Countdown to the first Olympics of the social media age

The countdown for the Olympics today stepped up a notch and, with a year to go, London 2012 is gearing up to be the first truly social media-enabled Olympiad.

The International Olympic Committee has already proclaimed its intention to ‘actively encourage’ athletes to use social media to post, blog and tweet their experiences in its social media guidelines, as long as such activities stick to appropriate boundaries.

These include using social media in a “first-person, diary-type” format and not reporting what other competitors are doing. In terms of media, non-commercial photos are ok but video and audio recordings are not.

For sports fans too, social media looks set to play a bigger part in next year’s games, with the chance to appear in an interactive Twitter stadium map and customise digital versions of Olympics mascots Wenlock and Mandeville.

Meanwhile the medals, the biggest and heaviest in the games’ history, can be viewed on the Greater London Authority’s Flickr photosteam.

The Winter games last year certainly tapped into social media but, in 365 days, the first summer Olympics of the social media age will begin.

And come 2012, sports fans from around the globe will no doubt be ready to tweet, like, post and share when they focus on London for the world’s biggest sporting event.

Finally, because everyone loves an infographic these days, here’s Time Out’s 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games by numbers.

• For more on the London 2012 Olympics follow the hashtag #1yeartogo on Twitter

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