What we do here, it's many things. Intellectually rewarding? Not what usually springs to mind. But this humble website played a rather large part in the Master's Thesis of a recent LSU graduate. Let's explore the world of academia.
A candidate for a Master of Mass Communication degree at Louisiana State got in touch with us a while ago, asking a few questions while she was in the middle of her research. Last month, she presented her thesis — sonorously titled "What Content Makes People Want to Use Sports Websites?" — and successfully defended it before a board of real-life university types.
By taking four websites (Deadspin, Yahoo!, ESPN and Football Outsiders) and presenting them to participants, the student attempt to ascertain what makes sports sites popular. The entire thing is available for your perusal here, but we couldn't help snagging a few salient points.
We start with the first sign that this is professional stuff, with the illustrious Disco Choo being quoted. This is going into the LSU Library for all time. Internet content is fleeting, but one day, in a post-apocalyptic society, they'll know about Disco Choo.
Here are some open-ended statements made about this lovely little corner of the web by the focus group. I love that all the negative statements were completely unprompted. Who uses the phrase "relentless snark" unironically? Two of them?
According to the sample group of users, we are tops in humor.
Tops in entertainment value.
Dead last in credibility. Huh.
But this is my favorite part of the entire thesis. A new motto for the web site.
"Deadspin: The debasement of a sports character toward whom people have negative affect will positively correlate with the participants' intentions to use the website in the future." Print up the t-shirts.
Oh, who am I kidding. The best part of the thesis is still a citation of Disco Choo.
Thanks to Cara De Carlo for letting us use her work. You can read more of her writing at Red Schtick Magazine.
Thanks for joining us today. Have an excellent Tuesday evening.