Social Media at the London Games: 20 July update

Some recent items following on from last month’s post about the “Social Media Olympics“.

The Conversation (20 July)

We’re getting pretty excited about the Olympics. With just a week to go, we’ve launched a new section on the site, dedicated to covering the Games from a variety of angles and points of expertise. If you haven’t seen it yet, you really should.

One of the features is our new Team Blog, with a starting line-up of 15 writers in Australia and the UK, comprising academics and Olympic athletes. How does it feel to dedicate your life so fully to a discipline that you don’t see your family for three years? Read this terrific post by Olympic rower Brodie Buckland to find out.

Unlike the, ahem, meticulous planning that’s gone into the London Games, the Team Blog is designed to be a bit anarchic. And very much like the Games, it’s designed to inspire and act as a showcase for some tremendous individuals.

Please do “like” our Facebook page and follow our dedicated Olympics Twitter account – @TCOlympics – for behind-the-scenes analysis of the sport, science, business, environment & politics of the Games – and, of course, to share your views.

Reuters (19 July)

Fans inside a stadium will be allowed to use their smartphones to film Usain Bolt on the track or Michael Phelps in the pool, but they will not be allowed to upload it to Facebook in a ruling that may surprise many tech-savvy fans who now upload clips on a regular basis.

A spokeswoman for Facebook said the group had a close relationship with the London organizers and would respond to any IP violations in the same way they do with other events.


And the prevalence of social media is also throwing up different challengers for the London organizers.

“Um, so we’ve been lost on the road for 4hrs,” said twice world 400 meters hurdles champion Kerron Clement via Twitter, showing how one athlete could change the perception of the Games and the reporting of the Games with just one 140 character Tweet. “Not a good first impression London.

“Athletes and officials are sleepy, hungry and need to pee. Could we get to the Olympic Village please?”

Traditional media including newspapers and TV in Britain jumped on the fact the bus driver had got lost, despite the rest of the transport system appearing to be working properly.

IOC Social Media, Blogging and Internet Guidelines for participants and other accredited persons at the London 2012 Olympic Games (31 August 2011).

James Manning (Sydney Morning Herald, 15 July):

The IOC’s official Facebook page, which has 2.9 million fans, will host live video chats with athletes from within the Olympic village. The IOC has also partnered Facebook for Explore London 2012, an official page that presents the Facebook pages of athletes, teams and sports. ”We want to bring discovery to the Olympics,” Facebook’s Joanna Shields says.

There are also official Olympics pages on Twitter, Google+, Foursquare, Tumblr, Instagram and YouTube (though YouTube’s streams are not viewable in Australia due to broadcasting rights).

Ninemsn has also capitalised on the rise of social media with Social Games, an online game in which cash is awarded to fans who share the most articles, photos and videos via social media.

But there are some rules around social media for both spectators and athletes. Due to broadcasting rights, viewers can take video for personal use but not share it on social media. You can post photos on social media, as long as you don’t earn money from them.

We’re working with the UK’s foremost expert on Twitter sentiment analysis, Professor Mike Thelwall, from the University of Wolverhampton, and Sosolimited (, a team of MIT graduates with expertise in linguistic analysis and data visualisation, to provide a robust methodology, state of the art analytics and accurate results. Throughout London 2012 we will be measuring the Energy of the Nation by reading the raw Twitter feed and filtering it for those tweets originating from the UK that make reference to the Olympics.

Seb Coe (20 July)

LOCOG chief Sebastian Coe has advised British athletes to forget about using Twitter during the Olympics.

“Personally I have found quite a close correlation between the number of tweets at competitive times and the level of under-performance,” he said.

“I have found a direct correlation between the amount of activity an athlete enters into on social media and their ultimate performance when it really matters – but that’s for them to figure out.”

Connecting at and through the London Olympics

It has been fascinating to observe the growth in social media opportunities between the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games. An Associated Press post on 19 June announced London Games to Be First Social Media Olympics.

“In Sydney (2000) there was hardly any fast Internet, in Athens (2004) there were hardly any smartphones, in Beijing hardly anyone had social networks,” said Jackie-Brock Doyle, communications director of London organizing committee LOCOG. “That’s all changed. Here, everyone has all that and will be consuming the games in a different way.”

The official London 2012 website has links to:

There is an information page about the use of the official website.

Elana Zak has posted about 7 Social Media Resources for Journalists Covering the Olympics. Her seven resources include:

Earlier this week Ingrid Lunden posted about Facebook’s Social Olympic Ambition, Explore London 2012: A Dedicated Athlete Portal, But No Ads.

My prompt to write this post came from two email alerts:

iSportConnect has announced a Networking Tool for iSportconnect members who will be attending the London Olympic Games.

This tool allows members to keep up to date with all the latest news, events and uniquely find out who will be attending what games whilst giving you the opportunity to make new business and contacts plus arrange meetings.   The 2012 Summer Olympic Games will take place in London, England, United Kingdom, from 27 July to 12 August 2012.

Storify’s 5 Ways to Storify the Summer Olympics:

  • Follow athletes on Twitter, and make a scrapbook of their London Games
  • Storify the latest news about the Games
  • Collect beautiful photos and share them on Pinterest or elsewhere
  • Get all geeky with it
  • An international community of memes

I checked Foursquare too following the announcement of a partnership with the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

The IOC has issued a  set of guidelines for athletes and others accredited for the Games about blogging, posting and tweeting about their experiences. The AP post notes that:

London Olympic organizers have drawn up strict rules for their employees and the 70,000 Olympic volunteers. They have been told not to share their location, any images of scenes in areas that are off limits to the public, or details about athletes, celebrities or dignitaries who they find themselves in contact with.

It was be informative to see how the infrastructure for these social Games deals with such diverse demands:
At the last Summer Olympics in Beijing in 2008, Twitter had about 6 million users and Facebook 100 million. Today, the figure is 140 million for Twitter and 900 million for Facebook.
Photo Credits

Fossicking in the Social Web

According to Wikipedia, fossicking is a term found in Cornwall and Australia referring to prospecting.

“This can be for gold, precious stones, fossils, etc. by sifting through a prospective area. In Australian English, the term has an extended use meaning to rummage.”

My engagement with the social web is akin to rummaging but through trusted networks I do find rich seams of resources and opportunities.

Recently (thanks to Diigo) I have rummaged through:

This morning (thanks to Stephen Downes) Crocdoc and Osmek.

Of late I have not been visiting Twitter or Facebook but know that they are there. I have started to use LinkedIn much more and have joined some new groups: ICALT, Sport for Development, Sports Performance Analysis and World Class Athlete Development.

Fossicking is a very popular activity in my village. It is an old gold town and there are hidden treasures. It seems very apt that I should be rummaging around too!

Photo Credits

Gold minehead

Bernard Otto Holtermann