Coalesce Inc.’s Blog

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The Olympics and Information Sharing

Posted by coalescemarketing on August 3, 2012

A week in to the 2012 Summer Olympics, we thought it would be a good time to step back and analyze the impact social media has had on the games. Much as we anticipated, more Olympic stories are being shared and talked about on social media platforms than ever before. The numbers are staggering.

Perhaps one of the biggest story-lines of this Olympics has been the way information is shared.

Something we didn’t consider when we first talked about social media and the Olympics was the hard time we’d have in remaining ignorant of the results of certain events until they actually aired on NBC. One ill-timed Facebook perusal spoiled the Men’s gymnastics final outcome for me, and I happened to be on Twitter when news broke that Michael Phelps didn’t even medal in his first event. I’ve wised up a little and curbed my social media in-take since then. There was no way someone was going to ruin the Women’s gymnastics results for me!

Although it was upsetting to have results spoiled for me due to social media, I figured I sort of had it coming. I knew that Facebook and Twitter are going to present information immediately as it happens.

What I wasn’t prepared for was checking the NBC Olympics website in an attempt to find a schedule of events and seeing the results listed on the front page. There was no way to avoid seeing them. A friend of mine complained of this (on Facebook, of course), saying that NBC has sole rights to the video coverage. He asked why the network would choose to put the information on their website hours before they aired it in prime time.

My response would be that NBC doesn’t want to lose out to other news channels and platforms. Everyone wants to be the “first” to broadcast the information, especially in this age of social media information sharing. What do you think? Is it smart for NBC to post results on its website before it airs the events?

The Olympics are a great example of the power of social media in information sharing. The games also have raised issues of information sharing best practices on the whole.

We’d love to hear your opinions. Tweet @CoalesceInc and let us know what you think!

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