I waited a few weeks to look around the Lenovo site that was built around the 2008 Olympic games in Beijing. I wanted to see how things unfold.
Lenovo created a group blog featuring 100 athletes sharing their experiences before and during the games.
Lenovo is a worldwide partner of the games. Get ready to see their logo everywhere in August. It also happens that they are headquartered in not-so-free-speech China even though their commercials around the world during the Olympics will make us believe otherwise.
On top of that you have the IOC that tries to shut up their athletes and has totally failed with their great idea to bring more openness to China by awarding them the Olympic games. The IOC even agreed to censorship of journalists during the games.
I consider these the most misplaced games since the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. That shouldnâ€™t have happened either.
Enough politics. Letâ€™s move on to the site called â€œVoices of the Olympic gamesâ€.
Here is what you’ll get to see
One athlete from China
She is talking in Chinese. God only knows what she is revealing on the site. She will certainly not talk about the age of some of her team mates.
Where are the stars?
None of the big stars of the games are on the site. They are too busy practicing or seem to have other ( as in: better paying) engagements.
Example #1 â€“ Basketball: Three players are on the site. All from Spain. Donâ€™t bother looking for Pau Gasol though. No NBA stars.
Example #2 â€“ Swimming: Thatâ€™s a classic Olympic sport. There are three swimmers on the site. Two from Italy and one from South Africa. The US team is completely absent. Australia is another great swimming nation but represented not on the site either.
Exampe #3 â€“ Track and Field: One US athlete on there. David Oliver is his name. I had to look him up on Google. A sponsored link from Lenovo popped up! He runs hurdles in case you wondered.
One athlete from Germany
Lena Schoenebom is a Modern Pentathlete. Germany has over 440 athletes at the games. Too bad none of the more popular ones are on the site. At least she is blogging in Englishâ˜º
Dirk Nowitzki is not on there but would have been a great resource. He loves to talk about his experience as an Olympic. How about adding Chris Kaman to the site? How does it feel to have a German passport all out of a sudden? How is your German coming along?
And how many Russian athletes are on the site?
Zero! Not a single athlete from one of the biggest sports nations of the world. How about hearing from them about their preparation for the games?
I guess they must all be on Macs and refused to use a Lenovo Laptop.
No. I am not impressed with the selection of athletes and the language barriers on their site. The posts should be in English or they should be on a separate site.
I am not criticizing the absence of US athletes. I am criticizing the absence of stars. Many of the stars of the games could well be American.
But you’ll see a Tae Kwon Do athlete form Peru or a Canoeist from New Zealand.
Apparently it is all about participating â€“ at the Olympics â€“ not at the Lenovo site.
What are they talking about?
I am also not impressed with the noticeable absence of many topics that would actually trigger me to follow the site:
- Air quality maybe?
- Feeling speechless?
- Too many IOC restrictions?
- Quarrels with their national sports organizations?
- How do they feel about competing with athletes that might not be clean?
I donâ€™t care how many pairs of socks these athletes packed in their bags and how their latest practice went.
The rather irrelevant personal stuff should go on Plurk or mySpace â€“ not on Twitter please!
Give me something Iâ€™d like to talk about with my buddies.
I only took a sample. I might do some guys on the blog wrong. Paul Bremerâ€™s nephew is on there and he clearly has a background to provide some more relevant postings. I just was turned off by the vast majority of entries after a few minutes and didn’t digg deeper.
I hate to break it but this site is boring. It is simply way too politically correct. And we have plenty of that right now already. This is not authentic. Maybe I am wrong and the Viral Blog has it right.
Maybe and hopefully things will turn around and the site will improve during the games.
I am breaking my story in two pieces. It is getting a bit long for one blog post.
So my next post will deal with: HOW WOULD I HAVE DONE IT?