This month GamesBids.com has been quietly celebrating a 10th anniversary of the date we began covering Olympic bids. While much of the world is focusing on the Beijing Games, we’ve kept tabs on the current bids while waxing nostalgic about the first bid we covered – Beijing. In fact that was our first bid winner announcement seven years ago.
But so much has changed since our original launch in 1998, and we need to change too. As you can see we’ve released a brand new Website with many new features and expanded coverage. Sure, the excitement of our new site will certainly be buried by the main event in Beijing this month – but we’re counting on being ready at the end of the Games when people begin to consider “where next?”
On our new site you’ll find enhanced multimedia including images and related video galleries, some with the cooperation of YouTube. Our news is reorganized and in easy-to-find categories so you can quickly scan and read topics that you are interested in. We’ve created new bid city focus pages that include recent news, photos, videos, and bid details all in one place.
Two new search services, one for archived news before 2005 and another for recent news to date, help you quickly find the information you are looking for allowing you to narrow down by category and date. There are almost 9000 articles to choose from.
Other features include visibility tools for the visually impaired; increased security for those who wish to interact with GamesBids.com; helpful tools that allow you to see what topics others are interested in and many more to come.
10 Years of Memories
GamesBids.com is the first and only publication dedicated to the bid process, and we’ve covered it so closely that at times we’ve become part of it. Starting when the Web was still in its infancy, we evolved as the Olympic bid process was still developing rules and standards to deal with the burgeoning technology. We helped shape those rules.
In 2002 when cities were bidding for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, GamesBids.com contacted various bid committees to convince them to reveal the contents of their mini bid-books online. This had never been done before so early in the campaign (for the 2008 bids, the cities released digital versions of the full bid books only after the evaluation commission completed site visits). Finally, Berne became the first city to release the documents online followed one-by-one by the other cities.
Initially Vancouver, the bid’s eventual winner, refused to release their “game plan” for competitive reasons but they soon realized the playing field had changed and probably grew tired of persistent calls from GamesBids.com and our readers – so they too published the documents. This practice has become a new standard in the Olympic bid process.
In 2003 a diligent GamesBids.com forum participant discovered the yet-to-be-unveiled Beijing 2008 logo in an online trademark database and brought it to our attention. Once we authenticated it, we were the first media outlet in the world to publicly reveal the now familiar red seal cutting Beijing 2008 logo that today adorns t-shirts, soda cans, plush toys and our television screens.
In 2004, we began our series of April Fool’s day articles that are now eagerly expected by regular readers. But nothing could top our very first edition when we announced that NASA was to launch a bid for the Olympic Games on the moon in 2036. While many were wise to the far-fetched gag immediately, the novelty of the story spread like a virus across the Internet and with thousands of links to the page on our site the article remains one of our most read stories ever.
In 1999 we launched our Olympic bid forums that quickly became a popular place to discuss all things Olympic, especially bids. We currently have thousands of members, hundreds of thousands of readers and discussions in hundreds of topics daily.
GamesBids.com was also first to release a comprehensive bid rating system, BidIndex, a trusted source that quickly became the imitated standard. We’ve been releasing updated results ever since.
Now, as the Beijing 2008 Games begin we look forward to another 10 years and wonder where sports, politics and technology will bring us next.