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?

Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

  1. Rebecca Caroe

    Great post. May I echo it and show you a link to a “niche-of-a-niche” site I run for rowers.

    We’re obviously only following one sport in detail, but I’ve found about 7 athletes blogging from Beijing (and hosting one of them).

    And there are relatively few people reading blogs from the community so we’re provising a dailiy summary of updates from the athletes, as well as live blogging the racing which starts at 6.00 am tomorrow morning.


    But a great opportunity to educate the niche rowing world about what’s out there in social media.


  2. Dave Fleet

    There’s no way I’d set up searches for the Olympics without some kind of filtering like AideRSS or similar. The sheer volume would be overwhelming. A service like AideRSS, though, would let you knock out all but the best posts and make it a bit more manageable.

  3. neville

    That’s a great example, Rebecca. Niche within a niche. Which is entirely possible, as you demonstrate.

    I’ve looked at AideRSS before, Dave. It’s good but it’s not for me. Don’t like the popularity focus as what’s popular according to AideRSS isn’t necessarily what I want to read. I prefer to do my own filtering. So what I’ve set up with keywords especially in FeedDemon works fine.

    But I expect to add/subtract to/from what I’m paying attention to in the coming days.

  4. Armin

    None. None at all.

    I’ve decided to passively ignore all spectator sport from now on. While I won’t take active steps to ignore it (e.g. I won’t change radio stations if it happens to come up in the news) I’ve decided not to actively seek out any news about it (e.g. click on a link to read something or change the station to get sport news).

    Life is too short to follow other people doing something when there are so many things to do and achieve myself.

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