The mouse potato’s view of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
The London 2012 Olympic Games will go down in history for lots of reasons—and not just because of Michael Phelps’ historic swims or the USA women’s gymnastics success. This is the first truly connected Summer Olympics. Never mind the athletes’ entertaining Twitter feeds; the connected center of attention this year is NBC Sports’ ambitious live streaming of all 32 sports and 302 events. While NBC’s streaming coverage doesn’t get a gold medal for reasons both in and out of the broadcaster’s control, the live streaming does go beyond anything viewers ever got to experience before in Olympics coverage.
That’s no exaggeration. By Day 6, NBC says it served up 5.3 million hours of live video from London, more than NBC delivered in total for Beijing four years ago. Viewers are coming in droves: According to NBC’s stats as of Day 6, the network had some 64 million total video streams across all platforms—Web, smartphone, and tablet. That represents a 182 percent increase over Beijing. Of those, some 29 million are to live events, a 343 percent increase over Beijing. The number one stream to date of the first week? 1.5 million streams to the Women’s Gymnastics Team Final on July 31.
via Live-Streaming the Olympics – TechHive Beta Blog. [emphasis added]
I like Zeynep Tufekci’s take on #Kony2012 over on her TechnoSociology Blog. I do tend to agree we have reached a new moment, when multiple voices can be mustered so quickly. I love the contrast between this issue and the run up to the Iraq war.
And social media streams are a new and important dynamic in how those narratives are formed—and, importantly, who gets to have a say. I usually do not like to proclaim new developments as “good” or “bad”—they are often a complex interaction of both. However, contrast the swift pushback against the simplistic and dangerous narrative of #stopkony with the lead up to the Iraq War of 2003. It was clear to many people at the time that the narrative being built up in the rush to war in Iraq was erroneous, dangerous and in many ways, irresponsible. However, opposition voices –while loud, organized and including many —were drowned out by the gatekeepers—big media, Sunday talk shows, political powers…
In contrast the swift backlash against Kony2012 was loud, organized and, most importantly, also able to command attention. In just one day, I saw more human-rights experts and African and Ugandan voices on mainstream media than I do in a month or three. My social media stream was flooded by critical and in-depth discussion about the topic, often from Ugandans or topic experts. This is a key way in which Kony2012 differs from, say, “We are the World” campaign in the eighties in which Africans never got to be anything beyond silent victims. People can now talk back a lot more effectively. Indeed, the spread of Kony2012 is likely going to be remembered as one of the early examples how emergent networked global publics can connect amongst each other and focus their –and everyone else’s—attention in a manner that would have hard to imagine just ten years ago.
via #Kony2012, Understanding Networked Symbolic Action & Why Slacktivism is Conceptually Misleading | technosociology.