Canada's Torrid Love Affair With Social Media
Written by: Tami Jones
Canadians and Social Networking sites have been carrying on a torrid love affair for years, and the passion doesn’t appear to be waning. Gone are the days when social media was designed to befittingly lure in the spring chickens of the younger years, Canadians spanning all generations are now using social media as a marketing accoutrement, a source of immeasurable entertainment, and as a mainstay of advanced communication.
Social media trends are virtually the pulse of the Internet. The face of communication has been drastically altered in the last decade and it has provided Canadians the ability to connect with networks and communities in an instant. As people increasingly work and live online, and as long as technology continues to make our lives easier and more productive, social media will continue to dominate the information superhighway.
Though nothing has the impact of a face to face meeting, social media has a reach that allows Canadians to expand their relationships outside of their geographic area. It enables us to keep in constant touch with our audience and it turns a one way conversation into an interactive dialogue.
Did You Know…
- At Facebook’s current growth rate, it will succeed the world’s population by 2014?
- The vast majority of Canadians have a social networking profile and the usage of social networking sites is dramatically increasing?
- There are currently more Canadians using Facebook than there are people living in New Zealand, Ireland, and Norway?
- YouTube is watched by more Canadians than anyone else in the world?
- Canadians out-tweet and visit Facebook more often than Americans?
So what does this all mean, and why do you care? It means that Canadians are leading the way with their on-line prowess and that they’re expertly keeping up with the latest technologies and social media outlets.
Social media has arguably been the biggest shift since the industrial revolution. Whether Canadians are using it for business or personal reasons, it’s important because it’s living and breathing. It touches every facet of life from business, to politics, to art and activism.
Let’s face it: the social media craze in Canada is here to stay. This doesn’t mean that we’re swapping out our real lives enjoying our friends, family, and the incomparable beauty offered by this great country to spend more time indoors watching videos or tweeting about the colour of the four walls surrounding us. It just means that we’re managing our time more efficiently, so that we can take more time to appreciate it, while building relationships that was never possible before.
How AWS helps NASCAR delight its fans
AWS needs no introduction to readers of Technology Magazine but we rarely get an opportunity to look closely at how it serves the sports sector. All major sports draw in a huge supporter base that they want to nurture and support. Technology is the key to every major sports organization and enabling this is the driving force for AWS, says Matt Hurst, Head of Global Sports Marketing and Communications for AWS. “In sports, as in every industry, machine learning and artificial intelligence and high performance computing are helping to usher in the next wave of technical sports innovation.”
AWS approaches sports in three principal areas. “The first is unlocking data’s potential: leagues and teams hold vast amounts of data and AWS is enabling them to analyze that data at scale and make better, more informed decisions. The second is engaging and delighting fans: with AWS fans are getting deeper insights through visually compelling on-screen graphics and interactive Second Screen experiences. And the third is rapidly improving sports performance: leagues and teams are using AWS to innovate like never before.”
Among the many global brands that partner with AWS are Germany's Bundesliga, the NFL, F1, the NHL, the PGA Tour and of course NASCAR. NASCAR has worked with AWS on its digital transformation (migrating it's 18 petabyte video archive containing 70 years of historical footage to AWS), to optimize its cloud data center operations and to enable its global brand expansion. AWS Media Services powers the NASCAR Drive mobile app, delivering broadcast-quality content for more than 80 million fans worldwide. The platform, including AWS Elemental MediaLive and AWS Elemental MediaStore, helps NASCAR provide fans instant access to the driver’s view of the race track during races, augmented by audio and a continually updated leaderboard. “And NASCAR will use our flagship machine learning service Amazon SageMaker to train deep learning models to enhance metadata and video analytics.”
Using AWS artificial intelligence and machine learning, NASCAR aims to deliver even more fan experiences that they'd never have anticipated. “Just imagine a race between Dale Earnhardt Sr and Dale Jr at Talladega! There's a bright future, and we're looking forward to working with NASCAR, helping them tap into AWS technology to continue to digitally transform, innovate and create even more fan experiences.”
Just as AWS is helping NASCAR bridge that historical gap between the legacy architecture and new technology, more customers are using AWS for machine learning than any other provider. As an example, who would have thought five years ago that NFL would be using ML to predict and prevent injury to its players? Since 2017, the league has utilized AWS as its official cloud and ML provider for the NFL Next Gen Stats (NGS) platform, which provides real-time location data, speed, and acceleration for every player during every play on every inch of the field. “One of the most potentially revolutionary components of the NFL-AWS partnership,” says Matt Hurst, “is the development of the 'Digital Athlete,' a computer simulation model that can be used to replicate infinite scenarios within the game environment—including variations by position and environmental factors, emphasizing the league's commitment to player safety.”