Its just seven days until the London 2012 Olympics Begins, and I for one am very excited. I’m not just excited because I love sport, or excited by having the eyes of the World on our great Capital city, or because of the much needed boost that the influx of tourism will give to our fair Isle. I’m excited because of the significant cultural shift that has happened since the 2008 games; the influx of Digital.
That may sound crazy. Of course Digital has been significant in our culture for at least 15 years. But looking back over how far tech, advertising, media and online communication has shifted in the past four years, we have come a long way! And the Olympics is the catalyst for making me appreciate this dramatic shift in human culture, and just how far we have come.
In fact, has there been a more significant cultural shift in the way that human beings consume information and interact in human history, than the last 4 years? A bold statement indeed so lets break it down:
2008- 60 million users
2012- 900 million users
2008- 2million users
2012- 140million users
Smart Phone Sales
2008- 139million devises
2012- 412million devises (so far)
2012- 34million units (so far)
Online newspaper readership
These figures show the World has changed. Digital Globalisation is in full effect. A user can get news and information at a time and in a way that fits their needs and requirements, they can give opinion and comment and share with their peers. The lines of communication are open 24/7. We can see and speak to the Olympic Athletes, give them encouragement, hear how they are feeling, and even find out what they had for breakfast.
As a hungry consumer of Digital communication and news about the Olympics I feel part of this special event. Is it because its in London and Weymouth? No. Even if it was in Sydney I would feel more ‘involved’ than previous games because of the amount of media that is now open to me. I can consumer more data and information than ever before. Not just on the terms of the news outlets releasing information, but comment and narrative from people in the know, my digital peers and friends and family.
Four years is a long time in Digital. Will things change as significantly in the next four years? Who knows. What I do know is, as a tech CEO, its up to me to keep up to date with the latest trends and shifts in culture. It goes back to rule number one- focus on the user and all else will follow.