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Conversations in social media spread like wildfire

london2012.gifWhen I first saw the controversial London Olympics 2012 logo, I had a reaction. I am not a designer (although I think I have a pretty good eye) so I left that conversation to people with a lot more experience. However, the debate that has resulted and the other movements circling the net are being done online using social media. That's right up my alley so let's get a short overview.

The logo was unveiled on June 4th as a press conference. It cost about $800,000 US and people are greatly polarized on it. There were multiple options to choose from and this won out. (Personally I see this logo as more art than story teller, but who am I?)

Read these posts for more information and great insights:

I think the interesting thing in this situation is the way in which the conversation and opinions spread. Think back a couple years ago. Olympic logo unveilings consisted of a press conference, pre-packaged TV and radio sound-bytes and a press kit. News outlets covered it, but the opinion was all offline. You may have talked about it for a day at the coffee shop or maybe a bit longer if it was your home country.

But today, the animal is different. You can pre-package clips and media kits all you want, but the Internet works faster than the wire does. Somebody attends the event, snaps a pic and some video, uploads it to YouTube and Flickr, creates a blog post (see above), pings the search engines and viola. The conversation is born while the press is still rewinding their tape recorders and PR people scramble.

Opinion spreads virally through blogs, comments, parody, etc. That's what happened here. There is even a petition to revoke the logo (see it here) with 50,000 names attached. All of that in TWO days.

The technology is driving this conversation. It's allowing people from around the world to share ideas in near real time and it's making the job of PR folks much more difficult. There are a lot more conversations happening in more places than ever. How are you monitoring what people are saying about you and your brand? They are talking you know. Go take a look.

What should the London committee do in this case? Should they allow people to vote or should they stick to their guns?


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