Realized that it’s been a year since I started writing for Hockey in Society. Thought I’d throw all of my articles over the past year into a word cloud and see what trends pop up.
A group of us from the MACT program were invited as guests to attend the Friends of the University of Alberta annual general meeting on May 23rd at the Faculty Club. It was a great event that brought together the U of A Alumni group, the local business community and academic researchers. The Faculty of Extension and members of its MACT program were asked to provide a presentation showcasing their research accomplishments and the role they’ve played in the community.
Faculty of Extension Dean Katy Campbell started things off for us discussing the history of the faculty and the current research being done locally and internationally. A short video was shared with the group.
Dr. Ann Curry, a professor for the MACT program, then gave some background information about the program and what topics students cover. Dr. Curry currently teaches the Research Methods course for the program and has written books on censorship and intellectual freedom. More about Dr. Curry can be found at the MACT Professoriate Directory.
I then presented my research of online hockey fans and their role in the development of information regarding the game. I didn’t get into too much details about research methods, content analysis, etc, and instead talked about how fans are engaging with the game using hockey analytics. You can find my final research abstract, along with those of other MACT graduates here: MACT Student Research Project Abstracts.
Glenn Kubish then discussed his current research project examining the Stephen Duckett ‘cookie affair’. Glenn explained how the event played out from the newsroom’s point of view and in the digital world. For an excellent summary of his research, you can read “C is for Convergence!” or check out his blog.
Heather Gray discussed her current research into video conferencing and how an individuals perception of another person can change depending on how much of the person they see. Heather brought some great stats from her study that would be of interest to anyone that uses videoconferencing. You can check out her blog for more.
Teresa Sturgess then discussed her research into mobile device etiquette and the potential impact it has on businesses. Teresa’s research is an interesting one since companies are typically consumed with keeping up with mobile technology, that the personal, human impacts could be overlooked. You can check out her blog for more.
Dr. Tommy Barker, the newest professor of the MACT program, then discussed his research in risk communication with an emphasis on public health. Dr. Barker will also be teaching the Case Studies in Risk Communication course this year. More about Dr. Barker can be found at the MACT Professoriate Directory.
The event was a great opportunity for the MACT program to connect with the community and promote its research and accomplishments. I strongly feel the MACT program and its students will continue to play an integral role in the development of the communications and technology field. It’s especially encouraging to see past and current students using the tools and networks available to connect their work to various industries, to academic research development and to the community.
I’d like to thank the MACT Program, the Faculty of Extension, and the Alumni Association for the opportunity!
The introduction of paywalls by Postmedia comes as no surprise as the newspaper industry continues to struggle within a competitive market. Here’s a recent quote from the company’s COO, Wayne Parrish:
“We’re no longer in the business of chasing page views from all over the globe…We’re in the business of trying to provide deep, rich experiences for those who value the content that we focus on, which is local content and Canadian content.”
Included behind this paywall barrier is the Edmonton Journal, who now asks readers to pay about $10 a month, or $100 for the year. If you’re a regular reader, it could make sense. But what doesn’t make sense is the Edmonton Journal putting their Cult of Hockey blog behind the paywall as well.
The Cult of Hockey does a pretty good job providing hockey analytics to supplement the rest of the Edmonton Journal’s sports section. Both Jonathan Willis and Bruce McCurdy, excellent writers who started off as independent bloggers, have done extensive work not only collecting and analyzing data, but also contributing to the greater body of work compiled by the Oilers’ online fan community.
A blog format, with its open access and ability to link to the work of others, is ideal for hockey analytics. Any sort of data analytics benefits significantly from open participation, especially hockey analytics. Blogs are also an excellent way to link to the work of others, strengthen communication networks and continuously build information and knowledge. Up until last week when the paywall was announced, the Cult of Hockey did this pretty well.
With a paywall blocking their content, the Cult of Hockey can no longer benefit from the key traits of blogs. They’ve essentially added a barrier for people to access their content, but will continue getting free access to the work of others. That really isn’t a fair deal, and I can’t imagine this ending well for the relationship between Cult of Hockey and other Oiler blogs. The Cult of Hockey is also setting a price for it’s own work, giving a sense that it is disconnected from the rest of the blogging community, who it has always benefited from. One can expect that other blog sites, whose ideas will be used on the Cult of Hockey blog, may ask Postmedia for some sort of reimbursement, which will have a negative impact on the development of hockey analytics. There’s a good reason why Wikipedia has not asked for its users to pay a price for content/information built and extended by volunteers.
For the sake of the writers of the blog, and for the benefit of hockey analytics, I hope Postmedia considers removing the paywall blocking the Cult of Hockey.
As the Oilers headed into their seventh straight off-season without a playoff appearance, the Edmonton Oilers announced the replacement of General Manager Steve Tambellini with former Oilers captain and coach, Craig MacTavish. At the press conference, John MacKinnon of the Edmonton Journal pointed out that the same management team that was in place before Tambellini’s dismissal was back in charge.
Social media has naturally integrated into professional hockey. Not only can fans use social media tools to get access to information and to connect with other fans, but they can also play a role in the development of information surrounding the game. For example, fans can get up-to-the-minute injury reports for their favorite teams, but they can also provide their own review and analysis of games and share unique content with an online fan community.
Hockey analytics is an excellent example of fans getting immersed in the game and changing the way they consume professional sports. Along with watching games, and following the narratives that surround teams and players, fans can use various software applications to apply their own ideas and models to analyze the game.
Hockey analytics is also gaining prominence among professional hockey teams to make key decisions regarding player acquisitions and team strategies.
After being sent to the minors by the Edmonton Oilers, Darcy Hordichuk was recently interviewed by long time hockey writer, Jim Matheson. The article wasn’t anything unique, but one line stood out in particular.
I think the Oilers still need Hordichuk, even in limited minutes because he has fistic ice savvy, but the roster size is very limiting when they’re carrying eight D.
Fact is, Hordichuk is a 32-year old enforcer, with years of experience in the NHL and the minors. But nothing in particular sets him apart from other enforcers. His stint with the Oilers, in my opinion, hasn’t been anything to write about.
Jonathan Willis of Oilersnation provided a play by play description of every event involving Hordichuk in a recent game. Pretty much sums up his usefulness on this team. So it wasn’t surprising to see him get sent to the minors.
Matheson provides a summary of how Hordichuk is doing in the minors, which is fine. But describing him as having “fistic ice savvy” is just bad sports journalism.
For one, it’s a made-up description with a very unclear definition. At no point has Matheson clarified what “fistic ice savvy” entails or who else might have this quality.
Secondly, there’s no way to measure this. I’m not asking for detailed data metrics and methodology. But how do you know you’re fistic and have savvy? Is it when you fight? Where on the ice you fight? Who you fight?
Thirdly, and most importantly, “fistic ice savvy” is a perfect example of the misinformation that surrounds professional hockey. Rather than make a claim, explain its rationale and then provide examples, Matheson uses a vague description of Hordichuk and leaves it as is. Not even an attempt is made to support “fistic ice savvy”.
Matheson is definitely a good hockey writer, but more detailed information should be provided when making claims. More and more of his readers are knowledgable fans, and claiming Hordichuk is anything more than an enforcer is just irresponsible journalism.