Olympics huge on social media

JILLIAN ALLISON-AITKEN
Last updated 05:00 20/08/2012

The web has ceased to be something innovative and techy and is now simply part of our everyday life, just like television and loo paper.

Except it's much more entertaining and relevant than most television and certainly more versatile than loo paper.

For the Sydney Olympics in 2000, the internet was really just starting to show its use in following big world events and by the time the 2008 Beijing Games happened we were starting to expect more but still not really seeing the internet as an equal to television and newspapers.

This time around, the London Games have embraced and enhanced the web. It's all been online, from the schedule so we could keep track of when our Kiwi athletes were in action to the blow-by-blow accounts of the closing ceremony, from the celebrities posting photos of themselves on Twitter as they enjoyed the spectacle of the Games to the videos of the action that we could watch when and where we wanted, and as often as we wanted.

Social networking has played a huge part in the web's emergence as a key player in live action, and never more so than during the Olympics.

As soon as anything exciting happened, everyone on Facebook and Twitter was buzzing with the news, which spread like wildfire. We knew instantly that Southland had its first Olympic gold, that Michael Phelps is the most medalriffic and that Valerie Adams was cheated out of her chance to stand on the top of the the podium.

Facebook has also been the starting point for some fun memes, particularly regarding Adams and the now disgraced Nadzeya Ostapchuk and a series of Two and a Half Men references. And let's face it, there's no denying Ostapchuk looks a lot like the Jake Harper character from the sitcom.

Oh, and thank you to the readers who have emailed me after last week's waffle, where I talked about my dodgy health. It's nice to know you care. Besides, I'm determined that my dicky ticker isn't going to win the battle: I have plans to grow old disgracefully.

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