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GUEST POST: London 2012 – The First Social Media Games

Essentially, the 2012 London Olympics are the first where the worldwide prominence of social media can truly be taken seriously. Obviously, the Facebook and Twitter element is of huge importance to the event and the sphere of influence around the Games. So, let’s look at some of the areas in which social media has affected, is impacting upon, and may effect the Olympics, in London.


The likelihood social media will have an influence on the Olympics is very high. So much so, athletes have been warned that they are not to tweet commercially during the world’s biggest event. The athletes have been encouraged to post and tweet about their experiences though they must reduce their experiences to ‘first person formats’ and not use obscene material when tweeting during the Olympics, to decrease commercial influence. In Beijing in 2008, Tweeting was a new format, not used to a popular degree, however many athlete’s blogged their experience in China, some in commercial manners – hence the warning from the International Olympics Committee.


Those who have volunteered to work at the Olympics have been warned about their social media and Twitter use during volunteer work. For those who find it instinctive to use a smart phone when something happens, the 2012 Olympics may not be the perfect place. Volunteers have been warned about sharing information on where athletes and politicians are during the event, as well as general social media use. These guidelines have been put in place by the London Organising Committee, who claim it’s not out of the ordinary to  put social media guidelines down for staff to protect their and the athlete’s interests.


Of course social media will also be of significant use for those travelling to and from the games, as well as those using public transport. Transport for London (TFL) will be able to use their social media sites for instant updates for the 3m people that are expected to travel to the games and the different venues used for the events every day. These provisions on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter mean instant updates can be made possible and aid the transport’s smooth running in the world’s first ‘Public Transport Olympics’.


Of course we’ll see a lot of viral video before, during and after the Olympics. Whether, it will be good, bad, or ugly depends on events. We also expect to see some commercial viral marketing campaigns and the possibility for a number of companies to take advantage of the increased prominence of YouTube and viral video like never before. Prepare yourself and your browser for guerrilla clips and smooth marketing videos galore in the summer of 2012.

Whatever happens at the London Olympics 2012. Whether we see a new 100m record, London riots, or Boris Johnson bumbling (a likelihood) – these games will be social media central for a few weeks.


Article by Mark Mitchell. My Social Agency.  A UK based social media agency.

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