Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Following Social Media Development Through Past World Cups

Posted by Amanda Walsh

Hi everyone! I’m back from Madrid after two years abroad! I miss it there, but there is no place like beautiful Bucks County, Pa. to call home! One hobby that I picked up while living abroad was watching soccer games. What perfect timing to come back to the US with the 2010 World Cup in full swing. I wanted to share some interesting World Cup social media developments I discovered through mashable.com.

According to The World Cup’s Social Media Evolution article by Zachary Sniderman, 2002 was the first year that the Internet was heavily used to reach out to fans. Looking back though, the most notable development was creation of a few websites dedicated to connecting with fans. Social media surrounding the World Cup has certainly come a long way since then.

The following World Cup in 2006 was held in Germany. Social media was growing, but not nearly at the stage it is now. For example, Facebook was still only for high school and college students (remember that?)! MySpace was the website of choice at the time in the US. That year in fact, Google and Nike teamed up to create Joga.com, known as “the first social network for football fans worldwide”.

In 2010, World Cup fans use social media more than ever before. Twitter recently reported on their blog the challenge of updating the website and accommodating the growth of new users tweeting about the World Cup. Most recently however, the folks at Twitter shared a Twitter platform application for worldwide soccer fans called, TweetBeat World Cup.

In addition, I did a few searches on Facebook for keywords like World Cup, FIFA, and Spain fans and I found a variety of fan pages dedicated to soccer. YouTube has the “Ten Best World Cup Goals” as a feature on its site. Even the iPhone and other applications for smartphones such as Android are featuring exclusive applications for the World Cup. NPR has dedicated a blog to following the game results and other major news outlets like CNN, NYtimes and Huffington Post are sharing news 24 hours a day.

I knew that soccer was an integral part of European and international culture when I was in Madrid, but I did not expect the fan fever to be as rampant here in the States! I was quite shocked to see that Americans are following the sport more closely than ever before. To read more about the development of social media through the World Cup, check out Sniderman’s article here.

(photo credit: fifa.com)

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