London 2012 has "Embraced Web 2.0 and Green IT". Zeitgeist-o-rama.
Alex Balfour, head of new media for the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) said,
We have set out to do things differently and embrace new media. People under 20 use social networking instead of email. It's important we make the most of that opportunity. Our new media channels will be the number-one way for people to share, access and participate in the Games.
One of the projects being considered is one in which spectators are encouraged to share their digital photos online.
While the internet will undoubtedly play a big part in how people experience the games in 2012, we're not sure we really need LOCOG's help, what with the squillion-and-one Web 2.0 sites out there. We'd rather use the tried and tested websites like Flickr etc. than a hastily put together equivalent with Seb "King of the Olympics" Coe's face on it.
Balfour went on to say,
Social networking is a way that can make the Games more relevant to a younger audience. We are thinking you have to actually embrace that and build a framework for people to do that. You could, for example, take a narrative of an athlete coming 54th in the marathon. There's a huge amount of opportunity.
"A narrative of an athlete coming 54th in a marathon"? What? Why? Might the reason he/she is coming 54th be because LOCOG have made him/her update facebook and twitter on the way round?
10 minutes in - "This is lovely, making my mother proud at the Olympics"
30 minutes in - "I think I've got a blister - lol"
50 minutes in - "It has burst! lmao"
60 minutes in - "Actually that really hurts"
1hr 10 minutes in - "Crap, I think I'm about 54th"
1hr 30 minutes in - "What's Paula Radcliffe doing? Is that a poo?"
2hr 10 minutes in - "I've just watched the winner come in on youtube, this is depressing. I can't believe I'm 54th.
2hr 25 minutes in - "Finished. That was shit."
With 10,000 PCs, two data centres and 1,000 servers being used in the running of the games, the use of 'green I.T.' will be central to the organisers' goal of making London 2012 the greenest Olympics ever which, while a noble goal, will be hard considering the record set by the Greeks back in 776 BC. They ran the whole thing using an IBM laptop and a bubblejet printer.
Work on the main IT infrastructure supporting the games won't begin until after the Beijing Olympics next summer so we'll see what they come up with.