Facebook Olympics London 2012

Facebook's Explore London 2012 resource

Facebook has announced the launch of Explore London 2012, a page designed to help Olympics fans and journalists to keep track of the latest stories.

The page, which combines pages for athletes, national teams and sports, and will soon add Facebook pages for broadcasters NBC and BBC, and for sponsors.

According to a release, Joanna Shields, VP and managing director EMEA at Facebook said the tool means "all athletes can have an audience" and "share their stories with the world."
Mark Adams, director of communications at the IOC said in the release "these will be the first truly 'social' Games".
UK athletes providing updates include Tom Daly, Jessica Ennis, and the cycling team.

TechCrunch points out in a post that Facebook’s relationship with the Olympics is not exclusive.

"There will also be dedicated portals on Google+, as well as a Twitter branded page, a one-day check-in event with Foursquare (on Olympic Day), a project with Tumblr, and another specifically with Instagram," TechCrunch reports.

"And, in China, because so much social media traffic comes over local sites, the Olympics is also working with Sina Weibo and Youku, Mark Adams, Director of Communications at the IOC, tells me."

Facebook has also put together a journalists' guide "to help you think about how and where you can find stories and information on Facebook".

It recommends the following:

1. Subscribe

Using Subscribe on your personal account to "spread your stories further and become the go to journalist for Olympics updates". (See our guide on how to use Facebook Subscribe as a journalist.)

Facebook says the benefits are: "your stories can go viral" by providing "direct distribution through the news feeds of your readers and their friends"; "you can join the conversation" by messaging readers; "you can add some personality"; provide discovery in search, allow readers to "find your timeline and shared articles more easily"; and you can find sources and potential interviewees.

2. Search for public posts

Facebook advises journalists to use the search facility. "If there’s a false start or a surprise winner, you can find posts to show people’s reaction straight away."
"If you find a quote you want to use, you can go to their timeline and message them privately if they have this function turned on so that you’re checking they’re happy to be quoted without having to be their friend on Facebook."
The guide also advises you to search Facebook groups and pages "to find sources affiliated with specific organisations or groups". There are also likely to be groups that will spring up "around Olympic heroes or crazes and trends in London", the guide says.
3. Interests lists

The guide advises journalists to "subscribe to the Olympics list on Facebook to see updates from teams, athletes and organisations involved in the Games right in your news feed".

"Search for other relevant interest lists and you can create your own here."
4. Data

Facebook will also be sharing public Facebook data throughout the Games to provide "an idea of the types of things people are talking about".

"Have a look at what people were talking about around the Royal Wedding or the most popular topics in 2011 to get an idea of the stats we can provide."

Facebook's UK PR Nelson Bostock will also provide data updates. The PR firm invites journalists to sign up for data updates by emailing Facebook at nelsonbostock.com.

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