The Olympics & Social Media: Then & Now [3 Infographics]

I remember when I moved to Atlanta in 1996 to work at the Olympics. It was a really big deal, and even today, the Centennial Olympic Park is a huge tourist attraction here in the city. But aside from everything that happened offline to get everything ready, it was a big deal online too. The 1996 Olympics was the first year the Olympics had a dedicated web page complete with news, photos and ticket sales. It was also the first time I remember using my cell phone for more than just emergencies (which is what we used to do back then), and it made me feel like a badass. It was a cute little flip phone that made me feel important since back then not everyone had cell phones.

Fast forward to 2012… When I read on Technorati in May that no images or videos from the Olympics would be allowed to be shared on any social media site, I thought, “Gimme a break, who is going to be able to monitor and enforce that?” I was excited to watch Twitter during the Opening Ceremonies to see if there would be a flood of pictures everywhere anyway. There were tons of pictures tweeted of course, but surprisingly, my favorite ones were not of the Opening Ceremonies themselves but rather of the behind the scenes shots that we would never have the opportunity to see if it wasn’t for social media.

Here are two tweets that made me smile…



Since all the Olympic action has just officially started, I thought it would be fun to share with you some information about how social media (which is where I’ll be getting most of my Olympic coverage) is impacting the Olympics in a truly historic way since this is the first real “social Olympics” as everyone is calling it.

The first infographic below, called Social Media And The Olympics: 2008 vs. 2012, was created by Demi & Cooper Advertising. It illustrates some interesting “then and now” stats. The second infographic, called London 2012 Olympics and Twitter, was created by Social Media Delivered and provides some of the relevant Twitter accounts to follow. And the third infographic called The Evolution Of Olympic Coverage, which was created by, shows the shift of the Olympics from television to Twitter. I also read another fun article on this topic this morning which I thought I’d pass along to you too – Social media winners and losers in the Olympics opening ceremony.


The Olympics Infographics and Image Below
Will Enlarge If You Click On Them




Image Credits: [PC Magazine] [The Conversation]