[audio:http://sportsgeekhq.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/ABCGrandstandSportsGeekOlympics-2.mp3|titles=ABC Grandstand SportsGeek Olympics update]
With persudaing by Gary Lineker Ian has joined twitter with over 50k follower already!
FRANCIS: Sean Callanan is our man from the SportsGeekHQ. When it comes to all things at the social games, digital media rules. How are you mate? Welcome to Grandstand again.
SEAN: Good thanks, yeah good to be here.
FRANCIS: It’s been amazing hasn’t it, the – Twitter and Instagram have dominated the Games.
SEAN: Well the thing is – the good thing is it’s starting to actually focus on the games. I think as the – as the Games and more of the sports are kicking in, it’s more been about the athletes and the results and we’re seeing a little bit less of the problem tweets and the problems with the Games, it’s still to start to focus on the positivity of – of the athletes and their performances, which is you know, that’s definitely you know for the first couple of days it was all about oh here’s the problems, you know, we talked about the, you know, the Olympics Seats account which just keeps tweeting about oh no one’s sitting in me, or the best one I’ve found is “Oh my God I’m a bag chair”, you know, so – so that’s the – – –
FRANCIS: The ultimate insult.
SEAN: – – – the ultimate insult, but yeah now the focus has more been turned to – to the athletes themselves.
FEMALE: What sort of – how do you think the athletes have approached Twitter for this Olympics; have most embraced it and been on it all the time, or have they jumped off it? I saw a good interview with one of the media spokes people from the Australian Olympic Committee last night on 7.30 and she mentioned I think that the Australian Cycling Team they all came together and said right that’s it we’re off Twitter, we’re not going to touch our phones or touch the internet for the next week or so.
FRANCIS: I’d die.
SEAN: Yep – yeah and I’d been getting the shakes. But yeah I think that is, has become a point. There are a few media commentators, and you know Eddie McGuire’s one on Foxtel who seems to be banging the drum that Twitter is evil and they shouldn’t be watching it all the time and it’s effecting their performances. There’s a little – you know there’s a little bit of truth in that – in that if they are watching Twitter and they’re always connected, but it’s the same as if they were always reading newspapers or always reading the blogs, that’s always been the case. We did some training with the – the water polo teams, the Seniors and the Sharks and we pretty much said yeah you want to be in there, you want to engage because you want your fans to know hey we’re on telly right now or our game’s coming up and you want them to using you know their hash tags as – as theirs is hard as Sharks, or if you read it a little bit quicker, it could be something different, and deliberately so. But the thing is that yeah the fan – the players need to realise that I’m going to switch on to the game, you know switch on and focus for my race, and that is when you turn your – turn your phone off and you know that’s – I think that’s where potentially you know the swimming team potentially hasn’t really figure out we need those rules in place.
FEMALE: Yeah and we saw Emily Seebohm missed out on the gold and basically blamed it on Twitter didn’t she – sort of.
SEAN: Oh she – yeah I think the media ran with that story a little bit more than – than was necessary, but yeah she probably could of just dialled back you know and the thing is it’s pretty overwhelming because these athletes, you know all of them, you know even guys like Michael Phelps don’t realise what kind of exposure they’re going to get in the Olympics, especially for a social games, like Phelps grew 131,000 Twitter followers yesterday. So he’s just still trying to understand what this social games, so for someone like Emily Seebohm, who was relatively unknown from a general sporting media point of view, the – the response has been phenomenal.
FRANCIS: Who’s been making fun out there? Who’s having the most fun on Twitter during the Games?
SEAN: So – so there’s few. Obviously we’ve talked about the parody accounts, and one of the one one’s we had talked about before, Not Bill Walton, the Team USA are currently beating up on Nigeria at the moment and he tweeted “Team USA are paying for all the Americans whoever fell for a Nigerian email scam”, so you know it’s – – –
FRANCIS: And we’re cheering them on.
SEAN: – – -exactly, exactly. And the other – the other one from a really innovative use of Twitter is that the London 2012 have set up Twitter accounts at all the different stadiums connected to the cameras.
FRANCIS: So how does that work?
SEAN: So effectively they’ve set up separate accounts it would be L2012poolcam, matcam, bballcam, stadiumcam, and they’re effectively just taking shots from underneath the pool, as the guys are diving in or you know high shots above the judo mats with – with competitors sprawled out after they’ve tapped out. So it’s a really unique view of the Games, so you know it’s just another way to show how you can, you know, get that insider access that you previously didn’t get.
FEMALE: And Thorpie’s on Twitter, look out I did join him last night.
FRANCIS: Wow how you get on to that?
SEAN: @ianthorpe, so some poor guy that probably had the account has just got – has got the moved sideways for Thorpie and he’s joined up.
FEMALE: How does that work? How can he do that?
SEAN: Well you’ve got to know the right – know the right people. So – – –
FRANCIS: He’s got a pair of concrete shoes and been dropped off a pier somewhere.
SEAN: Yeah exactly. So the people have been.
FRANCIS: Would you pay for a Twitter handle then? Like – like a – I guess you know like Domain Real Estate.
SEAN: Yeah there is. I mean the fact that he has got @ianthorpe, and you would have thought it’s a pretty relatively common name, there would have been someone, but it’s a bit like the poor – the poor girl that had the Twitter handle The Ashes, and everyone started tweeting her about cricket.
FEMALE: Abusing her.
FRANCIS: She ended up coming to the Test match in Sydney.
SEAN: Yeah so may be having the handle Ian Thorpe wasn’t that great because people were probably tweeting him anyway saying why aren’t you swimming, and come on get off the couch. So now he’s actually official, it’s been verified, he’s started tweeting, so we are seeing you know and we talked about Rowan Atkinson joining Twitter yesterday, a few celebrities and commentators going well might have to get on this band wagon everyone’s talking about it.
FRANCIS: Is Nikki Webster on Twitter?
SEAN: I don’t know, I will check it out. But another – – –
FRANCIS: No you won’t it’s okay.
SEAN: No I will find out, but one stat that I did and you would only find this stuff on Twitter, Michael
Phelps when he was 10 was the second best swimmer in the US.
FRANCIS: Who was the best?
SEAN: The best was Chris Humphries.
FRANCIS: Is he on Twitter?
SEAN: Do you know who Chris Humphries is?
FRANCIS: He’s a basketballer isn’t he?
SEAN: He’s a basketballer. He was Mr Kim Kardashian for 73 days.
FRANCIS: Oh he married her.
SEAN: Yes so he was the best swimmer as a 10 year old behind Michael Phelps and some of his records still stand as a 10 year old. So I don’t know what’s a better claim to fame, you know, beating Michael Phelps in the pool or married to Kim Kardashian for 73 days.
FRANCIS: It’s quite a life.
SEAN: Yeah it’s a terrific autobiography if he starts there. I mean what’s next for Chris Humphries.
FRANCIS: Sky’s the limit. Good of you to come in. Now are you heading off to the States?
SEAN: Yes, heading off to SEAT Conference in Boston as of tomorrow. Lot of travel but catching up with some of the sports and technology executives over there and I’ll be able to give you a few reports on how the Olympics are being covered in the States and also what they’re doing in the sports technology space.
FRANCIS: And fascinating to hear what the analysis is from those within that space about what the Games has done to change Twitter or you know what the dynamic is when it converges on a big event like this and what we’ve learnt from it.
SEAN: Yeah definitely. Like Twitter is doing a big activation with NBC, which is quite strange because everyone’s talking about the Games but then they can’t watch it for another three hours.
FRANCIS: So they’re now putting Twitter in delay are they?
SEAN: Well the thing is all the athletes are literally putting the hash tag spoiler alert on their tweets so – – –
FRANCIS: Don’t watch it if you don’t want to know.
SEAN: Nathan Adrian who beat – he said spoiler alert “Oh by the way I won a gold medal”.
FEMALE: But that’s in this day and age just extraordinary isn’t it.
SEAN: Yeah exactly.
FEMALE: There’s been a massive backlash towards NBC and how they broadcast the Olympics.
SEAN: Definitely like Lolo Jones.
FRANCIS: They don’t have a Ray or the Rays that we’ve got or quality.
SEAN: Yeah well Lolo Jones, the hurdler, has said you know I’m sick of it, I’m going to tweet my support for my fellow Olympians, you know, so too bad.
FEMALE: So they’ve been told the American athletes you can’t?
SEAN: No, no it’s the fans. Like an athlete will say congratulations and the fans will abuse them and say I’m waiting to watch it on TV don’t tell me. It was like well get off Twitter.
FEMALE: That is just ridiculous isn’t it?
SEAN: Yeah it is a shame. But I mean the thing is the ratings are still there, they’re getting great ratings. NBC says we’ve made the right decision, but you know – you know Lofty Phelps race was on at 2.30 in the afternoon and they couldn’t watch it for another four hours.
FRANCIS: How can you do that? Good on you mate, safe travel to the States and we’ll talk to you from over there.
SEAN: No worries Frank.
FRANCIS: Sean Callanan, our man when it comes to all things digital sports, see sportsgeekHQ.