Twitter to be 'official narrator' of Olympic Games

The social networking site will create an Olympic hub to showcase the tweets of Olympians, their families and TV pundits.

In a move that makes a good deal more sense than the 'official treat' and the 'official makeup', Twitter has signed up to be the 'official narrator' of the London 2012 Olympic Games, which open on my birthday Friday night.

In a deal with US broadcaster NBC, the social networking site will create an Olympic hub to showcase the tweets of Olympians, their families and TV pundits, the Wall Street Journal reports.

It's a crucial move for Twitter, which is hoping the Games will provide a 3m springboard into mainstream acceptance. NBC will prominently feature the Twitter hub on air, while the BBC has created a list of its reporters at London 2012, which is embedded on its main Olympics page.

Some British stars have signalled that they'll give Twitter a rest in the run up to their events, however, with both swimming gold medallist Rebecca Adlington (pictured) and heptathlete Jessica Ennis describing the site as a distraction.

"It is awful and I get angry," Adlington told the Telegraph, after some pillock called her a whale. "Even if there are ten nice comments, you get one idiot... I won't be checking Twitter or going on it a lot during the Games. I think I will just tweet when it's over."

"The IOC actively encourages and supports athletes... at the Olympic Games to take part in 'social media' and to post, blog and tweet their experiences," says the organising body's helpful social media guidelines.

"Postings, blogs and tweets should at all times conform to the Olympic spirit and fundamental principles of Olympism as contained in the Olympic Charter, be dignified and in good taste, and not contain vulgar or obscene words or images." Oh. Have they met our footballers?

Twitter will also dominate the capital's skyline, with the London Eye lit up every night with a sentiment tracker that shows how tweeters are feeling about the Games. Positive tweets will show in gold, negative in purple (to match the sky behind) -- and given the level of moaning I've already seen, I can't help but feel it's not a terribly good idea. Hopefully the general public will be more supportive than the whingeing gits I follow.

Not that it's all bouquets and Chariots of Fire here in London -- your faithful CNET UK team will largely be working from home during the Games, following the advice of mayor Boris Johnson, whose toff tones boom out over the Tube like an Etonian Big Brother.

Getting around town is bad enough at the best of times, but being caught in a crossfire of corporate brand police, roof-mounted rockets and official cars zooming down Olympic lanes sounds like hell on Earth. But still -- it's the Olympics! It'll be brilliant.

Are you excited about the Games coming to Britain? Or battening down the Olympic hatches? Pole-vault the captcha to leave a comment below, or don some lycra and pedal over to our golden Facebook page.

Image credit: Women's Views on News

 

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