Olympics and Social Media – Dave + TNMH Backgrounder

After covering SLC02 as a fan, I realized that what you see on the ground is very different from the TV coverage ~ from hospitality houses to international relationships to the athletes who finish towards the back – the rights-holding media miss a lot.

I connected with some pals (@kk @scales) with similar thoughts and we covered Torino06 and Beijing08 using new media tools to creating and tactics for distribution.

In prep for Vancouver2010, we reached out to VANOC to offer assistance in our hometown to generate social coverage. After no love coming back, we launched the True North Media House campaign to inspire, educate and amplify social coverage throughout the games – no matter whether social reporters wanted to celebrate, protest or observe.

With the hoopla done, we can step back and examine the massive body of work produced and the unique ways people grab ahold of the campaign and made it something organic, successful and loads of fun.

A few tactics:

* Self accreditation badgers – sign up, add feed and handles and print a (cool) badge to declare yourself a social reporter ready to create and share
* Aggregation – pulled feeds into Yahoo pipes, fed into HootSuite for firehose Twitter feed
* Outreached to PR agencies – once they realized our ability to amplify, we were invited to many media events
* Friendly to IOC – though initially they were incommunicado, by the end, they outreached and evolved policies for photos and fan coverage
* Ad hoc events – anyone could organize an events from dog sled demos to street hockey games to photo walks
* Educate and workshop – we spoke at universities, to community groups, conferences and workshops to explain the power of tagging, creative commons and sharing
* Reach out to academics – Groups of students (including PhD candidates) chronicled our community
* Media worthy – non rights-holding media picked up on what we were doing and provided coverage in PBS, CBC, Harvard Business, LA Times among others and many MSM joined up for fun and knowledge

To learn more follow the #tnmh tag on twitter or visit truenorthmediahouse.com or the TNMH photo group on Flickr or twitter.com/tnmh – happy to talk more about how and why we did this.

Backgrounder re: TNMH etc. for un-remembered blog post