With one of the most memorable games of our time coming to a close last weekend, social media has stood to become a key indicator in gaging the public’s reactions to the games and any controversies that have ensued. The most notable eruption on the social media sphere was with regards to NBC (the US television network) – Its lack of coverage to US audiences of the full opening ceremony and the decision to delay transmission of the Games so that it could maximise its advertising revenue in primetime had sparked ridicule from TV critics and outrage from the US public.
Social media has become a powerful tool for users to vent anger and frustration as well as celebrate and commemorate the games. The medium has come a long way since Bejing in 2008 then Facebook was still in its infancy stages with just 100 million users. Now, the network has surpassed 900 million. A similar story can be said for Twitter – six million users were on the service in 2008. Now, over 600 million have signed up.
The social emphasis on these games hasn’t gone unnoticed during the Olympics and Paralympic games Twitter is being harnessed to display the huge pride in the achievements of Team GB’s Olympians by lighting up the EDF Energy London Eye. Tweets that are centred around the Games will be analysed throughout the course of the Olympics, and will use those tweets to power a spectacular light show at 9 pm and 10 pm every evening.
Using the Sendible social media dashboard, the monitoring feature can analyse the whole of the social web, generating data from many sources (not just Twitter). These sources can be from; blogs, microblogs, social networks and even comments on sites such as YouTube. Sendible’s unique algorithm scores the sentiment of each individual post by looking out for key words and phrases. Overwhelmingly the games look to be a success with the positive buzz around the games generating a rating of 89%!