Australian Football League on LiveJournal clones like Blurty, Dreamwidth Studios and InsaneJournal

December 28th, 2009 by Laura Leave a reply »

This post is a series of posts looking at the size of Australian sports leagues on LiveJournal and its clones. Three earlier posts were Australian Football League on JournalFen , Australian Football League community on DeadJournal and National Rugby League on DeadJournal and JournalFen. These posts acknowledge that the communities aren’t very big and in the grand scheme of things, this is not very meaningful in terms of understanding sports communities in Australia.  Still, hopefully they can lead people to be more curious about online demographics and the activity level of these communities .

Do communities for the AFL exist on other LiveJournal clones?  The answer is yes, but for the vast majority of them, they do not.  This post examines LiveJournal clones and some of their characteristics.  It identifies those networks which have people with an interest in the AFL and then does a deeper examination of those networks.

Outside of JournalFen and DeadJournal, there a number of LiveJournal clones.  These include asks.jp, blurty, CrazyLife, Dreamwidth Studios, Inksome, InsaneJournal, Ivanovo, IziBlog, Kraslan, OpenWeblog, Scribbld, Sviesta Ciba and ????????.  Each of these caters to a unique audience with its own history. 

About half of these are non-English based service.  They include asks.jp targeted at a Japanese audience that does not rank for Australian visitors.  It also includes Ivanovo which is geared at a Russian speaking audience and does not rank for an Australian audience.  Kraslan and ???????? are bot clones aimed at Russian speakers that did not rank for on Alexa for Australian visitors.  Sviesta Ciba is a Latvian language based LiveJournal clone that does not rank on Alexa for Australian visitors.  Unsurprisingly, none of these non-English based LiveJournal clones have a community that expresses interest in the Australian Football League.  (Or the National Rugby League for that matter.)

The English speaking LiveJournal clones include blurty, CrazyLife, Dreamwidth Studios, Inksome, InsaneJournal, IziBlog, OpenWeblog and Scribbld.  Blurty was one of the most popular LiveJournal clones that was most active five to six years ago and for a while was one of a series of clones used by fandom_wank.  Its traffic has since fallen off a cliff and it has only had 715 users update in the past 24 hours on December 24.  It does not rank on Alexa for Australian traffic.  CrazyLife is a small LiveJournal clone that only had 5 accounts updated in the past 24 hours and only 62 of its 44,323 accounts include Australians.  Dreamwidth Studios is a new LiveJournal clone that launched in May 2009 and caters mostly to a media fandom audience. Of the 468044 accounts on December 27, only 1,797 list Australian as their country of residence.  According to Alexa on December 28, the site ranks as 7,337 in Australia.  Inksome was originally founded as scribblit and was the first LiveJournal clone created specifically in response to LiveJournal’s Strikethrough event in May 2007.  It catered a bit to LiveJournal media fandom and never really took off.  As of December 27, 2009, it had only 79 accounts that had been active in the last 24 hours and only 138 of 30,323 accounts list the country of residence as Australia.  The site does not rank in Australia.  InsaneJournal is one of the most popular LiveJournal clones.  As of December 27, 2009, 3,174 active accounts or 890 more active accounts than Dreamwidth.  The site has fewer Australians, with only 910 users listing Australia as their country of residence.  Alexa ranks the site as 4,885 in Australia. Iziblog is a small LiveJournal clone that had only 8 accounts updated in the 24 hour period around December 24, 2009 and did not rank on Alexa for Australian sites.  OpenWeblog is a tiny LiveJournal clone with only 3,780 total accounts, of which two had been updated in the 24 hour period on December 27, 2009 and the site does not rank in Australia.  Scribbld is another small LiveJournal clone.  It has 33,343 accounts as of December 27, 2009 of which 77 of those accounts were active in the last 24 hours.  Only 32 of those accounts list their ountry of residence as Australia, where the traffic does not rank on Alexa. 

Of these clones, Blurty, CrazyLife, Dreamwidth Studios, Inksome, and InsaneJournal had communities which listed AFL as an interest.  None of the others, as of December 24, 2009, listed AFL as an interest, neither were teams listed as interests on these services.

28 people list the AFL as an interest on blurty.  Of these, only two people are from the United States and one does not list a country.  The rest are Australians.  Of these, seven list their year of birth.  The median year of birth is 1982.7, median is 1984 and mode is 1985.  None of these users have updated recently, with the most recent update happening 196 weeks ago and five of them never having updated.  They represent a number of states: 8 from Victoria, 3 from New South Wales, 2 from South Australia, Queensland and the ACT, 1 from Tasmania and Western Australia, and 4 Australians who did not list a state of residence.  Blurty has four teams where people list them as an interest.  They include the Adelaide Crows, the Brisbane Lions, the North Melbourne Kangaroos and the Sydney Swans.  The Swans have three fans who list them as an interest, the Lions have two fans, and the North Melbourne Kangaroos and Adelaide Crows both have one fan who lists them as an interest.  This represents a total of seven individuals.  With the exception of the Swans and one fan, all the fans are from the state that the team plays in.

CrazyLife has five people who list AFL as an interest.  Three of these are the same person.  Two are from South Australia and one does not list a state.  One lists an age of 1985 and the other 1986. Of the three, the most recent update was 234 weeks ago.  Two people list specific teams as an interest: One listing the Fremantle Dockers and the Hawthorn Hawks, the other with three accounts listing the Adelaide Crows.

Twelve people list the AFL as an interest on Dreamwidth Studios.  Of these, three are from Victoria, two are from New South Wales and Queesnland and one is from Qestern Australia.  Only three of these twelve accounts have updated in the last week.  Two have been been updated and five have not been updated in the past 28 weeks or more.    There are four teams that are listed as interests: The Adelaide Crows with five people, Brisbane lions with one person, the Fremantle Dockers with one person and the Sydney Lions with one person.  The Adelaide Crows may have the largest group of fans but only one has updated in the past twenty weeks.  The fan of the Brisbane Lions has never updated.  The Fremantle Dockers fan updated in the past week.  The fan of the Sydney Swans last updated 32 weeks ago.

The Inksome community had one user from South Australia who listed the AFL and the Adelaide Crows as an interest.  They have never posted a blog entry on their inksome account.

On InsaneJournal, fifteen people list the AFL as an interest.  Of these, one lists the US as their country of residence and are clearly a fan of the American Arena Football League.  The other does not list a country and it cannot be determined by other information available on their profile. Of the remaining thirteen, Three are from Western Australia, two are from Victoria and one is from Queensland.  The rest do not list their state of residence.  One last updated in the past week. Another last updated eleven weeks ago   Four have never updated.  Four last updated between 85 and 124 weeks ago. Six last updated between 41 and 58 weeks ago. Five people list their year of birth: 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985 and 1986. Twelve people list interest in nine teams: Three for the Adelaide Crows, one for the Brisbane Lions, two for the Freemantle Dockers, one for the Hawthorn Hawks, one for the North Melbourne Kangaroos, one for the St. Kilda Saints, three for the West Coast Eagles and one for the Western Bulldogs.  There are several fans of teams located outside their home state: The Fremantle Dockers have a fan from Victoria, the North Melbourne Kangaroo have a fan from Western Australia and the Western Bulldogs have a fan from Minnesota in the United States.  With the exception of one Fremantle Dockers fan, none of the people listing specific teams as interest has updated earlier than 48 weeks ago and five of those have never updated.

The AFL community on LiveJournal clones, expressed by listing the AFL as an interest, looks like this when all the different networks are looked at together:

One of the problems with this little analysis is that there are often inconsistent uses of a team’s name that can make it hard to distinguish fans of a team from a city or another sports team.  For example, people might include Brisbane or Lions as an interest when they are actually fans of the Brisbane Lions.  As both are so common, it is a problem when trying to compile a data set like this.  What it means is that in actuality, the fan base for a team might actually be larger than the listing of interests indicates.  In general, it is why I tend to use membership in communities dedicated to a source to evaluate a community’s size and interest on a LiveJournal clone.  This is problematic as these clones are so small that they do not have a user base that is interested in creating communities for their teams.  With larger social networking sites or dedicated sites, this should be less problematic and the data should be more reliable.

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  • Hi, interesting stats, but I'm not sure exactly what conclusion or what you were looking to find. I do agree however that larger social network sites like Facebook may make this less of a problem.

  • I'm not necessarily looking for a conclusion so much as I am interested in mapping out the community for the AFL online. I'm starting out with smaller communities because I have to do much of my data mining by hand. This makes everything a bit more time consuming.

  • Glad you found Fanhistory.

    Can I assume it was from Twitter? Or a search?

    The InsaneJournal statistics are particularly interesting. And they seem to be the most indepth, if atypical in several ways.

    So is Blurty.

    Dreamwidth would seem the most 'typical' out of the clones, in terms of state representation.

    The graph tells me quite a bit: who barracks for which team and where they live.

    You're the Half Back Line store (in Perth? Or is the designer from there?). There is an official AFL store which appears in various shopping centres.

  • This will start to make a lot more sense as I add more networks and they can be compared against eachother to get representation... Dreamwidth's major advantage with these stats is that the community is currently a bit active. Blurty and a few of the others are just dead and aren't particularly useful. It kind of leads to the question of did these people just abandon these networks? (Most probable.) Or did their interests change away from the AFL and their respective teams? (Possible but seems unlikely.)

    Patterns tend to be important. I know for other fannish communities that some people started out on Yahoo!Groups, moved their stories to FanFiction.Net, switched to LiveJournal, then the MySpace and then went to Facebook and Twitter but do some of their fannish stuff exclusively on MSN's new live spaces. As they progressed from site to site, their interest in fandom tended to lessen. Some of this makes sense as less hardcore fans might leave in a period of ten years as their interests change... just hard to map and follow. But those shifts can be important in terms of say understanding where the population base is and issues in the communities left behind are.

    One of the major problems that exists in fandom studies of any sort is trying to define the size of the population involved. I sort of poked at blogger to see community size for the AFL based on interest listing. (I can get it. It just takes a lot of extra work manual data mining wise. Added to that, it doesn't make it easy to get last updated their blogs or last interacted on blogger.)

  • I don't think they did change their interests away from football, unless they were very young.

  • Maybe and probably. I would think that for most people, it doesn't happen but it can. I know I'm currently a huge fan of a team and that my time in this fandom is probably limited. My fannishness is mostly based upon going to the games. If I stop attending, my interest will wane. This might not necessarily be that repeatable in Australia though maybe with the VFL as this is a second level team in a sport I've only recently discovered. (Ice hockey is vastly more entertaining than American football. My American football team sucks this year. The top level league for ice hockey is prohibitively expensive: $150 vs. $25 for the same level of seat. The second level ice hockey team is easily accessible for me by car and feeds into the top level team. Both levels are winners.)

    But yeah, on the whole, people probably don't stop being fans... and this really does signal change in online usage patterns more than it does signal changes allegiances or interest.

  • It would be great to talk to the Fremantle Docker fan who has updated their journal in the past week.

    Also the Western Bulldogs supporter from Minnesota.

  • If I can easily get that data from LiveJournal, it would be interesting to compare that too. I have some for the Adelaide Crows, which shows that they have a some what wide fanbase when you include everyone listing them as LiveJournal interest. First time some one from the Northern Territories popped.

    Ideally, it would be cool to try to create some sort of loyalty map for teams by state. Beginning to get there but need a much bigger data set in order to do that, where the issues of team spelling are less pronounced.

    But the Minnesotta fan I can relate to. :) I'd have myself down there as a Saints fan if I was inclined to update my profiles.

  • I haven't updated my profile(s) as such, but I do mention very general sporting and non-sporting interests, and certainly haven't filled up the 150 which you do on LiveJournal! I don't know that Blogger has a maximum limit for interests.

    And it was great to see the Northern Territory person.

  • Yeah. One of the states missing is Tasmania. I'm kind of interested in seeing what states that don't have teams cheer for. Tasmania hasn't appeared yet for the four teams I've gotten data for on Blogger. It only has one for the the Crows.

    In the US for baseball, you can kind of predict some of the top level loyalty for states with out teams based on where their feeder teams come from. The VFL is really limited in the states it represents so that sort of prediction doesn't work as well.

    Some one might have done research of this sort in Australia on sporting loyalties by location. If you know of any, please let me know. I don't think I've seen any sort of demography, how ever limited, for online populations by site and when done, it tends to involve Facebook. (Maybe there is stuff for Twitter but I'd be circumspect as Twitter has a lot of spam followers who could really hurt the accuracy of that data.)

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