With the world’s attention turned to Vancouver, Canada, where the games of the Winter Olympics are taking place, the U.S. Olympic Committee realized it needed to address the evolving media landscape by publishing faster and more frequently than it had in the past.
The committee’s answer? SharePoint.
“The [different sport] organizations are the primary content contributors. We had to make it easy for non-technical people to contribute content,” said Josh Henderson of Slalom Consulting, a Microsoft partner that worked closely with the USOC on the website project. While sports fans use the site, so do journalists, who need access to times, records and back stories to fill in their coverage.
According to Art Pettigrue of Microsoft, “We focused on an intuitive UI that you could use to easily sort and search for statistics and photos. We had to have support for RSS feeds, so [subscribers] could know instantly when the site is updated. They’re aggregating athletes’ Twitter feeds, pulling in feeds from athletes as they’re preparing to compete, or just finished competing. Then, we had to share it and publish it from the site.”
Henderson added that the new site provides the USOC with the ability to tag articles a number of different ways, using “managed keywords” and “lookup in other lists,” by storing the information in out-of-the-box SharePoint lists. Silverlight applications are stored in document libraries in SharePoint, so content providers don’t have to go through operations to make changes to the site. “Just change the app, and re-upload it via the standard SharePoint administration UI,” Henderson said.
Somebody should give them a medal!