Friday, July 27, 2012

Kicking Off the 2012 Summer Olympics Social Media Style

It’s just a few hours from the opening ceremony for the 2012 London Olympics (airing here in the U.S.) and I can’t help but get sucked in already.  I just saw an image on Facebook from the New York Times of a group of Mary Poppins look-a-likes descending upon the stadium, I can’t want to see the entire event later this evening.

Many are saying that this is the year of the “socialympics.”  Social media has exploded over the last four years with millions of people now sharing their updates, photos and locations on various platforms.

This means great things for this year’s Olympics – up-to-the minute updates on results, events, stories, etc. not only from the traditional media but from the thousands of spectators sharing their views of the events on their own social networks.

However, it also means huge spoiler alerts for those of us on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean.  The man behind Friday’s Opening Ceremonies, Danny Boyle, was so concerned about people sharing too many details from rehearsals that he created and promoted the hashtag #savethesurprise to discourage people from sharing details of the big event.

Social media also poses new challenges with what is appropriate and not appropriate to share. The IOC issued some strict social media guidelines for athletes this year. And, these are not to be taken lightly. You probably heard about the athlete from Greece who was expelled from this year’s games after posting a racist remark on Twitter.

For those of you wanting to get the full social media experience surrounding this year’s Summer Games, here are a few sites to help you do that:

The 2012 Olympics Social Media Guide
Your Complete Social Media Guide to the 2012 London Olympics
NBC Olympics’ Social Guide to the Summer Games

As the official media sponsor of the 2012 London Olympics, NBC has set up a slew of social media properties for sharing and posting information including:

Instagram: @NBCOlympics
Google+: NBCOlympics

It also includes Twitter handles for all of the reporters covering the Olympics, some of which are even broken down by the sport they cover so you can find out all about soccer by following 10 different correspondents.

I know I won’t be able to watch as much of the events as I would like to but I look forward to seeing updates and getting details via social media this year.  How will you experience this year’s Olympics?

Friday, February 17, 2012

How The Social Web is Sucking Us Dry: Pinterest, Words With Friends, Facebook, Oh My!

I remember when I first joined Facebook one of my new Facebook friends said to me “welcome to the ultimate time suck.”  He was right. I soon became fascinated with Facebook and all of the long lost friends and acquaintances I was reconnecting with every day. I felt the need and desire to check in and see what everyone else was up to on a regular basis.

I’ve managed to inflict some sense of self-control and am no longer obsessed with Facebook, but I admit I still check it quite frequently. 

Isn’t it funny how social networking has in some ways made it easier to connect with people but in other ways it has made it harder because we feel the need to update our friends with so many details of our daily life?

Pinterest just opened another forum for sharing and exchanging information among people with similar interests and it is exploding in popularity. I admit, I am curious about this new social network. I’ve read a lot about it, heard the buzz from my Facebook friends and have joined the group and started to dabble with it. However, I feel as though I don’t have time for another social network, much less one that is going to distract me with delicious recipes and crafty things a person like me was never meant to attempt to make.

Words with Friends is another example of what appears to be a fun social game, but will also bring out the obsessive compulsive person in you. I had lunch with a good friend the other day who couldn’t stop talking about Words with Friends. I again had heard the buzz but hadn’t taken the bait.  She said it was so much fun and that she would invite me to play with her.  I flat out refused. While it did look like a lot of fun, I told myself I cannot have one more thing distract me from my day to day activities.

As a public relations professional focused primarily in the high tech industry, I feel compelled to keep up with the latest technologies and play around with the newest social tools.  In fact, I use a lot of these tools like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn on a regular basis for my job.

However, with more personal social media tools, there is a line between exploring and jumping in feet first.  For now, I’ll continue to pick and choose where and how much time I spend on social networks and hope that I don’t miss out on a wonderful crème brulee or creating a fabulous new word with my remaining tiles.