The official website of the Beijing Olympics, Beijing2008.cn, attracted over 16 million visitors in just the first ten days following the opening ceremony. The website, with versions in Chinese, English, French, Spanish and Arabic, managed to be incredibly popular, thus underscoring the fact that people's attention is far from being claimed entirely by traditional communication means as it once was.
"It's exciting to see that the official Chinese Olympics site was built in a variety of languages so as to attract visitors from across the globe," said Gian Fulgoni, chairman at comScore, the company that conducted a study regarding the number of people who used the Internet to stay up to date with the Olympics. "Once again the Internet, like the Olympic Games itself, shows that we are truly becoming a world without borders."
The Asia-Pacific area accounts for 45.4% of the total number of visits to the abovementioned website. This is not a surprise, considering the fact that China alone brought in 25.7% of the traffic, which earns the organizing country the gold medal for the largest Internet audience for Beijing2008.cn. North America follows suit, with 30.5% of the global audience registered by the official website. US users dramatically contributed to this percentage - 24.8% of them navigated the Olympics website, while the remaining 5.7% came from Canadian ones.
Europe came only on third place in the continental top of the regions that were most interested in the Olympics. With only 16.3% of the total audience, it seems that Europeans were not too interested in the online coverage of the Games, despite the fact that their athletes fared so well in the competition. Russia, Great Britain, Germany, Italy and France were all in the top 10 nations medal ranking.
The Middle East-Africa area and Latin America accounted for 4.1% and 3.8% respectively of the audience for the official website. The rather low interest rate could be explained by the fact that competitors from these regions were not among the favorites in any competition. The country that ranked best in the multi-national chart was Kenya, coming on the 15th position.