London 2012 has been dubbed the first “Socialympics” by many people and today’s DP Challenge is asking the question about how did we, the online community, view it?
I personally blogged a few times about the Olympics this past fortnight and I engaged with other bloggers about their views on it too. I have to admit that my main social-media interaction came on Facebook, not my own blog. I think the whole Twitter/Facebook thing has been GREAT for sharing immediate opinions and feedback on things that were happening at the Games, and for considered opinions or sharing pictures that were meaningful to me I found WordPress a better platform.
For example, last night’s closing ceremony. I sat with my laptop on my knee as we watched the ceremony and I must have posted a dozen status updates on Facebook about what was going on. I commented on other people’s statuses about five times that amount though!! It was hilarious to share other people’s views on things, and to share jokes and pictures etc. It was much faster to engage with things there – it was more immediate and therefore made me feel more involved.
My blog here on WordPress is a different experience. For a start, most of my readers, followers and commentators are not from my own country so anything I share on here has to be composed with them in mind. A lot of what I share on Facebook would seem completely alien to my American friends. For example, using the closing ceremony again, there were references in there that are subtle in-jokes to us Brits and the sense of the joke would have been lost in having to explain it differently, or composed differently here on WordPress whereas on Facebook where my friends are a mixture of real-life friends (who know how bonkers I am really!) and gaming friends any jokes and comments are instantly understood with just a few words or the odd “indeed!!” on other people’s statuses.
I find Twitter too fast to follow properly. I don’t know if that’s my age or what, but if I am following an event and tweets about it, it just happens far too fast for me to keep up with and to get a grip of. I suppose you could say Twitter is a bit like WordPress in the sense that my audience is largely made up of people who I only know online. Keeping up with Twitter puts me in mind of trying to open your mouth to get a drink of water in a torrential rain-storm; no matter how much you try to catch it, you can only ever get enough to take the edge of your dry throat and nowhere near enough to satisfy your thirst properly.
With regards to the Olympics I thought that the BBC’s online coverage was absolutely top class. I downloaded the Android app for the Games, and it was awesome. So much information about the events and the athletes at the touch of a screen – brilliant.
So, the social media side of London 2012 has been a fantastic experience for me, but only for the bits that I could keep up with. Each of the platforms had their benefits and suited different people but I suspect that there would have been many people who, like me, the real success lay in combining the different approaches and using the different speeds of interaction on them.
By the time the next Olympics rolls round social media will have moved on through another cycle or two of evolution, as it has since the last one, and it will be interesting to see just how much more we can interact with things like the Games on a global scale. Maybe we will have more interaction with the referees and judges as well as the athletes and competitors? Maybe we will be the judges – X Factor style! Who knows? Let’s wait and see what happens shall we?!