Social Olympics

The Most Social Games Ever!

Olympic Rings

Seven years of wait are over and the Olympics are upon us – the opening ceremony is taking place tonight in London (let’s hope I’m not arrested for using the Olympic rings on my blog before it!).

The London Olympics is being billed as the most social games ever.  Yes, social media was around in 2008 during the Beijing Games, but since then Facebook has grown from 60m to 900m users and Twitter has grown from 1m users to 140m users.

The world is now on social media.  And the Olympics opportunity has not been missed by Facebook and Twitter.

One of the criticisms of Facebook is that tracking subjects that are trending within it is pretty tough unless it is a subject of people who you are connected with.  To rectify this, Facebook has created an excellent Olympics page with links to some key athletes (mostly Team GB of course!), teams, events and the main sponsors.

Over the last few years, Twitter has developed into a genuine news source, and the use of hashtags means following a subject is very easy.  The number of people who watch TV and tweet is growing all the time – just check out what is trending in your country and often one of the subjects is a TV programme which people are watching and tweeting about.  #savethesurprise has already trended this week following the dress rehearsal of the opening ceremony on Monday night.

Due to social media’s immediacy, there could be some gems from the competitors themselves.  It would be great to read tweets from athletes preparing for their event.  There are 2014 competitors who have a verified Twitter account (shame its not 2 less, eh?!), so there should be some great content out there.  However, the immediacy can come back to bite too – a Greek athlete has already been banned from the Olympics for a racist tweet.

But its not just about social media.  Transport for London have a mobile app to help Londoners get around when the Games are on (as a former London resident, I wish everyone good luck with that!), and the BBC are using technology to show every event of the Games live – look out for your local ‘big screen’ if you can’t see it on your smart phone or tablet.

What role do you think technology and social media will play in the Olympics?  Leave a comment and let me know!

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