Roller Derby - Analysing the data.

Analysing Facebook ‘Insights’ throws up some interesting statistics. The demographics are not surprising. I think most people in the scene could give the breakdown a good guess and teams interrogating their own Facebook data would see similar results. What I find interesting are the number of interactions certain images/albums receive on the site.

Of course there may be a number of reasons for this. How timely I get the photos out, the time of day and how many likes have already comes from members of the teams featured.

I usually have a good idea how well certain shoots will go down before I do them. I will make a generalisation here, I am assuming the majority of viewers ’like’ images due to their content, rather than how good a photograph actually is. Photos I think are good usually receive very few or no ’likes’ and if a puppy is featured I guarantee it’ll get far more likes than a non-puppy image.

Things that have surprised me this year is that Smorgasbrawl received nearly the same amount of traffic as the LRG/Gotham bout. I would have thought the latter would have far outstripped the former. What do I know!

My greatest surprise was the traffic generated by the Men’s Roller Derby World Cup. To be honest I went totally unprepared for this event, not knowing what to expect. Looking back on the data there were two teams that that helped drive most of the traffic to the site. They were Argentina and Japan. The human interest stories around these two teams helped expose my images and hopefully the sport to a far wider audience than expected. The organic increase through ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ was the real driving force.

With the advent of the second Women’s Roller Derby World Cup this December, anyone with an eye on building an audience for the sport should look out for those stories that can tap in to the psyche of non-derby fans. Those stories that unite everyone, a common thread we all share, and it’s these stories Derby needs to piggy back off to build an audience outside its norm.

Where they will come from, what will spark them, is anyone’s guess at present. This is what makes covering live events so exciting. That unknown factor, the feeling that something bigger than expected is afoot and just hoping I’ll be in the right place at the right time.


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