.7%
North Queensland Cowboys
2,428

2,806

378

13.5%
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles
14,895

17,044

2,149

12.6%
Wests Tigers
14,078

15,911

1,833

11.5%
Gold Coast Titans
18,032

20,204

2,172

10.8%
Sydney Roosters
12,204

13,570

1,366

10.1%
Newcastle Knights
12,766

13,774

1,008

7.3%
Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks
9,502

10,229

727

7.1%
Canberra Raiders
2,583

2,775

192

6.9%
Brisbane Lions
45,327

48,228

2,901

6.0%


Facebook Fan Pages are created by teams and by fans. The person who created the Fan Page can post to the wall, control else who can post to the wall, control the type of content posted to the Fan Page and create a unique landing page. Members of a Fan Page can comment on wall posts and indicate they like the post. There are many Melbourne Storm fans that have created Fan Pages and many more have joined, commented and liked posts made to these Fan Pages. A quick search on Facebook for Fan Pages dedicated to the team using the keywords “Melbourne Storm” results in over 500 pages about the team. By looking at a sample of the individual Fan Pages to check the daily posting volume of wall posts and the number of likes and comments to those posts, an idea of how the controversy effected fan interests can be determined.

For this, three Fan Pages were chosen. These were the top three Fan Pages in search that were not created in response to the controversy. They are Melbourne Storm, Best team in NRL.. Melbourne Storm ! and melbourne storm :) . The total posts per day by the person who runs the Fan Page, and comments and likes per post associated with the post for the day were recorded for the period between April 1 and May 10, 2010. (Table 4) When comparing the total posts in the period between April 1 and April 22, 2010 to the period between April 23 to May 10, two of the three Fan Pages had more posts made by the maintainers before the controversy. (Graph 1) Two of the three groups saw an increase in the total comments made after the controversy. For Melbourne Storm, a Fan Page with over 40,000 members, the increase was massive going from 54 comments to 803 comments. The increase for Best team in NRL.. Melbourne Storm !, a group with 281 members as of May 10, was much smaller. It went from 252 to 257 comments. For all three groups, there was an increase in the number of likes after the controversy took place. While posting levels by Fan Page maintainers may not have increased, the level of engagement and interest in the team for the fan population did. The controversy has created a climate where fans are more engaged with posts.




Mailing lists

During much of the 1990s, mailing lists were one of the most popular tools for fans to use in order to communicate with each other. The creation of mailing lists became much easier when sites like egroups, coollists, topica, Yahoo!Groups and Google groups were created. They largely automated the process of creating mailing lists, provided web based archives and removed barriers of having to understand majordomo syntax in order to join a list.

Australian sports fans actively used these services to participate in their team’s fandom. Some leagues and teams were more popular than other leagues and teams. Amongst the fan communities utilizing mailing lists were Melbourne Storm fans. Most of the lists dedicated to team were on Yahoo!Groups, where there are currently eight lists. These eight lists include melbournestorm2, melbournestormrugbyleague, melbournestormsupportersclub, Storm_Squad, StormSupporters, MSSC-Storm-Mailouts and melbourne_storm_supporters. Many of these lists are no longer active. There are a variety of reasons for this including absent list owners, large volumes of spam content posted on list, people switching to different services in order to express their fondness for the team or fans losing interest in a team. If spam content is not counted in total posting volume by month, the peak posting month was February 2001 with 59 total posts across all eight lists. January 2001 had the next highest posting volume by month with 50 posts. Given the always small and inactive community, it is not surprising that there have been zero posts on these lists since the controversy broke out. These lists have also seen zero growth in membership since their totals were last checked on February 20, 2010. The controversy had no effect on the Storm’s mailing list community.


43things

According to Robot Co-op (2010), 43things “is the world’s largest goal-setting community.” Members of the site set goals for themselves that are published on their profiles and on lists of others who share the same goal. Members are also encouraged to blog about their efforts in trying to complete their goals. Other members are encouraged to cheer people on as they work to complete a goal. When a goal has been completed, people change the goal status to “I did this” and it appears as completed on their profile. This site is relatively popular; according to Alexa Internet, Inc. (2010), the site is ranked the 2,549th most popular website in Australia.

There are a number of people who have set Australia related sports goals on 43thing. This includes playing for certain clubs to attending the finals to seeing the team they barrack for play. On April 1, 2010, the site was searched for any goals that connected to the Melbourne Storm. Only one goal related to the Melbourne Storm was found. It is “Go to a Melbourne Storm Game.” Two people, erynne and mmcpharlane, had listed this as a goal they were working towards completing. When checked again on May 10, no one had added any additional goals related to the Melbourne Storm. No movement had been made towards completing the existing goal: Both individuals still listed themselves as working towards it and neither had updated their blog to indicate they were any closer to accomplishing this goal. The controversy has not had any measurable impact on people’s goal setting and efforts towards accomplishing their goals as they pertain to the Melbourne Storm.


Conclusion

The controversy involving the Melbourne Storm’s salary cap violations and the subsequent punishment of rewarding them zero points for the season has not resulted in a loss of people interested in the team or resulted in a drop in activity level on the part of fans. Across smaller and less popular services and web sites, there has been no behavior change; the controversy has had a null effect in that no one removed content or interests, nor created content and added interests. For larger sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Wikipedia, there has been a gain in followers, viewers and interactions. Eighteen days out from the initial incident, a long tail increase in views and interactions exists when compared to the period prior to the controversy. While some of the initial burst of activity and interest could be a consequence of negativity publicity, the long tail interest two to three weeks out is much harder to attribute to solely to wanting to watch a controversy for the sake of entertainment. If interest continue to stay elevated, the club should be able to leverage to increase club membership and sponsorship deals, especially as they apply to their online presence, because they have successfully used the controversy to grow their fanbase. The behaviors of fans demonstrate that have been incentized to express their loyalty and solidarity with the team.

References

Albanesius, C. (2010, April 19). Facebook makes ‘connections,’ adds community pages. PC Magazine, Retrieved from http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2362825,00.asp

Alexa Internet, Inc. (2010, May 10). 43things.com – site info from alexa. Retrieved from http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/43things.com

Henrik, Initials. (2010, May 1). Wikipedia article traffic statistics: Melbourne_Storm has been viewed 49377 times in 201004 . Retrieved from http://stats.grok.se/en/201004/Melbourne_Storm

Henrik, Initials. (2010, May 1). Wikipedia article traffic statistics: Melbourne_Storm has been viewed 276 times in 201004. Retrieved from http://stats.grok.se/fr/201004/Melbourne_Storm

Henrik, Initials. (2010, May 1). Wikipedia article traffic statistics: Melbourne_Storm has been viewed 276 times in 201004. Retrieved from http://stats.grok.se/it/201004/Melbourne_Storm

Henrik, Initials. (2010, May 9). Wikipedia article traffic statistics: Melbourne_Storm has been viewed 5561 times in 201005. Retrieved from http://stats.grok.se/en/201005/Melbourne_Storm

Henrik, Initials. (2010, May 9). Wikipedia article traffic statistics: Melbourne_Storm has been viewed 91 times in 201005. Retrieved from http://stats.grok.se/fr/201005/Melbourne_Storm

Henrik, Initials. (2010, May 9). Wikipedia article traffic statistics: Melbourne_Storm has been viewed 19 times in 201005. Retrieved from http://stats.grok.se/it/201005/Melbourne_Storm

Melbourne storm stripped of two premierships for salary cap breach. (2010, April 22). Fox Sports, Retrieved from http://www.foxsports.com.au/story/0,8659,27022196-5018866,00.html

Robot Co-op. (2010, May 10). List your goals on 43 things. Retrieved from http://www.43things.com/

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Townsville Fire on YouTube

Posted by Laura on Sunday, 28 March, 2010

The Townsville Fire are a WNBL team.  Like the Bendigo Spirit, there is a small community of people who have uploaded videos featuring the team on YouTube.  Both have three people who have uploaded a total of four videos.  There is one person in common between the two groups: bbax222.  The other two people are timtufuga and Ambalina1989timtufuga has uploaded a number of videos featuring WNBL teams.  Ambalina1989 has not.   Three of these videos were posted during 2009/2010 season: 1 in October, 1 in November and 1 in December.  The last video was uploaded in March 2008 and features the team’s dance squad.  The four videos that were uploaded have had very few views.  The most watched video is TOWNSVILLE McCAFE FIRE: Rachael Flanagan (interviewed by Jes ) and it has 60 less views than the most popular Bendigo Bombers video.  So far, people just don’t seem to be keen on watching or uploading WNBL videos to YouTube.

The YouTube community again appears to be one of the biggest outside of Facebook.  (Bebo has two people who list them as an interest.)  The Facebook community size is again not based on people listing the team as an interest (important if you are a team and wanting to direct advertising at them) and is instead based on group and fanpage size.

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