Social Media is the new Olympic event?

There is a great article in the Vancouver Sun about using the opportunity of the 2010 Games in Vancouver to better understand and see the benefits of using social media strategies in particular, and the integration of new media in general, when it comes to large organized events.

In the article, the Fearless City Mobile Project and W2, an art project using citizen journalists from the DTES (Downtown Eastside) are examined to show how this type of contribution by ordinary people and youth can not only offer and encourage participation and offer an alternate view of the games, but also change lives. Although many organizations now recognize the importance of social media– the importance of dialogue online that traditional media fails to provide– Vancouver’s Kris Krug and Dave Olson (both local social media evangelists) say the adaptation process is still slower than it should be.

Vanoc has been reaching out to the community to better understand social media, but it has been slow to adopt it, says Kris Krug. Citizens, athletes and corporations will all be making media, whether it’s part of Vanoc’s official strategy or not.

Krug, along with Olson and W2 executive director Irwin Oostindie is organizing the True North Media House, a grassroots campaign aimed at encouraging social media coverage of Olympic sporting and cultural events. Although funding has been short, there is still optimism that it’ll be implemented. But it’s not only them jumping on the social media wagon. The West Van School District and Cultural CODE, a VANOC cultural site, also recognize the importance of participatory media. They’ve called out for submissions from students and artists to submit work using social media.

So, what do you think?  Would you be more interested to read a “real” story from the Olympics as opposed to one that CTV, let’s say publishes online?