It is officially day 10 of The 2012 Olympic Games, otherwise known ‘Socialympics,’ or the first ever social Olympic Games. Since the games last occurred in Beijing in 2008, the social media world has exploded and opened up a whole new platform for people to talk about and stay updated on the games. Log onto Twitter any time of day and nearly half the trending topics will relate to the Olympic Games. This has opened up some great opportunities for conversation, as well as some controversies. Let’s break it all down.
1) Hashtag Mania!
We all know how hashtags work and The Olympics and it’s viewers have certainly taken advantage of the many ways they can be used. A few in particular have made their mark in the worldwide trending topics.
#NBCFail: Perhaps the most infamous of all the olympic hashtags, #NBCFail started following a mass of complaints from viewers over NBC’s olympic coverage. People were grumbling over everything from the tape delays to uninformed commentators to the surplus of commercials, even on the live stream. The complaints however didn’t seem to hurt the network too much as they reported record breaking ratings for primetime.
#RejectedOlympicEvents: It wasn’t all negative though. Tweeters had some fun sharing silly events that didn’t quite make it to the games, like Quidditch, Duck Duck Goose, and Blogging.
2) Tweeting the Athletes
In addition to the roaring support the athletes get from the spectators in London and the media, they now get to receive immediate support from all the fans, Tweeters and Facebookers from across the world. This is particularly exciting for competitors in sports that may not be as mainstream in the U.S. and gain more popularity in Olympic years like Gymnastics and Swimming.
3) The Conversations
The Olympics are about bringing people from all over the world together to share an experience and a common interest. In many ways, social media allows us to do the same. It is one of the few times when people from all over the world can share and discuss a major sporting event together, in real-time. Everybody is cheering for their home country and favorite athlete. The whole world is watching literally. You can strike up a conversation with literally anyone on Twitter about the Olympics and they will have something to say.
4) The Games Go Mobile
Not only has the popularity of social media emerged in the past four years, but so has the popularity of mobile technology. NBC developed an iPhone app that gives you access to all the events live, straight from your phone. This is an exciting feature for viewers who are on the go, or don’t want to wait to watch the events in primetime.
And then there’s the controversy….
5) NBC’s Tape Delay
NBC’s tape delay has led to various claims that social media is ruining the games. When the events are not aire until six or seven hours after they occur, it’s likely that between that time you will check Facebook, open Twitter, or talk to a friend who spoils the results for you. It means you have to completely avoid social sites if you really want to be surprised by the outcome. Many people claim, it ruins the fun as well the chance to discuss the results with people all over the world who are watching the events as they happen. Even though you can watch the events live online or through the mobile app, you need a cable subscription, as well as a chance to get away from work, to do so.
6) Banished Olympians
Twitter is a tricky place for celebrities. They have to be very careful about what they say since it can be viewed by millions. And for the athletes, what they say can be a reflection of them and the country they are representing. So far two athletes have been banned from the games as a result of some inappropriate and distasteful tweeting. Michel Morganella from the Swiss Soccer Team, and Greek triple jumper Voula Papachristou.
The Olympics are a great event to share online with people from all over the world. In what ways have you used social media to enhance your enjoyment of the Olympic Games?