#thesocialolympics

I’ve lost count of the number of times the London Olympics has been called “the social Olympics”. It’s envisaged that in today’s social media environment, these games will receive an incredible amount of online and crowdsourced coverage.

Are you prepared for the Twitter onslaught?

Twitter downtime this week has already led to speculation about the platform’s capacity to cope when the games commence,  although Twitter reps have said Olympics tweeting was not the culprit. Whatever the cause, you can expect the Twitterverse to be overwhelmed by Olympics updates, people cheering on their favourites or moaning over the results, retweets of athlete’s reflections, Twitpics taken at events and much more.

Twitter will take on a  more physical presence when the London Eye (a ferris wheel) becomes “a giant mood ring, projecting England’s Twitter-based sentiment about the upcoming Olympic Games” [read more].

Our national broadcaster, the ABC, has set up a new Twitter account dedicated to Olympics coverage called @ABCOlympics. Our Olympics team has an account and specific sports have their own accounts such as Swimming Australia https://twitter.com/SwimmingAUS , Rowing https://twitter.com/RowingAust and Basketball https://twitter.com/BasketballAus – long term accounts, but currently with an Olympics focus.

Australian Olympics team
Australian Olympics team on Twitter

Of course, the Olympics itself has an official Twitter account and you’ll also find one for the Olympics Village (couldn’t that one get amusing, if it wanted to be?) .

The battle of the hashtags will be interesting to watch. The official Olympics account uses a variety including #olympics and #london2012. Countries are using their own Twitter hastags, with the USA using #TeamUSA and Great Britain using #OurGreatestTeam while Australia features the rather dry #InspirationofOurNation in its bio, although it has used #theaussiesarecoming (which of course won’t be relevant during the actual games).

Within Olympics tweeting you’ll see users start to hone down to specific sports tags like #fencing and #football.

Hashtags will emerge to cover incidents that are amusing, outrageous, heartbreaking and more.

Hurdler Michelle Jenneke hit the headlines with her dancing warm up routine which has gained millions of YouTube views (see below). Search for her on Twitter now, and the search results will provide a lot of accounts. The real one appears to be https://twitter.com/MJenneke but I could be wrong – there’s no official verification there. And she’s using the hashtag #supportmichelle. Sounds like an awesome hashtag, to me.

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