Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Olympic Media

Well I have been gone awhile. We went right from the very strange valentines day weekend choices by my resident teen: Moulin Rouge for her red velvet laced party to a cozy night with Lola Rennt with the beau.
Those would not have been my choices for romance, but I am of a different generation.
But then we fell into the Olympics. What a difference four years makes in media! I know I am usually focused on film here, but the lines between media formats are blurring when you can get TV shows (whole seasons of them!)on DVD's and stream movies off the internet. My children won't see the lines between formats, so I feel free to discuss how we accessed the Olympics through media in my Usually About Film blog.
When our local boy Shani Davis last went for the gold, we were visiting the grandparents in Florida and trolling for big screens at sports bars to watch the races. This time we have our own big screen. And we have the internet and social media. So as I am watching the race via HD cable, I can see what's on Shani's facebook fan page and official website and integrate that information (and conversation) into my experience. And when our other Olympic hero Anton Apollo Ohno (I love any athlete that can dance well) was racing, we could check out his twittering, and read recent coverage on his preparation. The race, courtesy of the TV, was the heart of our experience, but the internet allowed us to feel up close, personal and real time about it. It may have felt more real than actually being there would have. It allowed us to communicate back to the athletes, and from what I can see, the athletes feel the love. It was very bizarre to see the uploads that the athletes marching in the opening ceremonies were posting AS THEY WALKED. We got an insider's collage of what the experience was like. And of course, we could replay our favorite parts over and over again, via YouTube and Vimeo and whatever else folks are posting to. Quick search and viola, the entire Olympics experience at your finger tips.

The officially interesting thing to me was that I was completely steering the experience. I was free to digest what mainstream media and the official Vancouver site was putting out, but there were all these other informal ways to access the content I wanted. And there were ways to talk back. We really are in a new era with new media and it will take a while before I can digest what it will all mean, but at first blush, I would say that it puts a universe of choices in your laptop, and editing abilities are going to be a hot commodity--its too easy to overload on information. Our kids are growing up talking back to what's coming out of the screen. And this will change EVERYTHING. Bad news for control freaks, but for now I am having fun immersing myself in Vancouver.

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