Sporting Organisations and Digital Communication

Edwina Luck and Elizabeth Buchanan (August, 2008) have published a paper entitled Sporting Organisations: Do they need to Communicate with Members?

In their abstract to the paper they observe that:

We surveyed Australian sporting organisations aiming to examine their communication strategies. Not surprisingly, our findings suggest that many organisations think of communication as an after-thought. We argue that sporting organisations are not making the most the latest communication methods, nor progressing with member’s communication desires or what members are actually seeking. Members want electronic, two-way and fast communication tools including electronic newsletter and bulletin boards. This research opens up debate on how community-based media may value-add to the organisational communication mix, and how digital broadcasting can be developed by the community broadcasting sector to enhance the communications capabilities for the not for profit sector.

The paper reports the findings of two surveys: one of sporting organisations (90 organisations) and one of members of a sporting organisation (Equestrian Queensland, 324 respondents).

Findings from the survey of organisations included:

  • in the majority of cases no specific person was appointed to look after communication. Local clubs were more likely to have someone looking after communication (38.5 percent), compared to national (24.0 percent) and state level (33.3 percent).
  • 48.9 percent of respondents felt that advancements in communication technologies would make it less time consuming to communicate with members. In addition, 71 percent thought it would make things more efficient to communicate with members. Furthermore, 63.8 percent of respondents used electronic
    newsletters to send to members, although the majority of Club level organisations did not use electronic newsletters (53.8%).
  • Sporting organisations stated that updating websites is important, however at a Club level, only 66.7% update their websites every now and then. Daily updates are undertaken by 40% of National and 14.3% of State organisations; with 40% and 54.7% updating every couple of days to weekly respectively.
  • Communications methods used by the organisations in the survey:


In the survey of Equestrian Queensland (EQ) members:

  • 49 percent of member respondents felt that advancements in communication technologies would make it less time consuming to communicate with EQ and 51 percent thought it would make things more efficient to communicate with EQ. Furthermore, 91.3 percent of respondents wanted electronic newsletters to be sent to them.
  • the most popular communication method was Email.

One of the authors’ key conclusions is:

Use of technology has trebled within the past five years, and within the ever–changing  marketplace, sporting organisations cannot afford to lag behind. Embedded with electronic channel usage is the potential to reshape internal communication. In order to accommodate changing environmental conditions relating to the technological environment, sporting organisations must lead the way with communication.

Sporting organisations will need a great deal of support as they explore digital media. Gene Schembri’s wiki is a great example of the support that can be offered. This canoe slalom wiki is an example of the potential of harnessing the wisdom of crowds in an organisation.

CCK08: Thank You!


I have waited to write my final post of the CCK08 course. My alerts are still bringing me news of course members and I am fascinated by the connections they are making and the reflections they are offering.

This final post is a note of thanks and celebration.

I was delighted to be involved in the course. I leave it with enormous admiration for and a sense of awe about George and Stephen‘s vision, energy and delivery. I think it was an inspired move to have Dave Cormier involved in a third party role. It was a wonderfully intense experience for me that ranged from the hedonism of personal discovery to exegesis induced fatigue. For some of the course other parts of my life were put on hold and I was fortunate to have the time to pursue ‘teachable moments‘. CCK08 gave me so many of those moments. The course gave me access to remarkable people too and the opportunity to marvel at their creativity.

I joined the course as a ‘voluntary inpatient‘ and was free from the demands of credit assignments. I was surprised to learn about ‘lurkers‘. I had not heard this term before. When I first (mis)heard it I thought there were ‘lurchers‘ in the course and I was excited by how much energy they would bring to discussions.

My engagement in CCK08 was limited to a small number of tools. It was very interesting participating in an on-line course in Australia. I used the course wiki as a web page. I visited the course blog when alerted to it but missed the 18 comment discussion on participation. I made no synchronous use of Ustream but was delighted that there was a second Elluminate session (Thursday morning in Australia). My participation in Elluminate was limited to posts on the chat board and asynchronous revisiting of presentations. I thought the range of guests were outstanding during the course and regret that I did not get to hear Nancy White in real time. I thought the timing of the Elluminate sessions in the course week was excellent and provided a focus for emerging ideas and a catalyst for bisociative leaps of the imagination. I lament that I failed miserably to contribute to the Moodle forums and bandwidth in rural NSW did very strange things to Pageflakes and made any Second Life participation impossible. I did not tweet and had minimal input to Facebook. I missed the Connectivism Memetracker completely. I considered developing concept and mind maps for my experience of CCK08 and had been attracted to CMaps some time ago (via The Knowledge Tree). However I found it impossible to develop a 2D representation of my experiences in the context of my non-linear learning. Perhaps I should have developed a time-lapsed presentation of my thinking or a right-brain approach to sharing.

I did luxuriate in the wonderful richness and diversity of CCK08 blog posts and it was here that I felt most at ease. I spent considerable time each week visiting blog posts and enjoyed the opportunity to synthesise some of these posts in ‘slow blogs’. I was keen to comment on blog posts but realise that my own alerts (WordPress and Google) missed some important posts.

The Daily became essential reading for me and because of time differences I accessed this either late at night or early morning. I enjoyed those days when The Daily and OLDaily arrived together particularly when a post in the latter enriched discussion in the former. It was interesting to read Stephen and George’s input into The Daily and throughout the course I contemplated how ‘voice’ is managed and mediated. At present I am reflecting on The Daily as a delightful a cappella Renaissance polyphony.

An overwhelming metaphor for me in the CCK08 course has been connectivism and connective knowledge as a garden. I have had a delightful morning writing this post and am wonderfully fortunate to look out at a physical garden. It is Summer here in Mogarlowe and I trust that wherever you read this post that your garden (metaphrical and physical) is flourishing too.

Thank you all for the opportunity to spend twelve weeks with you.


CCK08: Wayfinding

It has been fascinating to read the growing number of blogged reflections on CCK08. (We have had an enormous amount of reflection in action on the course to date.)

In the last week of the course I have been thinking about post-CCK08 wayfinding.


I was interested to read of the ABC Radio Nationals’ My Street project. My Street:

is more than 100 stories told from real and imagined streets around Australia and across the globe. They capture the emotions, tensions and joy that people feel about the street they live in. The stories were created by the public using digital technology and are told in; text, video, audio only, photos, slideshows and computer animation.

I wondered whether this format might be of interest to CCK08 participants. There is a map to accompany the stories.

The ABC has another innovation to share too. It has established a Fora page that is:

the result of an editorial partnership between the ABC and US web group Combining content sourced by the ABC from talks events all over Australia with the international material provided by, ABC Fora will bring you the most engaging and interesting speeches and debates from all over the world.

Another part of my wayfinding has been to follow up on my dormant membership of Edna’s service. This looks a rich context for CCK08 types!

CCK08 has been a vibrant and dynamic catalyst for my own professional development. I think I am more of a seeker than ever!