Sports Chatter in the Digital Age:
The Marca Community in Spain
by Hibai López-González
Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona
What seems to be the problem?
Sports chatter in the
digital age:
The Marca Community in
Spain
Online-
related
problems
Spo...
 In the 1980s in the UK, hooligans prevailed over any other fan in football terraces.
 The Heysel (1985) and Hillsboroug...
 The community evolves into a network of connections and disconnections (Bauman, 2000)
 New characters and new habits em...
• We selected the Marca Community in Spain as our case study:
— Presumably the biggest online sports community in Spanish....
AIM
 To examine the Community building (CB) in online sports discussion.
 Previous research:
— Knowledge Building (Marra...
Some general facts:
• The 8 news articles had 324,492 readers. Only 1.53 percent of them also posted a comment
• 24.07 per...
How do users behave?
(Activity and comment deletion correlation r=.847, p<0.002)
Sports chatter in the
digital age:
The Ma...
How do users behave?
The Long Tail of participation
Sports chatter in the
digital age:
The Marca Community in
Spain
Sports...
How do users interact?
28.51 percent of the user were interactive. 4.43 comments per interactive user:
— Incoming and outg...
1) Huge invisible community. We only see the tip of the iceberg.
Sports chatter in the
digital age:
The Marca Community in...
2) Not as liquid as we might expect
If we compare Marca users to users in other new sites, we find that in Marca there are...
3) A horizontal community:
— It is not hierarchically distributed
— No opinion leaders (see Twitter)
— Online facilitators...
Bauman, Z. (2000). Liquid Modernity. Cambridge, MA: Polity Press.
Boyle, R. (2012). Social Media Sport? Journalism, Public...
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Hibai López, 'Sports Chatter in the Digital Age' presented at Communities in Digital Age symposium, Canterbury, June 2013

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Hibai López, Universitat Pompeu Fabra de Barcelona, Spain, 'Sports Chatter in the Digital Age' presented at 'Communities in the Digital Age' International Symposium, Canterbury Christ Church University, UK, 12 June 2013

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Hibai López, 'Sports Chatter in the Digital Age' presented at Communities in Digital Age symposium, Canterbury, June 2013

  1. 1. Sports Chatter in the Digital Age: The Marca Community in Spain by Hibai López-González Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona
  2. 2. What seems to be the problem? Sports chatter in the digital age: The Marca Community in Spain Online- related problems Sports- related problems Online sports communities Disengagement, liquid networks (Bauman, 2000) Derogatory language (Ruiz et al, 2011) Chatter, insubstantial conversation (Eco, 1986) Hostile comments, partisanship, se ctarianism (Boyle, 2012)
  3. 3.  In the 1980s in the UK, hooligans prevailed over any other fan in football terraces.  The Heysel (1985) and Hillsborough (1989) disasters precipitated a turn in regulations.  The Taylor Report (1990) prompted the beginning of a new spectacle: — Commodified — Global — Family-friendly — Media appealing  Simultaneously, similar regulations were implemented in many countries. Consequently, hooligans were gradually forced to abandon the stadium… …and go where? Sports chatter in the digital age: The Marca Community in Spain What seems to be the problem? Sports- related problems
  4. 4.  The community evolves into a network of connections and disconnections (Bauman, 2000)  New characters and new habits emerge with digital platforms: — Unseen community: Lurkers (Nonnecke & Preece, 2005; Ridings et al, 2006; Li et al, 2008 ) — Flamers, trolls — Flaneurs, tourist fans (Giulianotti, 2002) Sports chatter in the digital age: The Marca Community in Spain What seems to be the problem? Online- related problems
  5. 5. • We selected the Marca Community in Spain as our case study: — Presumably the biggest online sports community in Spanish. Over 400,000 registered users. — Marca is the most read newspaper in Spain (3,100,000 daily readers) • We focused on the comments posted by Marca members (N=15,131) on 8 match reports during two months. • Marca provided us with all the comments, including those deleted by the platform due to rules of participation infringement. Sports chatter in the digital age: The Marca Community in Spain Sports- related problems Sample Online sports community
  6. 6. AIM  To examine the Community building (CB) in online sports discussion.  Previous research: — Knowledge Building (Marra et al, 2004; Zhu, 2006; Sing & Khine, 2006; Lee, 2012; Naranjo et al, 2012; Ng et al, 2012). — Democracy Building (Xiang et al, 2008; Himelboim et al, 2009; Ruiz et al, 2010; Ruiz et al, 2011; Valenzuela et al, 2012) METHOD  We adopt the Structural Analysis perspective: User participation & User interaction analysis.  Content Analysis is irrelevant: phatic communities. Sports chatter in the digital age: The Marca Community in Spain Sports- related problems Aim and method Online sports community
  7. 7. Some general facts: • The 8 news articles had 324,492 readers. Only 1.53 percent of them also posted a comment • 24.07 percent spammers • 2.31 comments per user Sports chatter in the digital age: The Marca Community in Spain Sports- related problems Results Online sports community
  8. 8. How do users behave? (Activity and comment deletion correlation r=.847, p<0.002) Sports chatter in the digital age: The Marca Community in Spain Sports- related problems Results Online sports community 63.82 16.51 7.27 3.36 1.91 1.57 1.17 0.62 0.62 0.52 3.14 0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 3000 3500 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Rest (>10) #ofusers # of overall comments posted per user (and above, % users in each group represent of overall users) Distribution of users sorted by number of posted comments
  9. 9. How do users behave? The Long Tail of participation Sports chatter in the digital age: The Marca Community in Spain Sports- related problems Results Online sports community 30.99 46.97 56.47 72.41 82.99 98.04 100 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 1 2 3 4 5 6 12 24 48 cummulative%ofoverallcomments Time elapsed since article publication (in hours) Comment posting over 48 hours period
  10. 10. How do users interact? 28.51 percent of the user were interactive. 4.43 comments per interactive user: — Incoming and outgoing interactivity were correlated (r=.748, p<0.000) — (A) The probability of a core user responding to a non-core user (P(A)=.459) — (B) The probability of a non-core user responding to a core user P(B)= .407) Sports chatter in the digital age: The Marca Community in Spain Sports- related problems Results Online sports community
  11. 11. 1) Huge invisible community. We only see the tip of the iceberg. Sports chatter in the digital age: The Marca Community in Spain Sports- related problems Conclusions Online sports community
  12. 12. 2) Not as liquid as we might expect If we compare Marca users to users in other new sites, we find that in Marca there are less members who only posted once (Pastor, 2010). Sports chatter in the digital age: The Marca Community in Spain Sports- related problems Conclusions Online sports community 93% 95% 72% 88% 63%
  13. 13. 3) A horizontal community: — It is not hierarchically distributed — No opinion leaders (see Twitter) — Online facilitators (Himelboim et al, 2009) that allow new users to join the network Sports chatter in the digital age: The Marca Community in Spain Sports- related problems Conclusions Online sports community
  14. 14. Bauman, Z. (2000). Liquid Modernity. Cambridge, MA: Polity Press. Boyle, R. (2012). Social Media Sport? Journalism, Public Relations and Sport. In R. a. Krovel, We Love to Hate Each Other: Mediated Football Fan Culture (pp. 45-62). Goteborg: Nordicom. Eco, U. (1986). Travels in Hyper Reality. New York: Harcourt Brace & Comp. Giulianotti, R. (2002). Supporters, Followers, Fans and Flaneurs. A Taxonomy of Spectator Identities in Football. Journal of Sport & Social Issues , 26 (1), 25-46. Himelboim, I., Gleave, E., & Smith, M. (2009). Discussion Catalysts in Online Political Discussions: Content Importers and Conversation Starters. Journal of Computer- Mediated Communication , 14, 771–789. Lee, J. (2012). Patterns of Interaction and Participation in a Large Online Course: Strategies for Fostering Sustainable Discussion. Educational Technology & Society , 15 (1), 260-272. Li, X., Zeng, D., Mao, W., & Wang, F.-y. (2008). Online Communities: A Social Computing Perspective. IEEE ISI 2008 International Workshops (pp. 355-368). Taipei: Springer. Marra, R. M., Moore, J. L., & Klimczac, A. K. (2004). Content Analysis of Online Discussion Forums: A Comparative Analysis of Protocols. Educational Technology Research and Development , 52 (2), 23-40. Naranjo, M., Onrubia, J., & Segués, M. T. (2012). Participation and Cognitive Quality Profiles in an Online Discussion Forum. British Journal of Educational Technology , 43 (2), 282–294. Ng, C., Cheung, W., & Hewt, K. (2012). Interaction in Asynchronous Discussion Forums: Peer Facilitation Techniques. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning , 28, 280– 294. Nonnecke, B., & Preece, J. (2005). Lurking and Public Participation in Discretionary Online Communities. Electronic Commerce Research , 5 (4). Pastor, L. (2010). Periodismo Zombi en la era de las audiencias participativas. Barcelona: UOC. Ridings, C., Gefen, D., & Arinze, B. (2006). Psychological Barriers: Lurker and Poster Motivation and Behavior in Online Communities. Communications of the Association for Information Systems , 18 (1). Ruiz, C., Domingo, D., Micó, J. L., Díaz-Noci, J., Meso, K., & Masip, P. (2011). Public Sphere 2.0? The Democratic Qualities of Citizen Debates in Online Newspapers. The International Journal of Press/Politics , 16 (4), 463-487. Ruiz, C., Masip, P., Micó, J. L., Díaz-Noci, Javier, & Domingo, D. (2010). Conversation 2.0. and Democracy. An Analysis of Reader’s Comments in Catalan Cnline Newspapers. Communication & Society , 23 (2), 7-39. Sing, C. C., & Khine, M. S. (2006). An Analysis of Interaction and Participation Patterns in Online Community. Educational Technology & Society , 9 (1), 250-261. Valenzuela, S., Kim, Y., & Gil de Zúñiga, H. (2012). Social Networks that Matter: Exploring the Role of Political Discussion for Online Political Participation. International Journal of Public Opinion Research , 24 (2), 163-184. Xiang, Z., Yuen-Ying, C., & Zhen-Mei, P. (2008). Deliberativeness of Online Political Discussion: A Content Analysis of the Guangzhou Daily Website. Journalism Studies , 9 (5), 759-770. Zhu, E. (2006). Interaction and Cognitive Engagement: An Analysis of Four Asynchronous Online Discussions. Instructional Science , 34 (1), 451–480. Sports chatter in the digital age: The Marca Community in Spain Sports- related problems References

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