British double Olympic gold medal decathlete Daley Thompson launches the world’s first social media driven light show at the EDF Energy London Eye in London July 19.
It’s 2012. Where will you be watching the Summer Olympics?
“Watching” may not be the most appropriate word, actually. How about, streaming? Following? Through what medium and on which device?
On the go or in the office (though that’s probably not a good idea), you don’t have to miss a second of your favorite team, athlete or event.
According to a recent USA TODAY article, new social media apps keeps the torch shining on every aspect of the Games.
Social media and technology connect people and ideas; the Olympics unite athletes and countries. Now, social media meets the Olympics and allows for the best of worldwide sharing, engaging and cheering.
A large social media presence and focus on the Olympics is simply unprecedented — specifically for the Summer Olympics.
Put this in perspective: During the 2004 Summer Games in Athens, Myspace was about a year old. During the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing, Twitter and Facebook were just beginning to become popular. Four years later in London … well, we’ll get to that.
At this point, you’re probably not surprised apps geared specifically toward the Olympics were created. But before tomorrow’s opening ceremony, be sure to track down your preferred way to keep up-to-date.
If you’re actually in London:
Lucky you. Get out your smartphone to track down the Olympic torch with TorchTracker, or find various events and celebrations with Join In. The two new apps were released by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games.
And then, for the rest of us:
NBCUniversal will be streaming every single sporting event live on the Web, according to another USA TODAY report. Traditional viewing — plopping down in front of a TV — is no longer necessary when you have a computer or mobile device at all times. Though there was online streaming in the past, less popular events were looked over.
The Guardian has also rolled out many interactive features for viewers, including Second Screen — a live, visual dashboard for the computer or tablet that displays live blogs, results, pictures and tweets. There are also virtual stadium tours and an interactive that allows users to compare their own athletic achievements with Olympic athletes. And, of course, then share it on Facebook and Twitter.
Analysts are predicting the games will hit a record-breaking 100 million tweets per second. In fact, NBCUniversal has partnered with Twitter to boost the social media site’s presence at the games. Twitter will curate tweets by athletes, fans and the media onto a single page and NBC will promote it on air.
For really big fans…:
…who don’t want to paint their faces just to watch the Games at home, Panasonic developed Facebook Flag Tags, which crops a transparent flag onto your face in pictures. It keeps track of which countries have the most virtual supporters, too.
Fans can also follow their favorite athletes. The International Olympic Association is encouraging Olympic competitors to tweet their experiences. Usain Bolt (@usainbolt) has 624,000 Twitter followers and 7 million Facebook fans. Michael Phelps (@michaelphelps) has 279,000 Twitter followers and 5.4 million Facebook fans. Ryan Lochte (@ryanlochte), who has 137,000 followers on Twitter, has his own hashtag (#Lochtenation).
For the philanthropist:
Samsung Hope Relay and SoFit Mobile donate to charities based on miles run or users’ steps, respectively.
To join in the competition:
Tweethletes.com converts tweets to distance, allowing users to race athletes. The official website of the Olympics also offers a game called the London 2012 Mini-Game for spectators to enjoy.
During the men’s 100 meter track and field final Aug. 5, the finalists will be racing on Twitter. A tweet will count as 2.5 cm, which means the Twitterverse needs 4,000 tweets to span 100 meters.
The current world record for the 100 meters race is held by Bolt at 9.69 seconds. That’s 413 tweets per second.
Lastly, the increasingly typical:
You can follow the Games on Twitter. While accounts for traditional news sources will keep you posted on top stories and behind-the-scenes interviews, you can also follow the official @Olympics account or your home team (@USOlympic, anyone?). Keep tabs on individual athletes, too — unless they get ousted for offensive tweets. Triple jumper Paraskevi Papachristou from Greece was withdrawn from the Games Wednesday after a racist tweet.
In June, two Australian swimmers were banned from using social media and will be sent home after their events are over because they posted a photo of themselves posing with firearms.
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