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?

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