Third Tuesday covers Social Media and The 2010 Olympic Games

Video courtesy of Justin Carlson,

Vancouver’s Third Tuesday is a well organized event that happens, you guessed it, every third Tuesday of the month and has been reported about on Techvibes in the past. This week the group held a panel discussion with Q&A discussing Social Media and the Olympics. The panel was made up of three of Vancouver’s top social reporters: John Biehler, Rebecca Bollwitt and Kris Krug. The panel began by talking about how they received the official and unofficial accreditation highlighting the importance of non-traditional groups such as the True North Media House.

John Biehler was interviewed by CBC news groups from across the country who were curious about this official unofficial accreditation. The main message I received from the panel was that if you are passionate about what you do and act like you belong ‘the media’ is not such an exclusive group anymore, even at the Olympics. The True North Media House was born from efforts by locals Robert Scales, Kris Krug and Dave Olson, who wrote VANOC hoping to address the needs and rights of social reporters at the games. After their efforts went unanswered the group sprung into action and True North Media house was born.

The Olympics and the efforts of Vancouverites really allowed social media to step into the mainstream. Unofficial media groups like the CBC (CTV held exclusive rights as the official media group of the Games) were forced to wait until things had been reported by CTV to even mention them. While social reporters and regular citizens could tweet or facebook or post results as they came in. This was the big change in my eyes. Social reporting had replaced second tier media groups due to the strict regulations they had to abide by that citizens didn’t. It was also mentioned that the unofficial media (CBC, etc.) were reporting on the same stories that bloggers and others were reporting through the net. Stories like the tent city or the Poverty Olympics or the young blogger, about 10 years old, who was able to get into LiveCity Yaletown with his True North Media House pass and even appeared on USA Today.

Be sure to check out the video above and listen to the Q&A to hear some of the best parts of the panel event. The event wasn’t about digging deep into ethical questions or what makes a journalist. It was about debriefing and decompressing sharing experience and stories of an amazing time in our city’s history and it was nice to be there among a community of people who continue to push things forward in Vancouver and share those lessons beyond our fair city. The controversy that had originally appeared on the Meetup website (see comments) was no where to be seen and the liveblog opened for the purpose of including those who couldn’t attend went unused by individuals claiming that they had been ‘left out’. “We had a f-ing blast doing it.” -Kris Krug speaks for me and many others I am sure.