Olympics gets gold-medal coverage in the blogosphere

The 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing China started on Friday, August 8 with great fanfare and hundreds of thousands of fireworks. While the Olympics has its own blog dedicated to the games, we know that the world is taking to the blogosphere to discuss the games and to root for their country's athletes.

The 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing China started on Friday, August 8 with great fanfare and hundreds of thousands of fireworks. While the Olympics has its own blog dedicated to the games, we know that the world is taking to the blogosphere to discuss the games and to root for their country's athletes.

While it's still only a few days into the Games, they've already proved to be exciting. Luckily for Olympics fans, it is only the beginning of the competition yet to come. What is the blogosphere buzzing about on the Olympics overall?

- Michael Phelps is the swimmer and Olympian everyone is buzzing about. With over 50 unique blogs writing about him, the swimmer is the most discussed Olympian in the blogsphere – and he hopes to be the most decorated Olympian at the end of the Games. As one would imagine, some of the top media outlet bloggers are the most influential on Phelps, including those from the LA Times and Atlantic Monthly. Another influential blog (influence is determined by BuzzLogic's Insights tool, which includes an algorithm that looks at over a dozen different criteria to determine influence), Fassination, dedicated to strength and conditioning, discussed the 10,000 calorie per day regimen swimmers like Phelps subscribe to during the rigors of training.

- The US men's basketball team is also getting a lot of attention from bloggers. Dubbed the “Redeem Team” this year, the team plans to come home with the gold after a disappointing bronze medal in Athens. The team's commanding performance against China had influentials like Peace and Freedom believing in the promise of gold, while other influentials like NBA Obsessed are discussing how the US team members are being treated like rock stars in Beijing.

-The preliminary team competition for both men's and women's gymnastics demonstrated that there was much chatter around both competitions. On the men's side, influencers around the men's team lamented the loss of the Hamm brothers, who were instrumental in the team's finish in Athens. Influential blog Kids Prefer Cheese noted that the US stock market fell upon the announcement of the second Hamm loss, with Morgan pulling out due to an injury. Women's gymnastics also saw controversy among influential blog conversations. There has been quite a bit of chatter around the ages of the Chinese gymnasts, with many like influential blog Cranach believing that the some of the girls are not really sixteen, but much younger. (Since this analysis was conducted, the men's team has won the bronze medal and the women's team, the silver.)

- The business of the Olympic Games has not been forgotten among bloggers. One hot topic among influencers is about watching the games. Venture Beat wrote about using the Web to watch the Olympics, point to the fact that sports on the Web are very popular, as evidenced by the NCAA basketball tournament and MLB.tv. In addition, the fact that NBC has passed the $1 billion in ad revenue around the games has many bloggers, including influential blog Awful Announcing, buzzing, as it is a big feat in the economic times.

- One more topic that has sparked attention from journalists covering the games is the mistrust of the Chinese censorship of the press, which Wired posted on the ways that cryptography could be used to get the story to the States, especially those on sensitive topics.

We will continue to see both casual and die-hard sports fans talk with one another about the races and competition, and watch groups come together around big wins and losses. We have also learned that the Olympics are still one of the biggest “businesses” in sports, and that the world is still a little cautious around China's policies. The Games will be over quickly, but the memories will last forever and at least we still have many more days of the competition left to enjoy.

Evaluation and analysis by BuzzLogic's Insights. Insights determines blog influence by factoring over a dozen criteria, including posting habits and linking activity. Based on the analysis of 8,064 blog postings from July 1 - August 11, 2008
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