On this, the first day of Summer proper, the longest day of the year the Summer Solstice, our quiet North Yorkshire market town play’s host to the Olympic Flame - the very symbol of progress which, mythology has it, Prometheus stole from the God’s and gave to man to aid in the evolution of civilization and society.
OK, but you already knew the flame was here; my colleague, Tom, posted the route pic this morning. In fact, it's difficult to not know what’s going on with the Olympics. As we’re approaching the peak of the social (r)evolution online (which happens to be the topic of my next post ;)) I predict this year’s Olympics will overwhelm us in the prevalence of its social dominance.
Pretty much everyone has access to a smart phone these days, and with mobile expected to overtake traditional desktop and laptop usage by 2014, we’re right on the cusp of peak social growth. This will be the year of the Socialympics, and we, as marketers and technophiles lucky enough to be living close enough to orbit the Olympic atmosphere, just can’t wait for the craziness to begin!
What an exciting time it is for Great Britain to be hosting the greatest event in the sporting calendar – bar none.
This summer (for those of you visiting the UK for the first time – Don’t Panic! I assure you - this is summer) we won’t only hear about the Games via traditional media outlets, but we’ll be privy to the experiences of the social-savvy in the crowd, athletes and organisers in the village, the thousands of personnel staffing all of the individual day’s events and tourists & locals alike sharing their view of the spectacular.
During Beijing 2008, Twitter had around 6 million users and Facebook, 100 million. The Vancouver Olympics came at a time when Facebook had reached 400 million users and Twitter 100 million. These numbers have swollen to over 140 million for Twitter and more than 900 million for Facebook in 2012 and while the updates will arrive in 140 character bites, the video and image sharing will result in some incredible statistics even by today’s social media standards.
In April this year Twitter hosted an incredible 13,684 tweets per second during the Chelsea vs. Barcelona Champions League Final – a record number for any sporting event, beating out even the Super Bowl - but one that will no doubt be short lived when the likes of Phelps, Bolt and Hoy begin trending.
So in this, the year of the London Olympics, the Socialympics, we raise a glass to all our friends and followers, all those we’ve liked, linked to and shared with, and toast to a Great British Summer to remember, and to showing the rest of the world what social was made for!