Facilitator of FUN

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With the development of online technologies and the spread of information over the internet, brings forth new conversations on how we do things.  Sports fans across both the United States and the Globe look to the internet to get the latest news, stories, and statistics from their favorite teams.  These fans are engaging in a group structure in participation of their loyalty to the team.  Fan Pages are great ways to keep these fans updated and engaged in the “nation” of the team.  By getting participation from the fans the front office of these sports team can increase sales of product, tickets, and overall likeness of their program.  The front office has a big task ahead of them when trying to retain loyalty to their program, especially online where face-to-face interaction is not commonplace.  These administrators need to be educated on the different types of communication through technology.  After becoming educated on the way we communicate through different online platforms, the administrator can hire employees to maintain this online presence.  This post will cover the main principle of gaining online loyalty, and give some examples to evoke this principle.

Money makes the world go round!  If the administrators could pay their followers to be loyal to the fan site, team this would lead to great results.  Users would be getting paid to remain loyal to the program and participating on the online realm.  Sounds great right?!  Unfortunately, this is not a smart financial decision because there is too much leeway between different sports and organizations that it would be a negative effect on the program.  The next best thing for these users to receive is emotion.  By designing the online presence to evoke emotions from the user is the next best thing that the user is looking for.  If the fan site is evoking positive emotion from the user it will keep them coming back for more, which is the main goal of the administrator and facilitators of the site.  The designers should stray away from creating conflict and developing negative emotion amongst the site.  This is where the employee comes in to monitor activity within the site.  Not saying that a little back and forth posting isn’t warranted for banishment from the site, but if it crosses emotional boundaries from the positive realm to negative then it is something that needs to be looked at.  Emotions like Pride, Love, and Passion are emotions that the administrator of the site should look to evoke for both the team and the site itself.  By developing these positive emotions it will not only increase loyalty to the team itself, but will boost the participation on the site itself.  We can change the saying to, Emotions make the world go round!

After the administrator of the site decides what kind of emotion that he or she wants to evoke from the audience, they then can look into the content of the site.  As said before the main goal is to boost loyalty to the sports team and the organization as a whole.  Boosting loyalty is a positive outcome for the office, as should be the content on the website.  The content of the fan site should evoke the emotions of pride, love, and passion out of the audience.  Examples of some content are as follows.  The front office pairs up with the local boys and girls club in the inner city to boost funds for them to continue the great job they are doing with the youth of the city.  The office would set up a charity event to raise money for the club, bringing players in to assist with the event.  The office would send reporters/photographers to the event to capture the player/fan interaction.  This is great publicity for the players and the organization.  Evoking positive emotion from the users.  Another example is bringing humor into the fold.  Laughter creates emotion from the users, which is great to increase participation on the site itself.  Creating “memes” to post on the site can have a great effect with the users.  Depicting funny situations through photos and adding a funny punch line is a great way to induce laughter which will correlate with happiness.  One last example is to get photos of the fans themselves whether they be at the game, local watering hole, or at a sports party.  By showing other users in their garb creates a community that the users want to be a part of.

                Overall, just a brief observation and analysis of group participation in the online community.  When creating this online presence the administrator and employees needs to keep in mind that positive emotion is key.  By developing a positive emotion evoking site, it will not only boost the loyalty of the organization, but increase participation on the online presence.

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