Posts Tagged West Cost Eagles

Twitter popularity of AFL teams by electorate

Posted by Laura on Monday, 24 January, 2011

In a recent post, I talked about what I saw as the importance of the GWS Giants in developing a local fanbase.  This post is another that explores the geography of Australian Football League fandom as a function of geography.

This post is based on data gathered using the following methodology:

  1. Develop a list of  AFL related Twitter accounts and sort them by team.  Remove all AFL accounts that cannot be connected to a team.
  2. Get a lot of the followers for all those sport related Twitter accounts.   (This process takes a while.  I can only use one Twitter API code set.  This limits the number of calls I can make to something like 150 or 350 per hour.  For each of those individual calls, I can get information on one page of a account’s followers.  Each page consists of about 20 followers.  This means the whole run took about a week and it started on January 18.)
  3. Cross reference User inputted locations to actual Australian city locations .
  4. Combine all followers by sportinto one file.  Remove duplicate entries so that if, for example Person X follows  @stkildafc, and @zacd_6 Person X gets counted once for Australian Rules, not two times.
  5. Count the total number of followers by AFL team and by city.
  6. Combine the total number of followers by sport with all the cities in the electorate the city is from.  For this analysis, that data can be found at Australian city location to electorates .  This list was created using the official list of Australian polling places by electorate.  The following cities were left off the totals: Brisbane, Perth, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Canberra.  These cities were left off because they would skew the results as people that say they are living in Melbourne are actually probably living in a different suburb.  (The CBD of these centers is very tiny.  There are probably more people claiming to live in Melbourne on Twitter than actually living in Melbourne CBD proper.)  If a town is included in multiple electorates, it is counted in all those electorates: Brunswick and Brunswick East  are counted for both Melbourne and Wills.

The complete totals for the results above are available at Australian Twitter Sports Electorates Report. The raw data is too large to easily upload.  If you would like access to it, please leave a comment.

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