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Let the Olympics entertain you!

Written by: Marco Massarotto July 27, 2012  

2008: Beijing Olympic Games – 2012: London Olympic Games
July 27th has come and we’d like to offer you an overview about the changing in social media since the last Olympics, then a list of “tips & tricks”, obviously about digital communication, to enjoy the best way this global event.
What has changed in these 4 years? There has been an impressive growth of the social network use from 2008 to today. Let’s go to see what happened!
Twitter was born in 2006 but in 2008 it only had 5 million users compared to almost 500 millions now. In 2008 its blog explained the replies mechanism;
Facebook was created in 2004. In 2008 it counted 100 million users but for sure it wasn’t in the spotlight as today with 900 million users and quoted on the stock market;
YouTube had a considerable traffic and it had just launched its mobile version and pre-roll ads, but nothing compared to the volume of uploaded and watched videos of today. Now the company claims Youtube.com receives over 800 million unique visits per month;
By the way we can’t forget the new social network born in recent years: Pinterest, Foursquare and Google+.
Not even communication on the web has changed so quickly in four years: we even have to focus on new technology devices like tablets and smartphones.
Matching all these variables it doesn’t seem so difficult to agree that what we are going to live is the first “Social Olympics” of the history.
iProspect published an infographic showing the evolution occurred in these four years, based on Nielsen, eMarketer and Forrester data.

Let’s see what’s hot about social media and the Olympic Games.
International Olympic Committee has launched the Olympic Athletes’ Hub, where users are encouraged to interact directly with some of the top Olympians by tweeting their questions using the hashtag #askanathlete. Each day, a new olympian is up to reply to those users, and the Q&A tweets will appear on the front page of the Hub.
The American broadcaster NBC has partnered with Twitter to narrow the London Olympics 2012. Here the twitter account will update in real time all fans of this great event: @NBCOlympics.
Obviously there is a facebook page and twitter account. Starting from the first one, Facebook has launched dedicated Olympic hub that provides easy links for Official Pages of athletes, teams and the sport that they will be competing in.

The official twitter accounts are @Olympics and @London2012, but you can find information following @IOCMedia too and using hashtags such as #olympics and #London2012. Every sport has is own twitter account and you can find a full list here (on the right). Twitter never cease to amaze us in fact it has just launched a dedicated event page.
Last but not the least is Google+ that currently counts 629.128 circle members.
Who‘s going to miss the live TV broadcast will be able to enjoy the Games on IOC YouTube channel with live streaming.
What about Foursquare? The IOC has partnered with Foursquare to offer a new badge that allowed a possibility to win tickets to Olympic events. To unlock the Olympic Day badge users had to check in twice before June 25 when he/she played sports or exercise. Where? Yoga studios, beaches, gyms, tracks, stadiums, or hiking trails. Check in to iconic Olympic venues and win your ticket to London. Just take a look here.
Fortunately the high coverage social activities compensate for the athletes inability to publish any type of content regarding their participation in the Olympics. That’s it, the rules issued from the IOC are really strict.
A nice activity was the contest that gave you the chance to win tickets to London during the Olympic Games: Members had to submit their Photographs between November, 1st 2011 and June, 19th 2012. In the photos users had to copy a famous move of an athlete and tweet with #olympics hashtag. If you want to have a laugh just take a look here.
Which are the official London apps?
– London 2012: Official Results App for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. It provides all the latest news, schedules and results, allowing users to keep up-to-date with the latest action LIVE across all Olympic sports. Available for iOS, Android, Blackberry operating system and Windows Phone;
– London 2012: The Official London 2012 Join In app is a mobile guide to help you plan, enjoy and share your Games experience. Available for iOS, Android and Blackberry operating system.
Further, what’s the way London has used digital communication to promote this global event? London Eye changes its color every evening at 21:00 based on tweets written from users. Infact, tweets containing keyword about Olympics will be analyzed and according to the sentiment of them, the London Eye will turn yellow in case of positive sentiment, green in case of neutral and purple for negative. That is possible thanks to the collaboration with EDF Energy and some researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) who created an algorithm analyzing incoming tweets.

So, let’s pack, take a plane, carry your smartphone and be the best contributor for the first Social Olympics!

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