Another Dr. Frederick special, published in the International Journal of Sport Communication.

Abstract: An Internet-based survey was posted on the Twitter feeds and Facebook pages of 1 predominantly social and 1 predominantly parasocial athlete to ascertain the similarities and differences between their follower sets in terms of parasocial inter- action development and follower motivations. Analysis of the data revealed a sense of heightened interpersonal closeness based on the interaction style of the athlete. While followers of the social athlete were driven by interpersonal constructs, fol- lowers of the parasocial athlete relied more on media conventions in their inter- action patterns. To understand follower motivations, exploratory factor analyses were conducted for both follower sets. For followers of the social athlete, most of the interactivity, information-gathering, personality, and entertainment items loaded together. Unlike followers of the social athlete, fanship and community items loaded alongside information-gathering items for followers of the parasocial athlete. The implications of these and other findings are discussed further.

2012 Frederick Lim Clavio Walsh