The Worm Turns for Big Media

There have been two big events in the media world in the past couple days, and to some extent, I think both have gone largely unnoticed.  The first is that the 2008 Olympics have become a real social media event, such to the extent that it’s been written about almost as much as Misty May’s tattoo or Michael Phelp’s speedo.  From the NY Times (pointer via Churbuck.com) article by David Carr:

“On Friday, NBC spent the day trying to plug online leaks of the splashy opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics in order to protect its taped prime-time broadcast 12 hours later. There was a profound change in roles here: a network trying to delay broadcasting a live event, more or less TiVo-ing its own content.”

(Read Churbuck’s commentary on this here…)

It’s true.  I’m running YouTube videos from Beijing on Cycling.com and reading all manner of blogs, tweets, etc. about the festities.  If you want a good look at what Web 2.0 can do for you, look at what Lenovo’s accomplished.  Their SummerGames.Lenovo.com site has 100 athlete bloggers taking us right inside the story.  How cool is it to see video and pics of the opening ceremony *from the inside looking out* or to hear someone like Robert Gesink from Denmark discuss the strategy he employed in the Men’s Road Race (cycling).

Lenovo didn’t stop there, they have a twitter account (Lenovo2008) which has kind of taken the next step from “getting the converstation started” to “keeping the dialogue going” (beware, they do tweet results – and they tend to come 6-10 hours before NBC shows the events).  Then you’ve got their Interactive Podium – which has become my first go to site for Olympics info

So yes, the way that we’re getting our info is changing dramatically – and I’d urge anyone that’s not reading David Churbuck’s blog to do so right now – he’s posting from Beijing and covering the proceedings in a way that is truly unique and utterly motivating.

And meanwhile, back in mainstream media..via Valleywag

That which the newspapermen had been warning us about has finally happened.  Last Friday when the Russia went into Georgia (actually South Ossetia, a mountainous region with around 128,00 70,000 inhabitants – note that Worcester, MA has more than twice as many residents at 175,000) , we were treated to a Google page on the war, with a pin in the map over Georgia.  Savannah, Georgia, in fact.

We’ve been told by mainstream news that if we allow Google to be our newsource, our news is only going to be as good as their algorithm, and in this case, it put Georgia on the opposite side of the world.

The point is that as we push away from the main stream, this is exactly what we lose.  When the story is machine made, rather than vetted by a surly old copy editor, it’s going to get gamed, and it will sometimes be wrong.  In this case, it’s *REALLY* wrong.

On another note, I suggest we all take a look at some foreign news sources today to find out what they think about the Russia/Georgia war – I think we will find their take wholly contrary to that which we are getting from AP which has almost been a single source for US news reporting on the issue.  (Here’s a good bit from Reuters…)