This week, Mashable has given us a great insight into the way that social media has transformed between the 2008 Beijing Olympics and London 2012. Over the past four years, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have become powerhouses of knowledge and news, and this summer more than ever the world will be experiencing the Games through social media. The appeal is in the convenience. Your Facebook & Twitter feeds and your YouTube digest can now be tailored specifically according to the things you really care about. So if you want to keep up with the Games, you don’t have to navigate away from the rest of the lifestyle bubble that is your virtual world.
Social media mashup website olympics.sportrightnow.com offers an amalgamation of information from Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, which in theory is perfect for getting all-round updates on the action. It feeds from the media, the public and the athletes themselves, so if you’re looking for comprehensive reports on every aspect of the Games, then Sportrightnow seems like a great place to stay in the know.
However, it does take away that personal element that you get using and browsing through your personal profile, as ‘you’. Even the website itself admits to only hoping to be ‘the next best thing’ after live Tweets about the Games. As consumers, it seems that whilst we do like to have everything in one place, we don’t like change – and this is why no mashup site is expecting to take significant amounts of traffic away from the social media giants.
Another development since Beijing 2008 is that we can now follow our GB stars’ own personal stories through Twitter. In the past four years, thousands of celebrities have begun to use Twitter as their main port of direct contact with fans. Throughout the Olympics, athletes can add a more intimate aspect to their journey. Fans can support the athletes through social media, and now Team GB can help the public to understand a more ‘real’ side of London 2012.
The gap between the tech world and the real world has closed dramatically since the last Olympic Games, and with social media making the internet more user-friendly than ever, this is a trend set to continue for many Games to come.