Sunday, August 03, 2008

e-Olympics

This year's Olympics should be the best ever for coverage.

Fring are looking for onsite commentators and as a means to encourage people are offering a 3.5G phone as your reporters tool.

I hope that this will be the games of the micro blog. The potential for services like Twitter or Jaiku to open up access to the games in a way never seen before is encouraging.

Essentially there are three dimensions to the games:

  1. Nation
  2. Event
  3. Athlete
Typically broadcast of the games ha content defined by the nation. The USA channels closely follow the USA squad, the same for UK, NZ Australia etc. This is targeted at the national pride.

For those people who are actively engaged in an event themselves, marathon, it's the event that is king. There will still be an element of "my country" but this is equally balanced by "my sport".

The final element is the followers of a specific athlete. Friends, family and fans may elect to follow all of the events surrounding a person. From living in the Olympic village, training the event itself and the reactions after the event.

This is where Web 2.0 could crack open the Olympics and allow unprecedented access.

The biggest beneficiaries would be the minor countries and the minor events.

How much coverage do you think the Cambodian runner Hem Bunting will get normally? or even the Cambodian team.

Minor events that do not normally get prime time coverage (Fencing, Modern Heptathlon etc) could be covered for the fans.

It's the natural evolution of broadcasting where content is moved from a push to a pull model. Narrowcasting of the Olympics and the success of it (or not) could be great insight to the future of content publishing at such events.

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