A Very Social Media Olympics

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Friday, 20th July 2012 by Simon Hilliard

There’s a fairly important international sporting event coming up, and as its 2012 some are predicting this will be the first “social media games”. In other words, the Olympics organisers are looking to social media to make the events engaging for everyone not holding a ticket.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) didn’t get off to a brilliant start. Their Social Media Guidelines issued in advance of the games caused something of a stir, with regulations banning ticket holders from posting or uploading their own images, video and other digital recordings to social media or the Internet. So no burly Instagram shots of sprinters as they whizz past.

In contrast, the IOC and other sponsors have gone a bit social media bonkers in the final few days before the games. A whole host of sites and interactive content around the athletes, Olympic venues and London generally has popped up. Here’s a quick snapshot of what we have to look forward to:

Athletes Hub, Facebook, FourSquare, Google+ Twitter, Tumblr and more

Paid Content has published a handy rundown of the IOC’s official social media channels, which includes all the big names you’d expect.

Some highlights:

Twitter photos from the Athletes Village

Even the athletes themselves are getting in on the social media fun, with a bit of cajoling from the IOC. The Guardian published a collection of photos posted on Twitter from the athletes as they arrived in the Athletes Village, their digs for the summer. The women’s football team seem to be having the most fun.

London Eye

Olympics London Eye EDF
The colours of the London Eye’s nightly light show vary depending on Twitter sentiment. A clever sounding ‘intuitive algorithm’ developed by British professor Mike Thelwall from MIT, and his students, will monitor the sentiment of tweets during the games. Depending on how happy or sad the great British public is, the riverside ring will change colour. It’s yellow for happy, green for sad and purple for ‘meh’. The algorithm’s development is being sponsored by EDF Energy, which is also an official Olympics sponsor. The nightly show will also be live streamed of light show on EDF’s website.
Quite a nice idea that last one. Although if Team GB aren’t winning gold and the weather sticks to British summer tradition we’re gona be seeing alotta green on the South Bank in the coming weeks. Lets pray for yellow.

@simonhill

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