Why London 2012 needs a social media curator
Since the Beijing Olympics of 2008, the number of users on Facebook has grown by 10 times, the number of users on Twitter by 100 times. There is no doubt that social media will play a bigger, more important role at London 2012 than it ever has at previous Games. But what will happen to all this sharing and how can we make the most of it?
As we saw with the Jubilee in the UK, social media at large events presents a number of challenges in terms of documenting and archiving content in a structured way. The individual stories shared over the next few weeks will be fascinating – from watching how groups of people share the excitement of the diving final, to seeing photos from seats in the Olympic stadium on every day of the Games. These stories are interesting for us to live though and take part in in real-time, but will be of huge interest in the future – to those wanting to explore or study what went on during those few weeks.
The problem is that there is no way of structuring and archiving these stories. No way of us finding the in the future to look back on. Hashtags and albums on Facebook are not a real solution to this problem – they help real-time discovery of content, but they do not structure it for posterity.
The London 2012 Olympic Games needs a social media curator. And the same could be said of many brands and events.
Just as some brands have official archivists or historians, there is an increasing need for them to structure and document the vast quantities of stories and sharing that occurs in social media. And the Olympics is a perfect test case for this. We need somebody who will find, gather and structure every photo from inside the Olympics stadium, and allow us to explore the event from different angles over time. We need somebody to collect conversations in real time from the diving final and then structure those so we can read how events unfolded.
There is so much content created in social media every day, and even more so at large events. This can be hugely beneficial to brands if structured and archived correctly. Just as they are realising the benefits a community manager can bring, brands need to discover the value of curating this content.
Brands need to start employing the skills of social media curators, and the London 2012 Olympics provide the perfect event for this new trend to begin.