Presentation at the 2018 Rundle Summit

8af67c_dd2bb23b679b418db1981b3b5abdd416_mv2A big thank you to the the organizers of the Rundle Summit for inviting me to provide the opening keynote address this weekend. It was a pleasure to present my research findings and share my experiences as a blogger in Edmonton. We had a great discussion following the presentation – really appreciated the questions and feedback.

Below is a description of the session.

Communication technology is a critical tool for hockey fans to acquire information and to stay engaged with the game. The development of web technology, mobile phones and social media applications, in conjunction with the traditional mediums (i.e., television, radio, newspapers) have made information more abundant and travelling at an even faster rate. With the evolution of communication technology, there has been a significant shift in fan behavior and the impact fans have on the information that surrounds the game. By leveraging this technology and becoming creators, developers and distributors of information, fans have  become more than consumers of information and have instead taken on a more active role.

 Mr. Agnihotri will share his motivations for undertaking his research, his own experiences as a hockey blogger and the impact fans are having on the direction of the game. (Source)

For those interested, below are the slides that I presented. These have been published without my speaking notes, so please let me know if any of the content requires clarification.

For a re-cap of the event and the other presentations, you can check out the Rundle Summit’s twitter account (@RundleSummit). Attendees also used the #RundleSummit2018 hashtag on Twitter to compile and discuss the presentations.


Speaking at the Rundle Summit – The SuperFan (2017, December 4)

Getting ready for the Rundle Summit – The SuperFan (2018, February 20)

Getting ready for the Rundle Summit

icefields-parkway-road-conditions-in-winterJust putting together my presentation for the Rundle Summit, which takes place in Banff, Alberta this coming weekend. Details for the event can be found on the Rundle Summit web site.

Lots to check out at the event co-hosted by the University of Alberta and the University of Calgary, with things kicking off on Friday afternoon. I’ll be providing the keynote address on Friday evening with panel sessions scheduled for Saturday. Full program details are here.

It’s been a lot of fun putting my thoughts together as I’ve tried to weave the research I completed in grad school with my experiences from blogging. I’ve had to dig deep to uncover how/why I went down the path I did, uncovering some old stuff along the way.

Couple notable items:

Plenty more to share on Friday, the focus being on hockey fans and how their active participation in the coverage of the game has forced the league and the media to adapt.

Looking forward to the conference. 😉

Related: Speaking at the Rundle Summit – The SuperFan (2017, December 4)

Discussing online hockey fans and research from grad school at the McLuhan House


Happy to announce that I’ll be speaking at Telly Talk, a New Media Seminar hosted by the Arts Habitat in Edmonton.

  • Wednesday January 3rd, 2018
  • 6:00-8:00 PM
  • McLuhan House Centre for Arts and Ideas – 11342-64 Street NW, Edmonton, Alberta

Details of the event can be found at the Arts Habitat Edmonton. And you can register for the event at Eventbrite.

I’ll be sharing my experiences as a hockey blogger and the research I did in grad school. Below is the abstract for my presentation:


Oiler fans are known for their commitment to the team through the good times and bad. And using the tools available to them, they’ve been able to do more than just sit in the stands and cheer. Today fans are providing endless amounts of opinions and analysis, and play a larger role in the information that surrounds the game.

Sunil Agnihotri will discuss the research he completed in the Master of Arts in Communications and Technology program at the University of Alberta, and his experience as a fan and blogger. This is where my house is fixed by His research focused on online communities, information management and communication technology. His final project used sociocultural theories and concepts to examine the blogging activity of hockey fans.

Related links:

Speaking at the Rundle Summit

8af67c_dd2bb23b679b418db1981b3b5abdd416_mv2Happy to announce that I’ll be speaking in Banff at the Rundle Summit in February. It’s a communications conference co-hosted by the University of Alberta’s Communications and Technology Program and the University of Calgary, Communication, Media and Film Program. Full details of the conference can be found here.

I’ll be discussing the research I did as a graduate student at the U of A, which was around online hockey fans and how they use blogs to develop and share new information.

You can access my final research paper here: SuperFan 2.0 : Exploring the produsage qualities of hockey fans

This was done between 2009 and 2012, so there’s a lot that’s happened since then.

Personally, I was able to apply what I learned from the program to my own day job, but also used a lot of the concepts to start my own hockey blog. I’ve been a life-long fan  and like using stats to dig into things, so it’s been fun providing commentary and learning about the different ways to evaluate teams and players. I’ve been very fortunate getting opportunities to write for other web sites, and being on TV and radio. It’s been a fun side-gig, as I’ve been able to do something I really care about and  meet some very good people along the way.

Older post worth reading: Finding the SuperFan – (2014, July 23)

I’ve also got a pretty good perspective on how the media’s role has changed because of the new communication tools available to fans, and will share some of my experiences. The most interesting aspect for me has been the development and growth of hockey analytics and how it’s played out in the public sphere. It’s been largely fan-driven, and it’s impacted how the league and major media networks provide coverage.

I’ll post a few updates as I put my presentation together, and will publish my final work here as well.



Finding the SuperFan

An Oiler fans trek through blogs, hockey analytics and academia.

Back in 2008, I decided it was time to head back to school to finish a graduate degree. Something I can do part-time, something related to my day-job, and something that would interest me enough to stay motivated. I came across the Communications and Technology program at the University of Alberta while surfing the web and decided to take the plunge.

My background was in sociology and my interests were always research methodology and group dynamics (how do groups get together to accomplish stuff). I figured a lot of the technology starting to take off was changing the way groups interact and to how much they could accomplish as a group. My main interests have always been information and knowledge management. How do we know what we know, and how do we work collectively to build new knowledge and information. That group dynamic is always intriguing since it’s been occurring for centuries, but has really accelerated because of the advancement of communication technology. The web is an obvious example, but what is it about the web and what sort of rules apply that allows it to be so critical for information development and knowledge sharing. It was pretty high level thinking at the time since I honestly had no idea where my graduate career was going to go.

The Program

Before starting the MACT program, all applicants had to submit a research idea for their final project. I had no clue what I wanted to do, so I decided to something work-related and chose electronic health records. It was a hot button topic in healthcare, so I thought some sort of research on it would be interesting. I received my acceptance letter and was to start the program in the spring of 2009.

All students were also asked to maintain a “digital portfolio” (i.e., a blog) as a way to centralize assignments and reflect on key topics. Not many students actually did one, but I figured this might be a useful way to find a supervisor for my final research paper.

Within a couple months of starting the program, getting deep into communication theory, I realized there wasn’t anything interesting about electronic health records. There had already been a ton of research on it, including the type of technology used, its adoption in various countries and the benefits of it. That realization and the fact that others in my cohort had some killer ideas, I knew right away that I needed to find another topic.


By the end of the spring session, which included a three week residency-type set up on campus to complete a two courses, I was absolutely spent. We covered a ton of material and new concepts and spent hours completing assignments and presentations. I really tried to apply my research topic of health records to everything we covered, but it just wasn’t interesting. My attitude about the program reflected it. And my grades showed it as well.  Continue reading

Questions following the Public Lecture on Hockey Analytics

Source: Edmonton Oilers

Source: Edmonton Oilers

In case you missed it, the Communications and Technology program at the University of Alberta recently hosted a public lecture on hockey analytics. I really enjoyed speaking at the event as I got to connect my research as a student of the program with some of the real-life work bloggers are doing online.

I can’t say enough about Michael Parkatti, who put together a solid presentation on the fundamentals of hockey analytics. If you haven’t seen the presentation, you can access it on Livestream.

What was remarkable was how big of a response the session received. The session drew a full house at the downtown campus and has since drawn over 1,600 views online. I was especially blown away by its distribution on Twitter and the positive feedback we received.

Following the session, I received a few questions from attendees and others who caught the session online. I thought I’d share some of these and my responses.

Continue reading

Free Public Lecture on Hockey Analytics

Happy to announce that I’ve put together a short public lecture on hockey analytics, scheduled for  Wednesday March 26th at the University of Alberta.

Here’s the general description of the session:

The field of Hockey Analytics continues to gain importance as more stakeholders, including fans and teams, are examining data and developing new ideas regarding the game. With the advancement of communication technology and analytic tools, fans have taken a greater role in developing new methods of measuring team and player performance. New ideas are often communicated and developed amongst fans through blogs, message boards and other social media tools.

I’ll be joined by Michael Parkatti, a hockey analytics blogger at Boys on the Bus . Michael has extensive experience with hockey analytics and will be providing an overview of the field as well as the current concepts.

Teaching a Blogging Course

thinking-manHappy to announce that I’ll be teaching a short course on blogging this spring. The course is available through Next Step Continuing Education. It’ll be held on Thursday April 10th in Sherwood Park, Alberta.

I’ll definitely be relying on some of the concepts I picked up as a student in the MACT program. Without getting too deep into theory, one of my objectives is to promote the information and knowledge development that happens on blogs and in online communities. With more and more people getting online and producing content, I think it’s critical that people have a basic understanding on how to contribute and navigate online.

I’ll be sharing my experience with the tool and give some insight on how to use blogging for personal projects as well as in business, education and government.

Here’s the official description over at the Next Step Continuing Education website:

Find out about the foundational concepts of blogging and strategies to maintain a successful one. Also explore the benefits of working in an online environment and how to effectively use social media applications.

It’s available to everyone, so please share with anyone you know that might be interested.

To register for the class, click here: Next Step Continuing Education

MACT: “Harness the Power to Connect”

Nice little video put together by the Communications & Technology Master’s Program at the University of Alberta. To learn more about the program, including the research being done by faculty and staff, check out the MACT website.

Below are a few of the posts I’ve written about the program, including my experience and research interests.

You can also view my final research paper through the University of Alberta’s Education and Research Archive .

Presentation of MACT Research at the ‘Friends of the U of A’ Annual Meeting

Enterprise Square, Edmonton

Enterprise Square, Edmonton

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.

MACT Research

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!