This is a guest post by Anil Sharma who is a blogger for Fresh Networks
The Olympics games, or as it is officially known through the blogosphere the ‘social olympics.’
The games have been dubbed the ‘social’ Olympics, due to the amount of social activity that has been surrounding them.
From the lead up to the Olympics, Twitter has been used time and time again by the organising committee, to the athletes and 2012 volunteers – with LOCOG even creating a Twitter account to post pictures of the Olympic Park throughout development to completion and through to the events happening at the moment. The Olympics has seen a spike in activity like never before, with athletes gaining more than triple their following after winning an event.
According to statistics issued by Twitter some weeks ago, their users rate has more than quadrupled since the 2008 Beijing Olympics, from 6 million users in 2008 to 500 million users.
Nearly 10 million tweets were sent during the opening ceremony (excluding Tim-Berners-Lee) and nearly 4.4 million mentions of Team GB have been made since the Olympics began.
As expected the biggest charge came on the 4th of August when Team GB surpassed expectations and won six gold medals, including the success made by Mo Farah in the 10,000 metres and heptathlon success made by Team GB ‘poster girl’ Jessica Ennis.
Never before has a social network been so involved with a major sporting event as it has been with the London 2012 Olympic games, whether it be people tweeting at how fast Usain Bolt is or to the now famous NBC fail hashtag.
The Olympics is an interesting time to say the least, even more so with information hungry spectators taking to the microblogging site to post their views on what is the greatest show on earth.
The role of Twitter was amplified when Tim-Berners-Lee tweeted ‘This is for everyone #london2012 #oneweb #openingceremony’’ during the opening ceremony – a message which was then displayed by the audience to all spectators in the Olympic stadium.
The microblogging site has definitely been at the forefront of all social networks and media since the Olympic games started and it seems it has no intention of slowing down.
From the track to Twitter
It’s not only the millions of spectators tweeting about the games, this spike of Tweets being sent refers also to the many athletes on the site too – who have actively been interacting with supporters.
Twitter has even taught me and many people a thing or two about sports I had no interest in watching, but was compelled to watch due to rules and commentary being ridiculed and in most cases enhanced through twitter.
The thing with Twitter is, it IS truly a social network as we are free to connect to anyone we like at any time and tweet to them. This what being a social network is about and allowing users who do not necessarily know each other to talk on a level playing field which is the games right now.
With this said, I think it is fair to say that people are actually watching the screen in their hand or on their laps and not just the one at the front of the room.