Social Media Digest: OLYMPOMANIA!

  • Social Media

Hello one and all and welcome to a very special social media digest. London 2012 kicks off in just a few hours, so here’s the latest social media news related to the world’s greatest sporting event – happening in a city near you soon!

1. Such is the social media buzz generated by the Olympics that Twitter went down last night. The site was unreachable for almost an hour, and continued to suffer intermittent faults thereafter. In a status message posted after the fault was cleared, the micro-blogging service apologised for the problems. It said it was caused by a simultaneous failure in its main data centre and the one supposed to provide back-up. Twitter said it was investing heavily in its data centres to avoid such falling victim to another “infrastructural double-whammy”.

2. The Greek triple jumper expelled from London 2012 after she made a racist remark on Twitter says she has been left “very bitter and upset”, admitting: “I am trying to stay calm otherwise I would lose control.” Voula Papachristou, 23, was removed from the Greek Olympic team on Wednesday after causing uproar with the tweet about the widely reported appearance of Nile-virus-carrying mosquitoes in Athens. She wrote: “With so many Africans in Greece, at least the mosquitoes of West Nile will eat homemade food.” She subsequently deleted the message. The Greek Olympic Committee condemned the comment as “contrary to the values and ideals of the Olympic movement”, though Papachristou’s coach and the far-right Greek Golden Dawn party were among those to attack the punishment as excessive.

3. Social media will play a key role in the London 2012 Olympics, dwarfing the social content of the Beijing Games. The 11 biggest corporate sponsors doled out nearly $1 billion for the rights to flaunt the Olympic seal during the London Games and 2010′s Winter Games in Vancouver. Coca-Cola is using social media to nudge Olympic fans to create and share music videos. General Electric is using it to coax folks to improve their health. Visa is using it to nudge fans to post elaborate cheers for the athletes. During the London Games, “we are going to see the use of social media surpass any sporting event in history,” says Bob Liodice, CEO of the Association of National Advertisers in the US. Prepare for a social show-down as brands compete to win hearts and wallets over social.

4. Lastly, we all love Boris Johnson. In the past few years, he has become a national treausre, much like the Queen Mum, Terrry Wogan or Bruce Forsyth. So, just in case you want to keep up with him over the next few days, his Twitter profile is here and here’s his page on Facebook too. If Team GB fail to bring in the gold, you’ll be sure following Bo-Jo will be pure comedy gold over the next couple of weeks.

Let the games begin!