The Olympic games in Rio 2016 are engaging large audiences in social media. However, some reports suggest that the volume of interactions in social channels are lower than expected. A survey of US viewers shows that fewer people are following the Olympic Games via social networks than had said they expected to.
But many people are commenting and sharing views on Twitter for example. According to statistics from Socialbakers, the US and Brazil are the countries that most people are tweeting about, followed by India.
Most interactions about Sweden
If we look at Twitter conversations about the Nordic countries, Sweden is clearly in the lead before Denmark (Aug 5 – Aug 16). Almost 100,000 tweets about Sweden and 57,000 about Denmark. There are significantly fewer comments about Norway and Finland. The peak for Sweden came after the women’s football team beat USA in the quarter finals on penalties.
(click for larger image)
More statistics on social media at the Olympics can be found here.
While most organizations are adapting to a world where transparency is the cathword, the IOC is moving in the opposite direction. With an attitude worthy a dictatorship, the IOC tries to control every communicative aspect of the Olympic games in Athens.
First we learned that spectators are banned from the arenas if they bring in products of the wrong brand. Then we all laughed at the moronic linking policy of Athens 2004.
Now USA Today reports that Olympic athletes are largely barred from posting online diaries such as blogs.
“The IOC’s rationale for the restrictions is that athletes and their coaches should not serve as journalists — and that the interests of broadcast rightsholders and accredited media come first.”
“The Olympic guidelines threaten to yank credentials from athletes who are in violation as well as to impose other sanctions or take legal action for any monetary damages.”
The US army tried a control/command approach in Iraq but failed miserably. Why would the IOC succeed in controlling the debate, and for what reason? Today, media consumers are also producers and anyone equipped with a digital camera or an internet connection can scoop big media. Trying to stop people from expressing what they see is a violation of freedom of speech.
In the end, it is we as consumers who pay for this spectacle by bying products from the sponsors, by watching the ads that finance media, by visiting the arenas and so on. We should demand a diversity of voices and not accept propaganda style reporting.
(Link via Micro Persuasion)
The people who dreamed up the Athens 2004 linking policy have become the laughing stock of the entire internet, to the extent that the topic is no 3 at Daypop’s Top 40 list of the most popular (or in this case ridiculed) topics on the net.
As an example: In order to place a link embedded in copy interested parties should:
a) Use the term ATHENS 2004 only, and no other term as the text referent
b) Not associate the link with any image, esp. the ATHENS 2004 Emblem (see paragraph below)
c) Send a request letter to the Internet Department stating:
-Short description of site
-Reason for linking
-Unique URL containing the link (if no unique URL than just the main URL)
Contact point (e-mail address)
The control/command attitude of the Olympic organization does not work in a blog-enabled world and the whole idea of controlling how people link to your site is just counterproductive and bad PR. Rick E. Bruner summarizes:
Apparently the folks behind Athens 2004, the offical site for the current Olympics, still use AOL or have only read about the Internet in airline magazines.