Tag Archives: winter games

Global Party List ~ Olympics to SXSW – Choogle On #84

In between Winter Olympics and SXSW, Uncle Weed soothes a sore throat on a couch and talks about global parties of note (including Oktoberfest, Mardi Gras, Carnival, etc.), plus extols about the Olympic Outsider podcast, True North Media House, importance and nobility of documentation, SXSW preview and recap of recent trip to Pe Ell to visit Hemp Ed and the Numbskulz.

Crack a tall can for: Global Party List ~ Olympics to SXSW – Choogle On #84 (.mp3, 15:40)

Global Party List

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Vancouver 2010 Olympics and Social Media – video playlist

Various artifacts, interviews, documentaries, presos and press conferences about social media/ citizen reporting at Vancouver 2010 Olympics – including the True North Media House project. Let it roll…

G’night Shiny Vancouver – Olympic Outsider #16

G'night Shiny Vancouver

Take the shortcut for: G’night Shiny Vancouver – Olympic Outsider #16 (.mp3, 5:48)

Descriptions and miscellaneous observations about Vancouver’s reaction and interactions with the Olympic Winter Games including recent expeditions, urban transformation, international hospitality and transportation logistics while walking through the park en route to catch the Seabus.

Subscribe: Olympic Outsider podcast feed

Photo Essay: Welcoming the World to Vancouver 2010 Olympics via Vancouver Access 2010

This is an excerpt from the 2nd of several Vancouver 2010 Olympics photoessays created by Kris Krüg.

Vancouver is filled with energy now that 2010 Winter Olympic Games has officially started.

The last week has been filled with the excited fervor of the last month and anticipation of the upcoming weeks.

Here is a photographic look into the last week of adventure and celebrations, before the official opening of the Games in Vancouver.

Iain Black welcomed the public to the opening of the VX Forum in Vancouver, BC. Black is Minister of Small Business, Technology and Economic Development in Canada and is pictured here with Nadia Nascimento and Dave Olson of Invoke Media which is the parent company to twitter-based application Hootsuite.

Source: PHOTO ESSAY: Canada Welcomes The World to The Vancouver 2010 Olympics | Vancouver Access 2010

Social networking media push for inclusion in Olympic plan – Inside the 2010 Olympics

Social networking media push for inclusion in Olympic plan

[archived link]

By JEFF LEE 11-24-2008 COMMENTS(7) INSIDE THE 2010 OLYMPICS

Filed under: OlympicsVancouverVanocBeijing20102008Winter GamesmarketingOlympic GamesmediaChina

I’m just learning about all the new ways to try and connect with readers and colleagues online – whether it is FacebookTwitter, LinkedIn or other social and professional networking sites. I’m a bit of a babe in the woods compared to some of my journalism colleagues for whom this comes so easily.

But I get the whole idea behind the growing importance of online media. So do many of the journalists who cover the Olympics. A week ago today the International Olympic Committee’s press commission – which includes colleagues from major news agencies and publications – held a robust discussion in Vancouver after Associated Press chief executive Tom Curley opened debate by suggesting there needs to be a fundamental rethink about how the Games are covered.

So it was a bit surprising to discover that the Vancouver Organizing Committee seems reluctant to include some types of online reporters in its planning for the 2010 Games. On Thursday Vanoc was asked in an open letter from Dave Olson, an online writer with Raincity Studios, to allow some of his colleagues to attend the World Press Briefing.

They didn’t get an answer. But on Sunday, Renee Smith-Valade, a.spokeswoman for Vanoc, sent the following hopeful email to me.

[Note: numerous spelling /typographical errors corrected from original email from Renee Smith-Valade see original]

“Undoubtedly online media and the Internet as a news source and forum for discourse continues to grow phenomenally. That’s why we have spent considerable resources to make our website our number one source of information and why we will continue to look for ways to make it a platform for discussion as well as information and purchasing. We welcome online media interest from all sources and were encouraged to see online media representatives registered for the recent World Press Briefing. 

“The IOC is the ultimate arbiter on the representation on the Press Commission, and each country’s National Olympic Committee determines which media get accredited for the Games. As the Organizing Committee we can and will encourage both entities to recognize and facilitate the immense growth of online media, however ultimately decisions for press commission membership and Games accreditation lie with them. We have not yet responded to the open letter from the social media group but will do so in the coming days. 

“Overall, we were extremely pleased with the World Press briefing. Tours of the sport venues, press facilities and accommodations were well received, our tourism partners really stepped up with warm hospitality and Mother Nature even helped show off Vancouver and Whistler at their finest in the sunshine. There was healthy discussion on a range of logistical issues and topics, none of which came as a surprise: accommodation rates, travel and how the major media centers will work, to name just three. We have more work to do to build on our solid progress to date to get ready for the arrival of the world press. They all seemed to leave satisfied with the work we’re doing to make sure they will be able to do their job to take the 2010 Games stories to the world.”

It will be interesting to see how willing Vanoc and the IOC will be to adopting new forms of journalism. One of those I’ve also interviewed for a story running today in The Vancouver Sun is former Los Angeles Times sports editor Dave Morgan, who is now chief executive of Yahoo Sports, and who told me that Yahoo’s solid presence in Beijing in August drew more than 32 million unique visitors to their micro Olympics site. 

You can read the complete story on our Road to 2010 page.

COMMENTS

Dave Olson

Thanks for the excellent journalism Jeff – i think the social web media and “traditional” media have a lot to learn from each other.

Ultimately it comes down to providing more than “one size fits all” coverage and allowing a more diverse variety of viewpoints and delivery methods so interested readers can experience the stories of the Game that they care about personally.

No matter the delivery method, insightful writing and high-quality photography/audio/video always floats to the top regardless of the credentials of the creator.

Looking forward to hearing back from VANOC and continuing the conversation for the joint benefit of media makers, worldwide audiences and even the IOC and rights-holders.

November 24, 2008 3:57 PM

Jordan Behan

The decision to exclude the likes of the Raincity gang is quite puzzling, even without a social media strategy in place.

In Dave’s full letter, he highlights the history of the fan-based, non-intrusive coverage they’ve done at previous Olympic Games, and it’s clear that this kind of participation only benefits the host city, the Games and even the holders of exclusive broadcast rights.

I’m holding out hope that Vanoc (and our Canadian Olympic committee, apparently) will take great strides, not only to appear to appease social media creators, but instead fully embrace the concept and help to redefine citizen journalism’s role in Games coverage. With some creativity, they should be able to do so inside of the confines of the above-mentioned (archaic in these times, if you ask me) broadcast rights.

November 24, 2008 8:02 PM

Michelle Evans

Interesting article. I think VANOC is looking at this the wrong way. Promotion of your own website as the only source of information is counter-productive to embracing social media. Social media is about getting your message out to where people already are vs. fighting to bring them in to you. What would be productive is finding those champions who want to rally and bring all those sources together via social networks; like the team at Raincity, for instance.

November 25, 2008, 2:00 PM

Carol Sill

A social media strategy is essential to any major worldwide event in the 21st century. By the time the Olympics get here there will have been even more exponential growth in social media adoption and its hybridization with mainstream media. It’s a no-brainer for VANOC to now consider major Vancouver social media players as the press. Raincity, Miss604, et al are more than hyper-local citizen journalists. Their audience is world-wide, and I believe they have the experience and savvy to respectfully help solve any potential media rights issues. This IS the nature of journalism now.

November 25, 2008, 9:16 PM

Rebecca Bollwitt

Fantastic work by DaveO and Jeff in bringing this issue to light for many.

“No matter the delivery method, insightful writing and high-quality photography/audio/video always floats to the top regardless of the credentials of the creator.”

I know I’ll be covering it for my site regardless come 2010.

November 25, 2008, 9:58 PM

Derek K. Miller

Great points, Dave, but I’d make one addition: “…the joint benefit of media makers, worldwide audiences and even the IOC and rights-holders.”

And athletes, of course.

November 26, 2008, 1:54 AM

Dave Olson

Indeed Derek, there was been controversy about whether or not athletes can blog and what they can talk about. At the Opening ceremonies of recent Olympics, many athletes are taking photos, making video, live phone calls, etc.

What are they allowed to do with the footage they create? What happens if an athlete live-streams their experience from a camera phone (ask Roland how ;-))? Does it matter if they are streaming live to “just the folks back home”? Whose jurisdiction is this to enforce?

Remember many athletes performances’ never it make it to TV despite their best efforts, and many athletes’ families aren’t able to attend the Games and certainly want to feel part of the experience.

As Carol and Michelle point out, this “social” content is, by nature, made to be found by anyone, anywhere – and by an audience of enthusiasts who expect to interact with both the media and the makers.

When the Olympics call forth “the youth of the world to gather in four years …” in the closing ceremonies, they are also calling the youth as fans who aren’t reading newspapers nor be they want the plain ole’ TV coverage (which is geared to an older generation anyhow).

The youth expect a richer media choice and with diverse points of view. And they want coverage provided by people who they can relate to (like Rebecca ;-)), who are finding unique stories on the ground. Oh yeah, and they want it anytime they want.

2010 Olympics blowing too much smoke: athletes – Inside the 2010 Olympics, Jeff Lee

NOTE: Original content removed/expired. Shared here in full for posterity and public good. Accessed from Archive.org Wayback machine.

2010 Olympics blowing too much smoke: athletes – Inside the 2010 Olympics (old link) By Jeff Lee  02-05-2009

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On the heels of its latest Sustainability report in which it outlined some of the reporting and tracking it is doing, the Vancouver Organizing Committee is getting a bit of a razz from Canadian athletes – including more than 70 top Olympic and national team athletes – who say it’s not doing enough.

On Thursday the athletes, through the David Suzuki Foundation, sent a letter to Vanoc CEO John Furlong saying the committee needs to stop studying and start acting on promises to make the 2010 Games totally carbon neutral.

What’s worth noting in this complicated story is that it turns out that for all its good efforts at being environmentally friendly, Vanoc is getting criticism for just how far it is willing – or actually not willing – to go.

The foundation did a report for Vanoc two years ago called “Meeting The Challenge” that showed the Games will produce 328,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, and that the cost of offsetting that is in the range of $5 million. The tonnage includes all the gases produced from air travel generated by spectators, officials and media, the so-called “indirect” costs. That’s what being truly “carbon neutral” means, they say.

It turns out that Vanoc says it will offset the “direct” costs of the Games, including all the carbon diozide created by its travel, including  sending executive team members to places like Europe and China. But it doesn’t intend to offset the indirect carbon generation created by spectators and the like.

It also says that its’ efforts go far beyond what other organizing committees have done in the past. Linda Coady, Vanoc’s vice-president of sustainability, said in an email last night that Vanoc is still working out a “carbon management program” and that details will be released at the World Conference on Sport and Environment in late March. That event is sponsored by the International Olympic Committee and the United Nations Environment Programme.

Coady says Vanoc put out an initial public forecast of indirect emissions but hasn’t begun formally reporting on them yet in their annual sustainability report. Here’s what Coady says in her email statement to me:

“The David Suzuki Foundation (DSF) has provided VANOC with advice on the carbon plan for the 2010 Games and their “Play it Cool” program and we value their input. We currently track and report our carbon footprint – both direct Games-based emissions and indirect emissions from air travel, based on advice provided by the DSF and other environmental organizations. VANOC’s commitment is to take responsibility for offsetting our direct emissions from the Games. We also agree that offsets used to neutralize the carbon footprint of the Games have to be highly credible. We plan to release further details on our carbon management program for the 2010 Games at the World Conference on Sport and Environment, March 29-31 in Vancouver. The IOC has convened this event in collaboration with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).”

Regardless, that seems not to be adequate for athletes like snowboarder Justin Lamoureux, right, who points out that if he and 500 NHL hockey players and soccer associations and others can offset their carbon footprints by buying gold-standard offsets at places like planetair.ca, so can Vanoc.

You can see Vanoc’s sustainability efforts here (and download the latest .pdf report here.)

The athletes’ letter is here. The David Suzuki Foundation’s Green Is The New Gold page is here.

The foundation has also linked a useful page on demystifying how to go carbon-neutral and just who in the sporting world is doing it. (And they’re clearly hoping to add Vanoc to that list, too.)

Shut out from Olympic Worldwide Media Briefing at Canada Place

KK and Uncle Weed check in from Canada Place after being rejected entry to the VANOC worldwide press briefing event — We had hoped use our experience crowd-covering previous Olympic Games to discuss how social media can enhance the accredited media’s coverage and also provide deep documentary into the fan experience and lesser-known athlete’s stories. Alas, we were asked to leave and watched over by a handful of Vancouver Police Officers.

So, outside we drink coffee and chat about the experience and such.

Note: As you may know, a LOT happened with social media and the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, specifically the emergence of True North Media House, a self-accrediting media making and sharing project which was documented in thousands of posts, throughout “mainstream/traditional” media, a documentary film and a Ph.D thesis.

Social Media for the Olympics at IOC & VANOC briefing at Canada Place

Outside of the VANOC worldwide press briefing, independent media maker Dave Olson answers questions about the Olympics, protests, and tension between social concerns and international events. He spiels forth about peace, pacifism, understanding, love of winter sports, copyright, rumoured riots, the importance of dialogue and respect and conversation. Also he briefly recounts his experiences covering Olympic Games from a grassroots point of view. This presaged the True North Media House project which self-accreditation campaign to document the civic, sports and culture stories in a participatory manner. Filmed by Manfred Becker for Canada’s National Film Board.