Social Dynamic of ND OSU forums

The Social Dynamic of Forums Surrounding College Sports

Up until this year I knew nothing abut football—or many sports at all for that matter. With three sisters and a father who’s only sports interest is golf, the sports world and community had remained a separate world to me up until this year. My closest friend here at Miami is a huge football fan. This year he decided to “usher” me into the world of football. This meant A) watching a few games on tv to building understanding, B) experiencing two games in person (ND and OSU), and C) revealing his “secret” interaction on a subscription ND football site/forum called IrishSportsDaily.com.

This website is a private site that provides hourly updates and insights on Notre Dame football. The main attraction (and reason my friend subscribes) is the forum. He said that the interaction on this forum is unlike any other forum out there and very reflective of the Notre Dame values and essence. He said “The sense of community, trust, and commitment is unlike anything out there. “

I have never been on a forum in my life. The talk within each post was very informative, and each opinion was seemingly supported with facts or an advanced argument. Right away, I did see the “community” my friend had been talking about. There were multiple posts asking for prayers, or even to send postcards to one’s son. I believe this is very affiliated with the Catholic affiliation of the school. Also reflective of the school is the site’s “private nature. This forum, being private, has a series of rules, including no swearing, be respectful of others, and no trash talking. Such qualities were very apparent upon mu visit to ND (which heavily contrasted to my experience at Ohio State).

For comparison, I also looked at the most popular forum for Ohio State football, Buckeyeplannet.com/forum. The conversation was not nearly as personal or refined. There were many harsh, uncensored, critical comments, which again, reminded me of my Ohio State visit.

I chose to use video to represent the social aspects I discovered on these online communities. In doing to I hoped to create a visual representation of the contrasting interaction.

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