An Opportunity Missed: The Olympics-as-a-Platform
The Summer Olympics are very special. Every four years, for over two weeks, people all over the world (even those who are not normally sports fans) spend hours every day engrossed in the innermost details of dozens of sports—at home, at work, at school and at play.
However, in 2012 the IOC had opportunities never seen in any prior Summer Olympics.
This year was not just the first Summer Olympics since social media, multimedia mobile phones, and smart phone (and tablet) apps have become the ubiquitous means that over a billion people use to find and share information, opinion, photos and video globally—and instantly. It was also the first Summer Olympics since the rise in use of Open Data Platforms and Apps Competitions to tap the innovation of thousands of people to create better ways to access information (without adding the cost and complexity of hiring thousands of designers, developers and testers).
The IOC could have taken advantage of this by doing four things:
- Creating of an open data platform for access to data on events, medals, schedules, athletes, scores, etc. along the likes of NYC Open Data, Data.gov, the German Open Data Set and San Francisco Open Data
- Establishing deals with traditional media to make metadata-tagged, embeddable video and audio available for widely and easily use in Apps
- Writing a social media policy that advocated (rather than limited) sharing on-the-spot comments, updates, photos and videos—promoting event, sport, country and perhaps even athlete hashtags to make social media data easier to find and use
- Launching an Olympic App Competition along the likes of NYC Big Apps, Apps for Development, Apps for Climate Change, Apps4Africa and so many others.