There are at least 1,500 articles, categories and templates on English Wikipedia that involve Australian women’s sport. They range from the Canberra Capitals to women’s surfing in Australia to Jennifer Blow. Some of these articles are quite good, with a number of them being assessed as Good Articles or Featured articles. These articles include Lauren Jackson and Tyan Taylor and the Canberra Roller Derby League. In the past two months, some of these Australian women have won Olympic and Paralympic medals including Ellie Cole and Anna Meares. Indeed, Wikipedia is probably the best source of information anywhere on Australian women’s sport though sportforwomen.com.au probably gives the project a good run for its money.
What does this fabulous resource about Australian women’s sport translate to in terms of Twitter? Turns out, not much. Some one interested in Wikipedia related data created a file holding place called Wikitweets that archives all the tweets that link to Wikipedia. Looking at archives 20120919030946.json to 20120921060913.json , which is 122.5 megs of Tweets, 14,805 links to English Wikipedia articles were extracted. From this list, I looked for links to the 1,500 Australian articles about women’s sport. How many did I find? Zero. None. Not one. Why? Probably a couple of factors. First, many people probably are not posting on Twitter about Australian women’s sport. The ones I know who do tend to link to their own content, not other people’s content unless it is a news story. The period where Tweets are pulled from is in a bit of a lull in sport. The W-League and WNBL are not quite underway. The Olympics and Paralympics were not going on. Sport for women in Australia was mostly quiet. Thus, there was even less of a reason to link to Wikipedia articles and discuss Australian women’s sport.
Beyond that, it doesn’t look like sport people on Twitter link to sport articles on Wikipedia much period. You’ve got to get down to the 98th most linked to article to actually get a sport article, the National Basketball League and jockstrap. Both of these are linked to eight times. Women’s sport is linked to here, but not often. I found a link to Wilma Rudolph and a pair of links to Athletics at the 2007 Summer_Universiade – Women’s 400_metres hurdles and Swimming at the 2012 Summer Paralympics – Women’s 400 metre freestyle S10. UEFA Women’s Euro 2013 is also linked to once. This is a relatively small total, but given the Twitter volume of links here and the time period sampled, it isn’t terrible for women’s sport representation. For those who are curious, beyond the Australian women’s sport aspect, what the most linked to articles were in this collection, articles with 9 or more links on Twitter can be found in the table below.