Are you using social media to follow the Olympic Games?
An elaborate and creative opening ceremony officially kicked off the Olympic Games in London over the weekend.
For those of you who missed it, the event included James Bond actor Daniel Craig escorting the Queen to the stadium via helicopter, where Her Majesty then proceeded to pretend to parachute out of the sky.
Then crowds were wowed by an industrial revolution themed opening, followed by a dance routine performed by some of the city's nurses and children.
After that, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling made an appearance, reading an excerpt from fairy tale classic Peter Pan.
Only it wasn't all fairy dust and happy endings for the children – shortly after Rowling finished, a giant Voldemort took up centre stage and began waving his wand around menacingly.
The Dark Lord was eventually brought down by hundreds of Mary Poppins, who swept gracefully down from the sky and saved the day.
Once the drama died down, Rowan Atkinson joined the Grand British Orchestra and provided the crowd with some comedic relief, playing the much-loved part of Mr Bean.
These antics continued throughout the rest of the show. Some are calling the ceremony fantastic, others are citing it as absurd.
One thing's for sure, though – it's getting a lot of attention, especially on social media.
Unlike in the past, if you missed the ceremony you do not need to pop around to your friends to huddle in front of the television and watched their taped version.
A quick Google search and you can now access plenty of original content about the event, from news articles and blog posts, to short YouTube clips and parodies.
Some could even say that the opening was yet another social media marketing strategy from the organisers of the London Olympic Games, who have long been talking about how this year's event will make an impact across social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.
A recent study by Olympic sponsor Atos suggested that social media would see the end of 'armchair sports fans', because these websites encourage people to participate and engage with the event as opposed to sit back and watch passively.
"The guy sitting [calmly] with a beer, or a diet coke, with some peanuts and watching alone – this armchair fan will die," head of Atos' Global Functions Gilles Grapinet told journalists, as reported by Reuters (July 24).
"This spectator will make and publish his own content and share it with other people," he added.
Did you engage with other fans via social media this weekend? Are you finding that access to this technology is helping you follow the games on a more intimate level?
It seems that this study has merit – Olympic sporting categories are currently trending on Twitter, and Facebook is abuzz with fresh content about the Games.
Posted by Jess O'Connor