The Vancouver Winter Olympics organizers have done something clever with the development of their website. They have added a some nifty tie-ins with Facebook.com, one of the most popular friends and social media sites on the Web. Other sites are using Twitter and other social media but not quite so cleverly.Lets look at each one and see how they turned out.
Facebook Daily Prediction
For sports prognosticators [okay, and bettors] this is your opportunity to show off your prediction prowess for the various Olympic events each day. You must submit your ten picks for questions like the four shown above before any of the events start – which is usually 9AM PST when most of the Curling games get started. Given the number of upsets in almost all of the major events, this is very hard to do. Lots of fun and a running score is provided each day. Big downside – you can’t find a menu button anywhere on the Vancoucer2010.com website for this quiz, you have to go to
Facebook Wailing Wall
I call this the Wailing Wall because it looks and acts as a wailing wall as the events unfold – particularly mass start ski races, or skiing runs when a favorite competitor wipes out. I have totally given up on the CTV and NBC website feeds and go to the Wailing Wall to get the latest news on who ahead and whose on their behind. Note the messages are short sweet just like Twitter – hmm, does this look like Twitter has some serious upcoming competition?
Facebook IOC Photo of the Day Contest
By far this has been the most disappointing of the Facebook + Vancouver Games collaborations. And there is no apparent reason for it because everybody appears to have a camera. But when I went to flickr.conm, there was not much there. Ditto for Fotki.com and Google Images.m In general, the the IOC and the Olympics has not adapted to the huge media wave – pictures and video that are avaiable on smartphones, GPS units, and uktra-thin and ultra-capable cameras.
In sum, Facebook and the Vancouver.com have done reasonably well with their co-operative ventures bringing people around the world a bit closer to the Games. However, Twitter at NBC Olympics is even a step ahead because it tracks the Twitter notes and messages of Olympic athletes and gives a forum for real [and imagined ] insights into how the athlete are thinking. I expect the next Olympic Games and possibly even the World Cup in South Africa will have even more savvy integration of social media at the event site.