Meet the newest Olympic event: sharing London updates in 140 characters or less. The Olympic experience is no longer confined to your living room TV. Technology allows for everything from live-streaming to a glimpse into athletes' lives via Twitter.
"They're calling it the social games with good reason," said Wesley Ker-Fox, director of social media for Naartjie Multimedia, which operates out of Columbus and Panama City Beach, Fla. Here are some ways to experience the Olympics with technology.
Need proof that Twitter will be a force in this year's Games? The International Olympic Committee is encouraging participants to tweet -- with limits. The Olympics have already spawned one Twitter-driven controversy: the Greek athlete who was removed from the Games due to a racist tweet.
"Twitter's going to be considered one of the main media sources for communication (during the Games)," said Lucas Shaffer, owner of Columbus-based Stand And Stretch, which specializes in social media, web design and more.
Don't know where to start? Ker-Fox recommends visiting hub.olympic.org, where you can enter an athlete's name and learn how to keep up with that person on Facebook and Twitter.
Also, visit twitter.com/london2012 and click on "lists" on the side of the page. The "Olympians" list spans Twitter accounts for more than 300 international athletes.
You can watch free live streams of Olympic events on your computer, tablet or mobile device. However, the process isn't as simple as it sounds.
To use NBC Olympics Live Extra, you must have a cable, satellite or telco subscription that includes CNBC and MSNBC. You need to verify your subscription to sign up for the live streams.
The sign-up process could deter some people from using Live Extra.
"Is the treasure at the end of the rainbow enough to cross through the murky marsh?" Shaffer said of the live streams.
Online extras and apps
You don't need a special subscription to view the highlights that will be posted on nbcolympics.com -- but remember, this footage isn't live. Same goes for the content available with the free NBC Olympics app.
Not all Olympics-inspired apps focus on sports. Some are just plain fun.
Ker-Fox points to Coca-Cola Olympic Games My Beat Maker, an app that lets you create musical beats complete with sports sound effects.
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