The 2012 Olympic Summer Games officially begin with opening ceremonies, airing tonight at 7:30 p.m. Eastern on NBC. Along with watching the Games on television, here’s how you can keep up on the action — and the athletes, who are sharing their own observations and funny moments outside the competition — using social media:
The most direct-from-the-athletes coverage comes from Twitter, which has its own Olympics page. The page is built beginning with a hashtag search of #Olympics, but it’s more than that.
It includes a list of “top people” to follow, and the Wall Street Journal reports the hub is a partnership with NBCUniversal that includes a Twitter staffer embedded within NBC’s social media team in London:
A handful of people will spend 20 hours a day to help corral millions of Twitter messages from Olympic athletes, their families, fans and NBC television personalities into a single page on Twitter.com.
Many of the “top people” to follow on the page are Olympic athletes; look for the blue checkmark next to their name for verification of their authenticity (Twitter users commonly create fake accounts).
USA Today Sports’ Olympics website features news, video, athlete bios and a feed of tweets by the athletes, among other things. The Summer Games schedule is a good, quick reference. (USA Today and LoHud.com are both owned by Gannett.) Follow @USATODAYsports on Twitter and “like” the USA Today Sports page on Facebook for updates.
A list of Facebook pages related to the Olympics, including athletes, teams and where to watch the Games.
To get a sense of how social media is making this Olympic Games different from any that preceded it, check out the USA swimming team lip-syncing and dancing to the song “Call Me Maybe?” on YouTube. Would media covering the Games four years ago have broadcast that? Now, athletes can do it themselves.
The Olympics on:
The IOC’s social media guidelines (PDF) for athletes and others.
How are you following the 2012 Summer Games? Tell us in the comments below.
(Photo: The Associated Press)