There’s a storm coming, a social media storm. Even before the first Olympic athletic event takes place in London, in social media circles Tweeps are arguing about who should get the gold medal for hosting the first ‘Social Media Olympics.’
“We are at a dawn of a new age of sharing and connecting, and London 2012 will ignite the first conversational Olympic Games, thanks to social media platforms and technology,” Alex Huot, the I.O.C.’s head of social media, tells the New York Times via e-mail.
“When fans look back on the coming weeks, one thing many will remember is how London 2012 was the first ‘social media’ games,” says Dave Lee, technology reporter with BBC News.
“The only problem with the claim is that it is simply not true,” says Graeme Menzies, the former director of online communications and social media for the 2010 Winter Olympics. “There seems to be a sense among the British media that, because Vancouver 2010 was a Winter Games, it doesn’t count,” he adds. “Or, because there weren’t as many people engaged on social media as there are today, it doesn’t count.” Menzies likens London’s claim to saying that Americans were the first in space because Yuri Gagarin was a Russian and he was only in space for 108 minutes.
“Summer Olympics are much more widely followed than their winter counterparts, so the Vancouver Games did not register in the same way in the social media stakes,” says Eric Pfanner of the New York Times.