Social Media and the Vancouver Winter Olympics

Vancouver 2010

With only 11 days to go before the Vancouver Olympics begin, the excitement is building here and I thought this would be a good time to update on our last post about the Olympics and Social Media.

Since posting over a year ago, it would appear that the Olympic organisation has embraced social media somewhat and had some hick-ups on the way.

The Olympics on Twitter

In November VANOC was chastised for their poor response on Twitter when thousands were left waiting and eventually dissed because of a glitch in their ticket ordering system: rather than using Twitter as a customer service tool to let customers know exactly what was going on, their Tweets were ambiguous and erratic.

You can enjoy “timely Tweets from the VANOC communications team” at 2010 Tweets, where the organisation continues to push out information about itself with little interaction or true community building. The same can be said for their other feeds: @followthe flame, @code2010.

The Olympics on Facebook

They do rather better on Facebook, it has to be said. Both Vancouver 2010 and The Cultural Olympics are well represented there.

Again, fans cannot contribute to posts on the site but they can and do comment – most of them being positive.

The less publicised Canada Code page though is centred around community and collaboration. The Canada Code website encourages everyone to upload photos and text sharing their Olympic experiences. If you do, you could win a pair of those red mittens everyone is trying to get their hands on (or on their hands as the case may be!) and if you are really lucky your content may be shared on public screens across Vancouver during the event. Now that is more like it VANOC! From their Facebook page:

The Olympics and Citizen Journalism

As for the Olympics embracing social media journalism, according to VANCOUVER ACCESS 2010, a collection of multi-media content; blog posts, pictures and videos covering the various winter/summer sports and cultural events, despite numerous attempts by prominent social media commentators VANOC seems to still be ignoring this vehicle:

“Over the past few years, as a group, we have spoken at various conferences and events about the impact of citizen journalism, social media and the internet on the various Olympics, IOC and “ANY”OC brands. We sent VANOC several letters over the past 18 months requesting to meet with them, and have a discussion about this change in culture… Without any replies.”

Seems a shame to ignore such valuable contributions.

Watch out for more on social media and the Olympics over the next month.


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