24th July 2012
The growth of the social web means that the London Games will be the most social ever, many experts are calling the 2012 summer Games the ‘first social media Olympics’. Twitter reports that there were more tweets about the Olympics during only one day of trials than the entire 2008 summer games. Get ready for more than just sporting world records to be shattered.
This infographic http://mashable.com/2012/07/12/2012-olympics-mobile-social shows exactly how mobile social in particular will win the 2012 Olympics. Smart phone usage is up by 456% since the Beijing Games in 2008. Facebook usage is up 901% and Twitter by a staggering 29,900%, with the number of tweets being sent at 140 million a second compared to 1.1 million just four years ago.
There are plenty of websites to help keep you up-to-date before, during and after each event. Many of the sites integrate Twitter and Facebook so, for instance, when signing up for the Olympic Hub visitors can sign in using Facebook or Twitter. These are my favourites…
Online community of more than 1000 athletes: http://hub.olympic.org
Official LOCOG site for London 2012: http://www.london2012.com
Official team GB site: http://www.teamgb.com
Official IOC site: http://www.olympic.org
There are plenty of pages on Facebook available to keep track of the games. The official Olympic page http://www.facebook.com/olympics has 2.9 million likes. Check out the timeline dating back to 1908. Other Facebook pages worth a ‘like’ include the official London.uk.com Olympics and Paralympics page. http://www.facebook.com/londonukcom. The Olympic sponsors http://thenextweb.com/socialmedia/2012/06/06/10-brands-vying-for-socialympics-supremacy also have some great fun Facebook apps to play with. I especially like the Panasonic face painting https://www.facebook.com/PanasonicUK/app_316244828451255app that allows you to virtually paint your face in the colour of your chosen country.
The Olympics’ use of Google+ has proved meaningful for engagement and activity. More than 300,000 users have the London 2012 Google+ page https://plus.google.com/106101596084497923559/posts#106101596084497923559/posts in their circles. One to watch.
Twitter is going to provide an incredibly powerful live feed of news and comment as it happens from both news channels and the watching public. Make a note of these official Twitter hashtags #Olympics, #London2012, #TeamGB and #askanathlete. For the latest news, follow @olympics http://twitter.com/olympics (the official IOC twitter feed), @iocmedia (official IOC news) http://twitter.com/iocmedia and @london2012 http://twitter.com/london2012 (official LOCOG channel). Each Olympic sport has its own Twitter feed so if you are only interested in diving, football and table tennis you can follow @L2012Diving http://twitter.com/L2012Diving, @L2012Foodball http://twitter.com/L2012Football and @L2012TT http://twitter.com/L2012TT. You can also follow this list that conveniently allows you to follow all Olympic sports in one hit https://twitter.com/#!/London2012/olympic-sports. Other good lists I’ve found include this official Twitter list from the IOC https://twitter.com/#!/London2012/lists or this on which lists all Olympians https://twitter.com/#!/London2012/olympians this one lists all GB Olympians https://twitter.com/#!/London2012/gb-olympians and this one lists all GB Paralympians https://twitter.com/#!/London2012/gb-paralympians. For a bit of fun follow the Mascots @iamwenlock http://twitter.com/iamwenlock and @iammandeville http://twitter.com/iammandeville.
As the official Olympic broadcaster the BBC is going to be my first port of call when watching the Olympics. This is the official BBC Olympic channel on the BBC website http://www.bbc.co.uk/2012 – for all the sporting action go to the BBC Olympic sports channel http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/olympics/2012/ and on the BBC iPlayer Olympic section http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/tv/categories/olympics. The BBC Olympic app is a great looking piece of tech available to download free for iPhone and Android http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/latestnews/2012/sport-app.html. But for an epic truly social Olympic experience NBC has developed an app http://www.nbcolympics.com/on-the-go/index.html with Adobe for iPad, iPhone and Android that will be streaming 3,500 hours of live video and 302 medal competitions. The content will be complemented with stats, results, athlete profiles and a second screen option that will be game changing! Sadly its only available for cable, satellite and telephone company customers.
There are three free official mobile apps http://www.london2012.com/mobileapps available for tablets and smart phones to keep you in touch with the action wherever you are. The ‘London 2012 Join In’ app offers an official guide to the games. The ‘London 2012 Results’ app will bring live results and news updates as they happen and the ‘official London 2012 mobile game’ features nine Olympic games, including archery, double trap shooting, 110m hurdles and swimming, in authentic London 2012 venues.
London web portal LondonTown.com has collaborated with Artist Katherine Emma Baxter http://www.katherinebaxter.com to produce an amazing Olympic venues diagram. All coloured buildings in the diagram are London Olympic venues, with famous landmarks illustrated in grey to assist with orientation.
This brilliant infographic compares each of the three Olympic Games London has hosted first in 1908 then in 1948 and finally 2012. I didn’t know the 1908 games lasted 188 days and cost only £75,000. Brilliant stuff. See it here http://infographiclist.com/2012/03/28/london-once-twice-three-times-an-olympics-host-city-infographic
The International Olympic Committee is a big fan of Instagram http://blog.instagram.com/post/27615618774/follow-friday-the-olympics-on-instagram-if. The IOC social media manager Alex Huot said: “We got a lot of love from the Instagram community, so we’re going to give a lot of love to Instagram. The account right now is on fire (29,000 followers). Four hundred Olympians are on Instagram.” You can follow the official feeds or use the hashtag #london2012 http://www.gramfeed.com/instagram/tags#london2012
@Olympics http://www.gramfeed.com/olympics (official IOC account)
@London2012_Olympics http://www.gramfeed.com/London2012_olympics (official LOCOG account)
Image courtesy of the BBC