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Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton joins TikTok social media video app – Edmonton


One of the oldest institutions has turned to one of the newest social media sites to help spread the Good Word.

The Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton decided to join TikTok after noticing a drop in engagement on other social media sites like Instagram.

It is one of the first religious organizations to use the platform in Canada. Officials told Global News the decision was not an easy one, but that it is a natural step.

“Evangelization, you know, in different mediums is not a new thing,” social media strategist Lincoln Ho explained of the decision.

The app is one of the fastest-growing social networking sites in the world, accumulating 500 million active users worldwide since launching in 2016.


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In fact, it beat out a few of its more seasoned competitors, like Twitter and Snapchat, which boast about 330 million and 203 million active users, respectively.

The mobile TikTok app allows users to shoot and edit short videos set to music and has been downloaded more than 1.5 billion times.

The videos range in length from 15 to 60 seconds, and feature an array of content from comedy sketches and dance challenges to lip-syncing celebrities and pranks.

Many of the videos are adaptations of other trends on the platform. For the Archdiocese, the first video posted was meant to promote their Day of Confessions.

It showed St. Joseph’s Basilica pastoral counsel Scott Jenken walk into a confessional wearing jeans before coming out in robes.

Pastoral Counsel Scott Jenken can be seen in a TIk Tok video posted by The Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton.

Pastoral Counsel Scott Jenken can be seen in a TIk Tok video posted by The Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton.


Tik Tok

“I was serving for the Archbishop Sunday and my good friend Lincoln had approached me and said, ‘Scott, you’re going to do this.’ And I said, ‘Oh. Okay,’” Jenken explained.

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The video has only been viewed a modest 300 times (as of Monday morning) but Jenken said it’s made its way to parishioners.

“I have heard a few people come and say, ‘I saw you on that TikTok’ and I thought, ‘Oh! Goodness!’”


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While they’re happy to share the message with Catholics, the idea is to also break through to those who aren’t frequent attendees.

“You never really know who you’re going to reach with this and so you might capture someone’s attention who says, ‘Hey, I should go and maybe do confession,’” Jenken said.


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Ho plans to use the videos to do just that. He has already created others including a video based on a so-called Paper Towel Challenge spreading on the app.

It sees users write on two sides of a paper towel then put it on water, revealing two messages.

@archedmonton

Spring be late… typical #Edmonton weather right?#papertowelchallenge #timechange #yeg #pourtoi #archedmonton #catholic #alberta #tiktokcanada

♬ Originalton – qwestar


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That kind of creativity doesn’t come easily.

“A TikTok actually takes way more planning than other ones that I’ve done.”


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But Ho believes it is worth the effort.


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Using social media to evangelize is not unprecedented — Pope Francis joined Twitter in 2012. In that time, he has amassed more than 18 million followers.

It’s why the Archdiocese of Edmonton believes he would be on board with their latest venture.

“I think he’d approve, certainly,” Jenken said.

The Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton can be found on TikTok as @ArchEdmonton. You can also follow Global News @globalnews.ca.

TikTok and its parent company, Chinese technology company Bytedance, are not without controversy.

In early December 2019, TikTok admitted to suppressing the content of users it deemed ‘susceptible to bullying’, namely people with disabilities or those in the LGBTQ2+ community.

It also faced public scrutiny over allegations that the platform removed politically-sensitive content for users in China.


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WATCH BELOW: Marc Saltzman explains the TikTok craze and shares this month’s tAPPworthy apps






What is TikTok?


What is TikTok?

— With files from Sara Hussein, Global News




© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.







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Cenovus joins Big Oil’s push into Big Data with Amazon and IBM deals


CALGARY — Big Oil is continuing its push into Big Data as Cenovus Energy Inc. has struck deals with tech giants Amazon Web Services and International Business Machines Corp. in an attempt to harness the power of cloud computing and lower its costs.

I don’t want this to be our grandfather’s industry

Ian Enright, Cenovus vice-president and chief information officer

“I don’t want to run our grandfather’s IT shop. I don’t want this to be our grandfather’s industry,” Ian Enright, Cenovus vice-president and chief information officer, said of the Calgary-based company’s plans to move its data out of two local data centres and into Amazon Web Services’ cloud following a deal struck over the summer.

The oil and gas producer is also planning to use Amazon’s cloud computing power to process and analyze its data and run other software programs in a move the company says will lower costs and allow it to better understand the “millions of data points” produced by its steam-based oilsands plants.

“Running machine learning and analytics against these things, as other industries have found, we really feel we’ll be able to enhance our operations and our efficiency,” Enright said.

“Right now, we’re just scratching the surface of the value of that,” he said.

Cenovus did not announce the deal with Amazon when it was struck, but described a broader push at the company to adopt new digital technologies and cut costs. In an interview Enright said the company ran a “bake-off” between cloud computing providers in late 2018 and picked Amazon this year for its big move to cloud computing.

In fact, a series of recent announcements indicate that more Calgary-based oil and gas companies are turning to cloud computing and big data in an attempt to modernize their businesses as the energy industry is trying to shed its reputation of being laggards when it comes to adopting digital technologies.

This month, oilsands rival Suncor Energy Inc. announced a similar partnership with Microsoft Corp. to migrate its data, computing power and processes to the Redmond, Wash.-based company’s cloud services and overhaul many aspects of its business.

While oil and gas companies have been pilloried for being digital laggards, large Calgary-based oil and gas companies have been quietly integrating new digital technologies in a bid to cut costs as they’ve been pressured by low oil prices, a lack of export pipelines.

In 2017, Calgary-based pipeline giant TC Energy Corp. began migrating its data and computer processing onto Amazon’s cloud services and that move to cloud computing is now 90 per cent complete, said Eric Gales, Amazon Web Services country manager for Canada.

TC Energy did not respond to a request for comment.

As we enter the next chapter of digital reinvention, the oil and gas industry is primed for transformation

Ross Manning, IBM’s vice-president, Canadian energy industry

Gales said he’s seen a major change in large companies’ attitudes towards digital technologies in the past four years and said the pace of adoption has increased dramatically.

“Four years ago, I was still having conversations with customers about ‘why?’ Now, it’s about ‘Where do I start?’” Gales said.

Now he said, many of the major companies in the Canadian oilpatch have a “cloud strategy” because “the case for the cloud has been made.”

At Cenovus, Enright said he believes the move to Amazon’s cloud computing service will allow it to run multiple data analyses concurrently — something it wasn’t able to do previously — and also cut down the amount of time it takes to analyze that data.

“When you go to the cloud to look at reservoir simulations or modelling our greenhouse gas improvements, things like that, we can model many things simultaneously,” Enright said.

For example, when Cenovus struck its $17.7-billion deal to buy ConocoPhillips Co.’s Canadian assets in 2017, it took the company nearly four months to acquire the computer servers it needed to process the data for the deal.

As the company integrates more of its processes into Amazon’s cloud, Enright said he’s confident the company could process the same volume and complexity of data in under three weeks.

On Monday, Cenovus also announced a deal with IBM in which the Armonk, New York-based tech giant will implement a suite of new software programs at the oilsands producer.

Enright said the technology will run in the cloud and is part of the broader push to cloud computing and faster decision making aided by digital technologies.

“As we enter the next chapter of digital reinvention, the oil and gas industry is primed for transformation, with companies turning to new platforms that will maximize the value of their assets, lower operating costs and continue to improve on their sustainable operations,” IBM’s vice-president, Canadian energy industry Ross Manning said in a release.

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