Wednesday, 1 August 2012

The Twitter Olympics

The 2012 Olympic Games have been touted as “The Twitter Olympics.”  There will be more than 10 times the tweets about this year’s games on Twitter than Vancouver 2010, but something interesting is emerging.  While the phrase “good luck” has been used 1.2 million times during the Olympics, a CNN article on the subject has revealed the less savory side of Twitter’s instant communications.

Criticism of athletes, the IOC and Olympic officials are for some venomous, and for others seemingly sport.  Ignorant and cowardly comments are more easily made when you’re hiding behind your computer or smart-phone.  A 17 year old Twitter user gave the gears to a diver who “disappointed his father” by finishing fourth in synchronized diving.  His father died of cancer last year.

I don’t want you all to think that Twitter is evil and unworthy of your time and effort.  For most of us social media is a small universe.  For the Olympics it literally is The Universe.  When you have your own tribe of people who are following you because they are interested in you and your business, it’s unlikely that you’ll attract random cranks.

When Facebook changed their standard format to “Timeline,” they reinforced an important aspect of social media.  As time passes, so do the highlights.  It reminds me of my favorite bible verse: “It came to pass.”  Any conversations, users or triumphs on your social media site will soon fade out of site.  It will be there in your history, but social media is ALL about what’s current.  I assume that as the abominable Olympic tweets fade into history there will be a lingering celebration of the Olympic spirit.  

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