While the White House staff is busy Tuesday morning swapping out first families (in six hours flat!) the rest of the world will be watching the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama. The January tradition has long been covered by TV, radio, and newspapers, but this year, we have a host of new options – some with decidedly techie twists.
For starters, watching history has become interactive. When vice presidential candidates Sarah Palin and Joe Biden debated in October, I wrote about the corresponding happening that occurred on Facebook. "Friends" watching on TV carried on a running conversation on the site through Status Updates, commenting on things the candidates did and responding to each others' posts.
Some folks at CNN noticed the same phenomenon on election night.
"On the night of the election we were all in New York at the election center, watching the results come in and reporting on them,” KC Estenson, senior Vice President and General Manager of CNN.com told Broadcasting & Cable. “A lot of us went home that night, logged onto our computers, and saw a flood of status updates [on Facebook]. When we came in the next day we said, ‘what if we could do that in real time? What if we could do that against the event itself, make the inauguration a social event.’”