Social media and the 2008 Olympic Games

beijing2008logo The opening ceremony for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing gets underway at midday GMT today, an event that will be broadcast live on television across the world.

During the next two weeks, you’ll be hard pressed to avoid seeing and hearing about the Olympic Games whenever you turn on the TV or radio or pick up a newspaper at the newsstand.

For sports fans (and anyone else like me who simply enjoys watching a series of such spectacular events that celebrate what people can achieve), this will be an amazing two weeks.

So the mainstream media – and especially television – is the place to go, so to speak, to catch the full audio-visual majesty of these games.

I can see my PVR working overtime during these Olympics.

I’m also interested in the niche views – what individuals are experiencing that won’t make the mainstream coverage; what those individuals think about what they’re experiencing and how they interpret events.

Social media is the perfect means to do that. I have my RSS alert for blogs set up plus some specific keyword watches in FeedDemon. I’ve also subscribed to the special Olympics coverage at Global Voices which I’m sure will have some really interesting content.

I’ve done little more than that at the moment as the sheer volume of content out there is already almost overwhelming.

ReadWriteWeb has a couple of good posts about social media and the Olympics, about video and mobile. All a bit too US centric for me but useful nevertheless.

For my video consumption, I’ll be paying most attention to three resources:

  1. The BBC’s Olympics coverage on TV as well as online (the reporters’ Olympics blog in particular) to get the mainstream media perspective.
  2. To complement that, I’ll be checking in to the Qik 2008 Olympics event page which will aggregate live video from qikkers in Beijing broadcasting from their mobile phones. Unfiltered views, should be interesting.
  3. I’ll also be checking the official Beijing Olympics 2008 YouTube Channel to see what filtered video content looks like.

And of course, there’s Twitter.

So many individual people will be tweeting and there’ll be no shortage of instant commentary and opinion.

One neat idea focused on today is #080808, an initiative from a group of Chinese bloggers:

8 is a lucky number for the Chinese, and 08/08/08 is definitely a very special day. Twitter users can add the hashtag #080808 to all your tweets about Beijing Olympics on the 08/08/08. Currently if you search for #080808, you can see a new #080808 tweet coming up every 0.5 seconds!

Plenty to get stuck into.

What resources are you using to keep with with the 2008 Olympics?

About Neville Hobson

Entrepreneurial business communicator with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Co-host of the weekly business podcast For Immediate Release: The Hobson and Holtz Report. Also an occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Follow me on Twitter and Google+.