IOC NEWS: Hello world IOC President Rogge interacts with Olympic fans live on Chinese microblog
Jacques Rogge made International Olympic Committee (IOC) history this week when he became its first President to go live on the Web during an hour-long interview on China’s largest microblogging site, Sina Weibo.President Rogge answered a variety of questions selected from those submitted by the over two million fans of the Olympic page on weibo.com, currently the IOC’s only official voice in China. While video of the interview was being streamed live, text of President Rogge’s statements were being simultaneously tweeted. Approximately 100,000 messages before and during the live chat were exchanged on Weibo on this topic. In less than 24 hours following the interview, the video of the Q&A session had been viewed over one million times, while the Olympic site on Weibo welcomed over 40,000 new fans over the same period.
Moderated by Xinhua News Agency journalist Yang Ming, the interview covered a range of topics, from the upcoming Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing in 2014 to the 14th World Conference on Sport for All, taking place in Beijing from 21 to 23 September.
“Hello Olympic fans”
“Hello all fans of Olympism, all fans of the Olympic Games. I am very glad to be in contact with you,” President Rogge’s said. “The IOC is expanding a lot in social media around the world. We are working in many languages, we are reaching many people, but we are particularly focused on young people because they are more engaged in social media than, let’s say, people of my generation. We are reaching the youth of the world through social media.”
The IOC has significantly expanded its use of social media and other online communications tools to engage younger audiences, promote the Olympic values and share the magic of the Games with the largest possible audience. The IOC and other participants at the Sport for All Conference in Beijing agreed that social media are crucial to getting the word out about the benefits of sport on health and encouraging people of all ages and abilities to get active.
President Rogge said the IOC would continue to expand its efforts in the social media sphere. “We have a clear policy, and that policy is that the Internet and social media have become some of the most important ways of communicating. We are working more and more with such entities as Weibo, Facebook and Twitter, and will continue to do so in the future.”
Sticking with tradition
President Rogge’s interview on Weibo also created waves offline. The event was covered by more than 20 newspapers across China, over a dozen TV stations, and numerous online media in addition to the news agencies Xinhua and China News Agency.