Huffpost UK Sport uk
The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Ellee Seymour Headshot

How Social is London's Digital Olympics?

Posted: Updated:
Print Article

Cast your mind back six years ago to when Twitter and Facebook were an insignificant part of our lives and the jubilant announcement that London was to host the 2012 Olympics. How many of us used mobile apps back then?

The Herculean feat achieved in delivering London 2012′s multiple digital communications platform, including ticket sales and volunteering, recruitment and torch relay nominations, social media and apps, was outlined during the latest Social Media Influence event by Alex Balfour, Head of New Media, London 2012, who described the rapidly changing digital landscape and its challenges for him and his team over the last six years.

A pity they didn't have a crystal ball back in 2006 to predict the huge influence which Twitter would later play, and which Alex described surprisingly as "a battering ram" for his media department.

He said: "A fuzzy area for all of is probably social (media) because in theory it should just be another communications tool, part of the communications mix. It is so fast moving, it has so many peculiar dimensions and it has that that interesting transitional phase which it still is in where it gets undue notice and prominence and you have to manage it in that respect.

"I think Twitter particularly has moved the dial in terms of our communications because our teams who are steeped in traditional broadcast and print communications, our media team who spend every day tussling with the press and  broadcast media, Twitter has really jumped into their world because in the main, journalists every day look at Twitter, pull things off it, pick up the phone, say 'you got it wrong, people on twitter are saying x, y and z.' some are saying you got it right, most of them are saying you got it wrong, Twitter  is their battering ram."

I admit I have found the Olympic's torch relay exhilarating, but because of Alex's comments, I checked out recent tweets about the Olympics and found none that were particularly negative, although some included concerns and personal opinions which  differed from team GB's Olympic strategists. I admit I found them quite interesting.

It begs the question, how social is London 2012?

Here are some of the latest tweets which I found of interest:

‏@CiscoUKIBritish business is already an Olympics winner, but this is just the start http://ind.pn/KwcY3W #CSL2012

@iSpeakComedyMcDonald's being the official restaurant of the Olympics is like smoking being the official medicine of cancer.

@MoneySavingExpLondon 2012 Olympics tickets resale back open (let's hope it works this time) http://bit.ly/KNlh5

@KirstieMAllsoppGood Help the East End when the Olympics begins, if the traffic is this bad on a Friday evening, it will be gridlocked for #London2012

@JULIANBRAYWhat happens if it rains on danny boyles #Olympics opening should have used Wembley (close roof) #euro2012

‏@SkyNewsBreak Unite union says thousands of London bus workers will go on strike next Friday in a row over pay during the Olympics

@danwootton My Daily Mail column this week: Tensions rise over where BBC stars will stay during Olympic games http://bit.ly/MMnq2j via @MailOnline

@London2012 Tickets (1 / 3): A further batch of contingency tickets for the #London2012 Olympics are on sale today http://l2012.cm/NpJLc5 ...

@UnitedUpdates Summer break for Shinji: Japan opt to leave Shinji Kagawa out of their Olympic squad to allow him to rest. http://bit.ly/NqssHO

‏@TelegraphNews Alex Salmond's 'men in black' try to make Olympics less British http://tgr.ph/LYRDff

‏@BryanAppleyard @FFSGoogleIt Well, I'm only with you to stop the North Koreanisation of London for the Olympics

@bhogleharsha what a mess up with the tennis team for the olympics....can an unhappy team compete and win

@HarrietHarman Delighted to meet cllr Nikki Hennessy W. Lancs DC on her way to be Olympics volunteer. If u want something done.... ask a busy woman!