This paper considers how mobile technologies are being used to promote community development, peer support and engagement in university sports websites and how such technologies are being used, or could be used, in an academic context. Although the term is as old as civilisation itself, for the purposes of this paper clanning is defined as a sociological phenomenon observed on the Internet by futurist Faith Popcorn that occurs wherever people gather virtually to discuss and promote common feelings, ideas or ideals. Clanning may lead to benefits such as increased enrolments, increased motivation and reduced stress. Although clanning is most apparent in team sports, clanning is also seen amongst those using mobile technologies, whether acquiring cachet from their area code, downloading the latest ring tone and playing it in unison in the stadium or showing their colours with an appropriate wallpaper or ring tone. Sports mobile portals, websites or parts of websites designed for access via mobile phones are compared with education portals containing sector specific resources and services. The portals are examined for exemplars of mobile technologies and techniques suitable for the promotion of clanning in open and distance education.
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