Interactive Inauguration of Obama Is Just the Beginning
Never before has the coverage of the transition of power been so readily available to so many. The inauguration of President Barack Obama was seen and heard by millions on the National Mall Tuesday. The world also followed the event on TV and through videos, photos, map mashups and Tweets across the web.
It's just a small sample of what Obama (arguably the nation's first tech president) can expect. Instead of merely having to contend with the press corps, he's also got the whole blogosphere and Twitterverse watching his every move. Naturally, his advisers and media people will be trying to capitalize on the online momentum, much as they did during the campaign.
While it has only been a matter of hours since Obama took the oath of office, the new WhiteHouse.gov website is already up, and considering the new man in charge fought hard to keep his BlackBerry, the next four years are sure to see a whole new era of how technology is used to connect the people to power.
"Just like your new government, WhiteHouse.gov and the rest of the administration's online programs will put citizens first," writes Macon Phillips, the Director of New Media for the White House in a new blog post.
"One significant addition to WhiteHouse.gov reflects a campaign promise from the president: We will publish all non-emergency legislation to the website for five days, and allow the public to review and comment before the president signs it."
Hopefully he'll update his Twitter account again soon as well. In the meantime, the Inaugural Committee had its own Twitter feed of updates prior to and during the event.
If you weren’t able to pick up tickets to the inauguration in Washington, D.C., there were numerous other options for watching history in the making. People gathered in urban areas like New York’s Time’s Square to catch the moment on the giant monitors, sat in coffee shops or at work with their computer, and some even watched live streaming video on their cellphones with on a Ustream app released just in time for the inauguration.
Media outlets like The Huffington Post, CBS News and Extra all used Kyte's mobile app to cover the events.
Hulu, in addition to big-name media organizations, streamed the entire event through a Fox News feed. It was a bit choppy at times, but proved it could handle the traffic throughout the event. A number of top sites scaled up to prepare for the huge influx of viewers in anticipation of crashes and delays.
Current TV, as it has done before with the debates, broadcast the event both online and on TV with a mashup of Tweets as it had done during the presidential debates.
CNN attempted a similar experiment with Facebook, offering a mashup of its video feed with an accompanying widget of status updates. Some stats from this effort included 200,000+ updates, 13.9 million live video streams since 6 a.m.
It also asked viewers to send in pictures and capture "The Moment" of the inauguration which will be stitched together using Microsoft’s Photosynth.
And once again, Twitter proved itself to be a powerful reporting tool (with five times the normal tweets-per-second and only 5-min delays at peak usage) with its finger on the pulse of the moment as reporters and others on the ground and afar expressed their thoughts and published their observations in real time to the world.
Here is just a sampling of the multitude and variety of reactions and observations from the Twitterverse after the jump.