The Australian Olympic Committee has banned all the country’s athletes from blogging whilst at next year’s Olympics in Beijing. The BBC reports that the Australian Olympic Committee believes blogging would “erode the sanctity of the Olympic village”. What tosh! I know several people who have competed in the Olympics and the words “Olympic village” and “sanctity” don’t usually appear in the same sentence. The Olympic village is much more like a university hall of residence, they tell me, with much drinking and bonking going on. To say that blogging would in some way destroy a special place shows how much these sports authorities know about things. It also reveals how little they know about blogging and its psychological position. Almost all of the Olympic athletes from Australia will be young. They will have grown up using Internet communications as standard. They will perceive blogging in a way that is an everyday, normal activity: as normal as conversation to those of us who grew up without such technology. To ban an athlete from blogging would be like telling them they can’t speak to anyone. It will certainly have a detrimental psychological effect on Australian athletes. And that will be exploited by atheletes from other countries who will be allowed to blog. Expect Australia to get less medals than they predict.
Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist who studies the way people use the online world, in particular how people engage with businesses. He uses this knowledge to help companies improve their online connections to their customers and potential customers and offers consultancy, workshops, masterclasses and webinars. He also speaks regularly at conferences and business events. Graham is an award-winning writer and the author of 32 books, several of which are about various aspects of the Internet. For more information connect with me on Google+