New media turn Beijing into e-Games

HONG KONG, July 30, 2008 (AFP) – When Coroebus of Elis won the first Olympic sprint in 776 BC, the result was scratched on to parchment and read out in market places in the following days and weeks. This year, the Olympic 100 metres champion will be announced immediately, to billions worldwide, via a click of the mouse or a curious buzzing in their pocket.

Thanks to new technology, the Beijing Olympics will be accessible to more people than ever before, and in increasingly diverse ways.

Office workers, instead of waiting for evening TV bulletins, can watch races live on their computers. Other fans will sign up for text alerts and video feeds to their mobile phones.

And for those who missed it, all the action will be easily — and quickly — available on video sites like YouTube.

It all adds up to a new approach to following the Games, eroding the traditional method of simply watching on TV.

“Modern technology has the ability to deliver results or feeds of what people want to see, rather than the viewer seeing only what the broadcaster decides you want to see,” said Danyll Wills, a Hong Kong-based technology consultant.

“YouTube will be inundated the next day. You’ll be