Australian Fandom Online

Laura Hale has submitted her PhD thesis for examination.

The title of her thesis is Australian Sport Fandom Online: the online shaping of demographic, geographic and social characteristics of the Australian sport community in response to events.

Her abstract is:

The Internet has a glut of social media data available for use by researchers interested in the online sport community. Most of the existing research fails to use these data and relies on qualitative data to understand fan behavior and production. This thesis argues that a quantitative methodological framework provides a fertile approach to describe and understand existing Australian online sport fan communities.

The methodological framework presented in this thesis is called Social Response Analysis. This analysis is informed by multiple existing approaches in order to examine online communities. The methodology is used to develop and present multiple case studies in Australian sport, with a particular focus on the National Rugby League and the Australian Football League and events that took in these communities during 2010 and 2011.

This thesis argues that the value of Social Response Analysis is that it provides a grounded methodology that clubs and sport marketers can use to understand better their fans, their characteristics and how the online community composition changes over time and in response to events.

Some of the contents of the thesis include:

  • Popularity of Australian sport fandom on Twitter
  • Soccer: A History of and Characteristics of Australian fandom
  • Australian Fans at the World Cup: Foursquare and Gowalla Checkins
  • Cycling: A History of and Characteristics of Australian fandom
  • Anna Meares: Twitter Growth in Response to Gold
  • Rugby league: A history of and characteristics of Australian fandom
  • Online Activity in the Wake of the Melbourne Storm Controversy
  • NRL Semi-Final: Raiders Fandom versus Tigers Fandom in Canberra
  • Joel Monaghan’s Mad Monday and the Online Canberra Raiders Fan Base
  • Code Flirting and Greg Inglis: Rabbitohs and Essendon Fan Response Online…….. 123
  • Australian Rules: A History of and Characteristics of Australian Rules Fandom
  • Google, the Melbourne Demons, Port Adelaide Power and That Game in Darwin
  • The Impact of Jason Akermanis’s Comments on the Western Bulldogs’s Online Fan base
  • Data Absent Context Can Change the Meaning: Did Julia Gillard Hurt the Bulldogs?
  • St Kilda Saints Nude Photo Controversy
  • #Fevola @BrendanFevola05
  • Derryn Hinch: Journalist traffic Versus Wikipedia Traffic in Response to St Kilda Controversy

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