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Marca Community is arguably one of the most popular online sports communities in Spain with over 400,000 members. In its forum, users can comment on the news published by the sport-based newspapers Marca while interacting with other members. Drawing on the existing literature on virtual communities, this study empirically examines the engagement in online discussion in order to determine the degree of “community building” promoted by the members. We propose a methodological approach taking under consideration the singularities of the sports fans and of the online conversation. A structural analysis focusing on the user interaction was conducted over the members (N=4,967) who posted comments in 8 selected articles. The findings suggest that Marca Community is a non-hierarchical liquid network wherein members participate in an equal footing.
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