This week’s segment on Harftime focused on the 2012 London Olympic Games, the explosion it will cause on Twitter, and it's overall impact on social media.


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The IOC's social media policy

Like all sports now, the International Olympic Committee has a social media policy. Unfortunately, the policy itself is rather cumbersome for athletes. You can have a read through it yourself to see it's complexity.

Even with this policy in place, the policing of such guidelines will be a major struggle for the IOC, as outlined by Paul Waldie in The Globe and Mail.

The Olympics and Ambush Marketing

As well as clamping down on athletes using social media, the men in charge of London 2012 will also be keeping a close eye on any ambush marketing attempts during the Games, with reports of up to 300 advertising enforcement officers patrolling the Olympic venues to ensure traders are not staging “ambush marketing”, thus illegally associating themselves with the Games.

How will we watch the Olympics?

Did you check out the Infographic that appeared on Sports Geek this week, outlining how people will be watching and engaging with the Olympics?

Olympic Officials on Twitter

The official Twitter accounts for the London Games are @Olympics and @London2012.

For more people to follow during the Olympics, check out our post of 20 must follows during the Games.

These aren't the only media channels/athletes who will be tweeting from the Olympics, but they are a great starting point for who to follow.

What to expect?

Expect the Twitter world record of 15,000 tweets per second from the #EURO2012 final to be surpassed during the Games, most likely when @usainbolt or @MichaelPhelps do their thing. For the record, this year's Super Bowl is second for tweets per second, with 12,000 tweets per second during the game.

Until Next Week

Listen to Harf Time on Wednesdays (at 2:45pm) when Sean Callanan discuss sports digital with Daniel Harford.

Tune into Harf Time over the weekdays from 12-4pm on 1116 SEN.

Get the Sports Geek podcasts

Want to get these clips in podcast form? Subscribe here or Add to iTunes

Podcast transcription

HARF: Eleven to three on Harf Time, joined by Sean Callanan our sports digital media guru. Ahead of the big Olympic campaign, good day Sean.

SEAN: Good day Harf how you doing?

HARF: Going well mate, going well. What are we expecting? Do we expect an explosion of social media activity during the next two weeks?

SEAN: Well yeah we definitely do. The current – current world, we would expect a lot of world records to be broken at the Olympics.

HARF: Nice. Nice.

SEAN: And yeah the current world record for Twitter is 12,000 tweets per second.

HARF: What was that; was that Super Bowl?

SEAN: That was – no the Super Bowl was previously it’s the – the Euro Championship.

HARF: Okay yep.

SEAN: Euro 2012, they have the current record at, sorry 15,000, the Super Bowl was 12,000 so I’d expect that we’ll definitely get absolutely crushed, when a big event happens, maybe when you know Michael Phelps hits the pool and starts dragging in more gold.

HARF: Usain maybe.

SEAN: Or may be Usain Bolt when the 100 metres goes, I mean it’s only a 10 second – 10 second race so you’d expect a lot of people.

HARF: That’s a lot of tweeting.

SEAN: And the thing is you know surveys are showing that a lot of people will just go to social media to cheer on an athlete, you know just pretty much go onto Twitter and say – – –

HARF: Watch and cheer together.

SEAN: – – – watch and cheer together and most likely be following along. The thing is it will explode and the thing is with the IOC it’s a very much a controlling body, they’ve got a – they’ve got a YouTube channel that’s almost – – –

HARF: Who does?

SEAN: – – – the IOC has got a YouTube channel, you can go and watch the videos, but only on their YouTube channel.

HARF: Pretty boring.

SEAN: Well you know for instance they’ve got.

HARF: Not about their meetings, but the great moments in Olympic history.

SEAN: Yeah but they’ve got moments and they’re also promoting their new song, the song for the Olympics and you can go check it out but you know in 10 days’ time you’ll be sick of it, and it’s from Mews. But they’ve got a – – –

HARF: It’s not Amigos Para Siempre is it? He’s not coming back is he.

SEAN: No, no but it’s – but they’ve got a video – a video there that if you share that video on Facebook it doesn’t play. If you embed it on your blog it doesn’t play it comes up and says “please watch this video back on the IOC’s YouTube channel. Which is – almost goes against every single thing that social media is all about.

HARF: Yeah absolutely.

SEAN: And so if you see you know that video has – doesn’t have as many views as what other you know viral videos that we’ve seen over the time go. So I’m sure that they’ll be trying to track down all that video that people might be sharing of big events and things happening in the Games, but I think it will be to the detriment of – of the Games. I think they should just let it happening, let the explosion happen. Let the – let the players, let the athletes tweet, you know there’s a four page guidelines for the athletes in what they can and can’t do and most of it – it should just be you know don’t be an idiot.

HARF: Is it common sense?

SEAN: And use common sense, but they’re – but they’ve tried to put a lot of restrictions on them. I’d expect all the athletes to be taking pictures with their phones while they’re – you know in the Opening Ceremony as they’re walking in, they’ll be taking shots, using instagram – – –

HARF: Yeah absolutely. The Village.

SEAN: They can take pictures in the Village, are allowed too, what they’re not allowed to do is be their own paparazzi, so you can’t go oh look there’s a James eating breakfast, click take a photo of him. So there is a bit of you know respect the privacy of other athletes, but most of them will, you know most of them are common sense if you’ve been following Steph Rice on Instragram, which I would think a lot of people now are after she was shooting, taking pics of herself in the bathers a couple of weeks – a couple of weeks ago. She’s had pictures of herself with Kobe Bryant and when she met him at – when he came down the pool. So you will get that insider access from – from the athletes, and I think Instagram will be a really big winner, as people find it, but it will be yeah. And then the other thing is that a lot of people will be using Twitter to like tune in, you know you’ll be finding out you know because there were like 8, 10, 11 channels available on Foxtel to watch, you can’t keep track of everything that’s on, but what you might be doing you might be watching you know a match of basketball or hockey or judo or Greco Roman, if that’s your thing.

HARF: I like that, that’s my thing.

SEAN: And – but what you might find is someone will say oh so and so’s on deck, or this match is amazing and it will cause you to flick – change channel. And the thing is if you know if the IOC and even Seb Coe the – you know the great runner from Great Britain is trying to discourage the athlete, he’s trying to tell them to tweet so much, and he’s trying to even say that if you tweet too much it’s effecting performance. There’s not enough – there’ s not even enough data to do that – – –

HARF: Give us a spell Seb.

SEAN: – – – exactly give us a spell. I mean really the athletes need to realise that they can engage or at least share their experience. This is their, you know for a lot of these athletes, this is their one time to shine, they’ve only got – you know they only really get the world stage once every four years, why can’t they share that experience and they might be just doing it to share it with their family and friends. And we’re lucky as fans – – –

HARF: Their one million family and friends.

SEAN: – – – and we’re lucky to be included in that little – little circle because of that. So – so expect the athletes to be sharing you know Leedsy was asking when – when do I think a scandal will develop via social media. It will pretty much happen by the end of the Opening Ceremony.

HARF: Opening Ceremony, I’m thinking it would be half way through.

SEAN: Half way through someone will – someone will tweet, there’s probably a chance that one of the athletes will tweet who’s going to light the cauldron. You know it will break, it just – – –

HARF: And they’ll be kicked out of the Village and not allowed to compete.

SEAN: Yeah exactly.

HARF: Pick story.

SEAN: So you know guys like Nick Darcy and Kenrick Monk are trying to stay a little bit longer from their – from their faux pas earlier – – –

HARF: Yeah hoping something’s fine, maybe at one stage.

SEAN: you know there will be probably more – more problems coming along where yeah there’ll be leaks and things like that. So – –

HARF: So the people we need to follow @usainbolt, @michaelphelps, we need to follow them,
because obviously they’re big names – – –

SEAN: The official accounts are @olympics, @london2012, but there will be a whole stack, you know Twitter is going to and Facebook have got partnerships with NBC to do little social hubs, the Olympics will be pushing it out there on all the channels.

HARF: Basically if you’re on Twitter you won’t be able to miss it.

SEAN: Yeah Twitter will just go berserk and you’ll at least find all the people to follow, and you know the ones that are sharing the good content will get retweeted and will float to the surface, you’ll be able to find them.

HARF: And we’ll go to sportsgeekHQ and follow all the latest from the world of the Olympics. Mate great to see you thanks for coming in.

SEAN: No worries Harf.

HARF: Sean Callanan, our sports digital media guru. After the break its quiz time, 9429, 11.16.