A new paradigm in journalism: social media the real deal at Vancouver’s Olympics

Note: Article shared here in full for historical record. Original article link is broken, as such, accessed from Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, Feb. 2017.  Posted with original publication date to place in context.

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A new paradigm in journalism: social media the real deal at Vancouver’s Olympics

Jan. 9, 2010 by Wes

There’s a lot of buzz in Vancouver leading up to the 2010 Winter Olympics. There have been Olympic court battles , wars of words, major developments going over budget , rumors of social activism, some questioning if there will there be a riot? The police have been  buying sonic crowd control devices, and the climax of it all of course…the gold medal men’s hockey game .
The one thing I’ve been most interested in seeing though (after the gold medal men’s hockey game of course) is how social media will have its journalistic coming out party this February. True North Media House (Dave Olsen in particular) forged a trail into VANOC and the public discourse around the Olympics by being very vocal about the role of blogging and other forms of social media during the games. It was their hard work and initial phone calling, e-mailing and blogging that got social media recognized for the first time as a credible “news” source for the Olympics, a first. But while True North may have opened the door, W2 has turned on the lights and got the party started.

The co-working space across from Woodward’s has already been busy with local artists, bloggers and media mavens as the leadup to the Olympics and the opening of the official W2 space across the street in the new Woodward’s Building gets closer and closer. The W2 2010 Media House has already been fielding Olympic inquiries from as far away as Japan and the Netherlands according to their site, but they’re not the only space in the DTES that will be open for bloggers during the games. Other co-working spaces are beginning to fill up slowly as well, including the Building Opportunities with Business office at 163 Pender and True North Media haven’t been counted out yet either, though W2 has clearly emerged as the dominant hub for social media during the Olympics. True North Media House currently has no major sponsor or venue, though that could all change quickly if the stars align. Or perhaps True North and W2 will find a way to work together. An opportunity like this only comes once, and it’s an opportunity to really showcase Vancouver’s talented pool of social media experts and bloggers. More information on W2 , and more information on True North Media House . More information at the Co-working space at BOB .

There’s a certain irony that physical space has become such a contentious and competitive issue for bloggers during the Olympics, but social media has yet to fully satisfy every social aspect of human interaction. Sometimes having a coffee and relaxing while throwing ideas back and forth, face to face, just can’t be beat. I’m excited to see this unfold. Like clusters of independent journalists of old, these co-working spaces will be buzzing with objective and uncensored observation during the games. Vancouver has become the testing ground for a new paradigm of journalistic social media, so let’s do this right.

Whatcha think?