Some of my coworkers asked for a summary of what I learned from Squawq with the daily tracking of tweets. I think the biggest takeaway didn’t come from that tool but instead from what I saw happening online at “official Olympic” venues like NBC and what I read about on other non-sanctioned digital outlets: there was a rift in Olympics coverage and social activity online; it boiled down to control of, and desire for, content by a group of haves and a group of have-nots.
But since I don’t feel as though I studied that rift in great enough detail, I base the following takeaways on what I saw with my own queries run in Squawq:
- Viewer fatigue is not universal: It’s a generally-accepted truth among TV ad buyers that viewer fatigue and wear-out sets in during the long two weeks of the Olympic Games. However, fatigue was not an issue in the digital space, judging from viewers’ activities on Twitter.
- A hockey championship is not all it’s cracked up to be: One would have thought the day with a championship hockey game–one with the host country competing for gold–plus a bronze-medal game would have generated a spike in tweets. That was not the case, as blogged on Day 15.
- The traditional media did not have inside track on the popularity contest: Some of the darling sports (e.g., downhill skiing, halfpipe snowboarding, and speed skating) failed to make the top list of hashtags associated with the Olympics–although tweeple may have used #skating when discussing figure or speed skating on Twitter.
Instead, it was curling that won the people’s attention (if not their hearts and minds).
- Sponsors in a digital age need to work harder to retain relevance: According to the queries I ran for the two weeks of the Games, none of this year’s Olympic sponsors made it into the general conversation of those tweeple talking about the Games on Twitter. In fact, the only brands to register were NBC, the NHL, and Facebook. (See hashtags and keywords in thumbnail images adjacent and below.)