How Did You Participate In The Inauguration?

Are you old media or new? Progressive or traditional? Were you present in DC or were you participating using TV and being online?

President Barack Obama’s inauguration was an interesting event, why? It wasn’t during normal evening showtimes when people would watch on TV, as a result, people found other ways to consume the event –even using iPhone apps. Secondly, although an American event, it has implications to the rest of the globe, it’s not just a limited audience.

In my world, I watched it at 830am at home on HDTV, while streaming other pieces on I watched Current TV (got annoyed with the hip hop music and ridiculous tweets) and turned on CNN. I was on twitter (see charts), chatting and commenting about Aretha’s magic bow and how to be yellow mellow, and was reading the hundreds of tweets coming in every 30 seconds on Tweetscan, Summize (it couldn’t keep up) and Tweetdeck.

Over on Seesmic, there were discussions from those who were watching –and it cascaded to many other social sites, at the end of the ceremony, I changed my Facebook stats to read “Jeremiah is mellow yellow” and received several replies in a matter of minutes –one from my kid sister, who says I’m old for using email.

Tell me how you experienced the inauguration? Did you use mainstream media? Was it a social event for you? Did you create your own commentary and share with others?

60 Replies to “How Did You Participate In The Inauguration?”

  1. Iwatched CNN in my hotel room in Madrid and kept a steady conversation going with friends in Washington — many at the event — via Twitter with the TweetDeck app.

  2. It was a mixture of media for me. I streamed the proceedings on the BBC website through their well regarded iPlayer software. I was at my office desk at the time so having the ability to stream in such a way was great.

    Then later, I caught the bits that I missed with family on the Sky Plus Hard Drive box, on Current TV. I got annoyed by the constant tweets but it’s interesting that this was a combination of old media (TV/satellite) and Twitter (new media).

    To finish off, I bought an actual dead-tree newspaper as a momento of the occassion – that’s really old media!

  3. I was in my office and used 2 laptops. One for running the live stream from and the other laptop to view my updates from Twitter and Facebook, while working. 🙂

  4. I watched on CNN+facebook. Posting updates on twitter and replying to people there as well. Also opened another window with MSNBC live – to have several angles 🙂 Satisfied!

    Twitter did have a little delay though.

  5. I took anything I could find — old or new media. But a huge highlight of my day was opening up my morning paper with my 4 y.o. son and seeing that GIANT, full page story on the 44th President of the U.S.

  6. Loved that CNN teamed up with Facebook. Though Twitter would have made more sense. Guess CNN’s not quite there yet so Facebook got to use their status updates once more before Twitter kills that form of online communication once and for all. Got a bit addicted to watching everyone’s statuses updating and commenting back and forth with friends and the work day suffered a bit in the morning.

  7. I tried to livestream it in class for my students but got interruptions and freezes at Hulu and could never access CNN streams. So disappointing to miss the sworn-in moment. Minutes later took them to a classroom with a big screen TV. I later checked on my iphone Ustream app and it worked amazingly. Video and audio are much better than webcast, much to my surprise.
    I saw this as a big win for mobile marketing.

  8. I’m from New Zealand and living in London but my boss sent the office home early to watch the ceremony. I watched it on BBC News (digital TV) and downloaded Tweetdeck so I could filter friends tweets and search all tweets for the various #hashtags

  9. I watched both the CNN live feed online and the CNN broadcast on TV at the same time. When I get tired of the commentary I mute it and listen to the other one. Had many discussions on CNN/facebook integration. Interesting to know that some people didn’t get the video feed from CNN. (As far as I know, Japan and Australia.)

    Tried to keep up with all the tweets but eventually just gave up and focused on facebook.

  10. I worked. Figuring taxes are going to have to go up to pay for the mess Bush left and the lofty aspirations Obama is putting on the table, there is no time for revelry if you want to get ahead.

  11. The mix for me. Sneaking in a little live TV here and there with some online feeds on the computer + Twitter feeds.

    DVR’ed most of the coverage and watched that after work.

  12. I was a mix of old media and new. I had the radio on for a while (yeah, I said radio) just in the background. I also was logged in to CNN/Facebook following along in that experience. It was pretty good until our network slowed and made it impossible to maintain. So I switched to Ustream and had an excellent experience. I had hoped to share the experience with one of our high schools (I work in a school district) but other work got in the way. So my commentary was shared via Twitter.

  13. A mix of both old and new. I watched it via France24 via my laptop. There was some user messages below the images. CNN/FaceBook and C-Span were simply not reachable from my end, probably overcrowded.

  14. I am fortunate to live in DC so was able to walk to the Mall in the frigid cold and experience the excitement and good spirits of the enormous crowd. And then return home to warmth and to watch the swearing in on HDTV. All the while, checking Twitter. Also sent in one of my pics to to contribute to their “Photosynth.” Have no idea whether it was used. An AMAZING forever memorable day.

  15. I took advantage of the CNN/Facebook combo to watch CNN’s various live feeds with friends from all over the world. It was a great experience, and I congratulate CNN and Facebook.

  16. “The Medium is the Experience.” – Me (1/20/09)

    I live in DC and had half my family on the mall and half of us in front of the tube. It was a multi-media experience. Here are my tools: CNN-HDTV, CNN-Facebook online, text, email, Twitter (#inaug09), blogged it here:

    And real-time I blogged it here:

    Thanks for asking. I think this was a seminal multi-social-media event to usher in a new age of social participation in government and society.

  17. Unfortunately since I was at the office I didn’t have direct access to a TV so I experienced the inauguration by streaming it on Hulu. While watching I did some interaction with folks on twitter and shared my thoughts. It was interesting that a lot of the talk with folks on twitter was about bandwidth, streaming issues, and cable companies who weren’t prepared to handle the kind of network traffic they were getting.

  18. Watched it live on old-fashioned TV, with a Coke and a smile. No other media. Sometimes one has to just *listen*. Afterwards I hit a TeamSpeak server and discussed it with friends around the globe.

  19. Multi-tasked – TV on the video wall because there were several of us and the stream we tried to project was too slow; NPR on the radio; twitter #inaug09 on the small screen; and a cell phone to talk with my family.

  20. I watched it on television (CNN) along with my co-workers in a conference room. I was so engrossed in what was happening onscreen that I didn’t check my usual social media streams, such as Twitter and Facebook — I didn’t want to take my eyes away from it.

    We posted a poll on the Windows Media Center TV on Your PC blog yesterday asking people how they watched the Inauguration online. There are 57 responses so far, and CNN Live is leading by two votes.

  21. I became a citizen journalist for the inauguration and took my photo and video gear out to document the events. I submitted photos and videos into CNN™s iReport and picked up over 16,000 views.

    My first event was on Saturday of Obama™s train trip to Washington DC. I went down to Claymont DE where they slowed down the train and Obama stood on the back platform to wave to the crowd. I sent in photos to CNN iReport and my twitpic account. My wife shot video of it with a Kodak flip camera.

    On Sunday we were in Washington DC and attended the We Are One concert at Lincoln Memorial. The ATT 3G network pretty much fell over and I wasn™t able to post to my twitpic account. I was able to email in photos to CNN™s iReport site and they featured them.

    For the inauguration on Tuesday, I went to the Princeton NJ Public Library and shot photos with my Fuji S3 camera and uploaded them off my Mac using a Sprint 3G card from the library to CNN iReport and Facebook.

    I was impressed with the producers from CNN™s iReport. On all three days that I submitted photos to them. I was contacted either on my phone or email by a producer to verify the facts and get additional information.

    My work is at:

    My pictures have picked up a lot of comments on Facebook and iReport.

    I spent 20 years as newspaper photographer and editor back in the traditionalÂť deadtree world. I started photographing political events in 1976 ( I am excited that social media has now empowered me to publish and distribute my work on my own.

  22. I was fortunate enough to be on the Mall on Tuesday, near the American History Museum. Phone service was spotty, but my friend was emailing friends as the day went on. I did not get a feel for the magnitude of the day until I got home and watched the network news. A picture does tell a thousand words.

  23. We’re located in Northern Virginia, so I hopped on the Metro and attended. I was hoping to Twitter on my company’s stream (@ondialog), but AT&T’s network was overloaded and I had no service.

    I was able to, once I got away from the Mall, post pictures to my Facebook. But Twittering for those who weren’t able to attend just didn’t happen.

  24. How did I use new media on Inauguration Day?

    As I watched CNN’s coverage on television, I had my email, my twitter widget showing me new tweets, my RSS feeder sending me updates from NYTimes, Talking Points Memo, Gawker, MinnPost, and Andrew Sullivan. I used chat to send a question about Fritz Mondale’s part in the proceedings to BrauBlog’s David Brauer, I used twitter spy to see what others were saying about John Roberts’ administration of the Oath, I tweeted my displeasure with John Roberts’ delivery of the Oath, and I Googled the text of the Oath.

    Then I used my blog to express my displeasure with John Roberts. I call my blog Jump the Snark so I dare not say anything more about Roberts.

  25. A big honkin’ television, tuned to a cable news channel and surround sound, with my whole family and chips.

    Checked Twitter a couple times.

    Now, back to the future.

  26. Unlike other fellas who experienced the inauguration by physically attending the ceremony, watching through streaming medias, or get connected with other social networking medias, I experienced the joy and tense of this extravagant event through a traditional 14″ television accompanied by my brother and couple of sips of my all-time favorite “Old Town” coffee…

    In my world, it was 11pm, January 20, 2008. Most Indonesia’s leading TV stations were broadcasting the event live, to witness the milestone of a new hope for the US and the world, maybe. I switched from one to another stations, trying to get one with less annoyance, yes, the one with no biased-translation, no comment from local politicians, economists, which were just irritating and one-sided. It was just so funny to listen to the interpretation of our local politicians who tried to tie the knot with the speech of Obama, specifically to this part of the speech:

    “To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society’s ills on the West ” know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.”

    I know that US belongs to the world, that every single word coming out from the mouth of Obama could bring significant effects to the world peace and order. But hello, this is the speech for his inauguration as the 44th president of the US. Of course, the speech would be nothing but to the interest of the US. For Obama did mention about the rest of the world, they were just an extra to answer curiosities and treatment for anxiety of future uncertainties.

  27. I watched in a packed bar in Burlington (Nectar’s of Phish fame). In the mean time I Twittered and IM’d. Half the people in there were SMSing and sending pics on their cell phones.

    It was a great scene.

  28. No TV at our house. So, I did Livestream at in the early AM with simultaneous listening at NPR on the good old radio. Then drove to airport and listened to NPR the whole way. At the airport I text-messaged family and friends, and had one live conversation with my grandkids about this important day in our American history and our Cultural Conscious. Once home I read blogposts and caught a few YouTubes. Did a little Facebook post. Updated my blog ( with links to new White House website. And of course, I cried for joy through it all!

  29. We actually gathered as a company to watch the inauguration, though I did watch parts of it online (I’m a busy lady 🙂 ). I also watched a ustream of an inauguration party I missed out on and chatted with the attendees there, which was fun.

    While watching the inauguration was moving, the most exciting part for me was hearing the feedback after. 2 million people gathering in the freezing weather, waiting for hours, all anxious- and no one got arrested or hurt? I think that is a great sign for the nation. While it may seem like a small feat, it meant everyone was getting along and uniting to watch history be made. Pretty cool!

  30. I was in D.C., went to the Mall and stood near the 15th street in front of the monument. I sent messages to Twitter by texting from my phone. Later that evening I posted all my pictures and video to Facebook and YouTube. Still need to upload pics to Flickr. Caught some highlights from the parade on TV. Watched clips from the Ball where ever I could via the web.

  31. sadly, i was trapped in my cube working on a report for a client for most of the festivities. i was able to check twitter occasionally.

    in the office, we set up a projector and showed the CNN live stream. others also watched via normal TV.

  32. I’m in Canada and caught it via the mashup of live feed and Facebook via CNN. I tried the CBC feed but it wasn’t as reliable as the CNN one. Also, kept an eye on the Twitter hashtag.

  33. I set my DVR to record CNN all day… came home early around 3pm and started watching. Also caught up with some bits I missed on YouTube. It was an amazing day!

  34. During the inaugural address itself, I put my laptop down and just watched on the 37-inch HDTV. I kept my 9th-grade daughter home from school that morning so that we could share the moment together (she and my wife were born in Kenya, actually, so this made the event even a bit more personal).

    Immediately after the address, I jumped around a bunch of mainstream media websites (several from overseas) and took screen captures of their coverage.

    And otherwise throughout the day, I was engaging in conversations with Twitter and Facebook pals (live video stream through Facebook/CNN didn’t work for me, though).

    It was I day I certainly won’t ever forget.

  35. I started the prior evening by watching a recording of Obama’s October 29 noted Infomercial and CNN’s Election Night coverage.

    Inauguration morning was double-duty, i.e. via the CNN television broadcast and the CNN web/Facebook pairing.

    The afternoon’s parade was via the CNN stream and it was fun to read and post Facebook status messages.

  36. Hey Jeremiah, interesting question!

    I’m an American working for a Dutch company in Amsterdam. At 5:00 pm Amsterdam time (11:00 am EST) several colleagues and I gathered around my boss’ TV and watched the proceedings on CNN. Between prosecco toasts and potato chips I emailed close friends and family using my blackberry.

    Afterward my boyfriend and I went to an Obama art party in a friend’s graphic design space where we celebrated, danced and contributed to a communal 6-foot high Obama portrait. Around 15 different nationalities were present. For the first time in years, people actually congratulated me for being an American. Lovely feeling.

    In the hours before and after the ceremonies I looked at several different online news sites for any other tidbit of info or glimpse of inaugural outfit (yes, I couldn’t help myself). More follow-up emails and Facebook messages.

  37. I watched TV all day long in my home office, I’m not sure why but this time I was very engaged in the swearing in of this New President. I guess other than having direct TV I used old media as my way of watching the events unfold.

  38. I discovered recently – a little proxy, unfortunatelly not free. I wish it is free but it's not so expensive neither – just about $5 bucks per month. I can now access all web sites again from China – youtube, twitter, facebook and hulu. Skydur is very fast and works on Windows, Mac and Linux – check it out here – – you won't be disappointed. Believe me I tried dozens of free proxy programs and noone worked as advertised.

  39. I discovered recently – a little proxy, unfortunatelly not free. I wish it is free but it's not so expensive neither – just about $5 bucks per month. I can now access all web sites again from China – youtube, twitter, facebook and hulu. Skydur is very fast and works on Windows, Mac and Linux – check it out here – – you won't be disappointed. Believe me I tried dozens of free proxy programs and noone worked as advertised.

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