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Friday, January 3, 2014

The Ubiquity Of The Great Lake Swim

Doug Stanley and his team at Ridgeline Entertainment are going to create a ubiquitous online presence on and with Facebook, SmackDab and traditional media (television, print, radio) surrounding Jamie Patrick's 90-mile (144.8 km) Great Lake Swim in August.

With more than 50 hours of programming planned of Patrick's 90-mile crossing of Lake Michigan - and countless hours before and after the swim - that we fear that FOMO (fear of missing out) may lead swimmers to be social notworking.

Especially if Patrick swims during the weekdays, swimmers will not only be constantly checking his website, Facebook messages, the non-stop webcast, news releases, media updates, expert commentary, tweets and video updates to see how he is doing, but they will also be second screening (reading social media comments about the swim they are watching) and chatterboxing (chatting online with other swimmers watching the same swim/broadcast).

When Stanley intertwines programming of other endurance athletes (e.g., ultra-marathon runners and extreme athletes doing unprecedented feats) into the Great Lake Swim broadcast, the interweaving networks of athletes, fans and friends will lead to a crescendo of digital hecktivity that may cause people at work and at school to pay continuous partial attention to Patrick's swim updates and its related online commentary. They will be constantly checking their mobile devices and responding to phone vibrations, beeps, texts, SMS and other weapons of mass distraction.

Within their office cubicles or at the school library, swimmers will be watching video clips and reading crew updates being fauxductive. They may even suffer from nomophobia if they are in a car, train or subway or slightly perturbed if they are in a meeting or conference during key parts of the swim.

They may check their phones in their beds, during their meals, while listening to a lecture or sitting in class. They will want to check for updates as they walk to and from the parking lot, and up and down the elevators at work, and on their way to the pool or shore. The social connectivity and communication potential of the Great Lake Swim will be ubiquitous come this August.

The Great Lake Swim from Jamie Patrick on Vimeo.

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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