Real Story of Inauguration: Live Streaming Video

An open letter to Mindy McAdams, purveyor of online journalism teaching tips and tools and creator of that wonderful timeline noting significant moments in online news reporting:

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Inauguration Day 2008 was considered historic even before it happened (literally, with CNN.com imploring Web surfers before the big day to be sure to “Watch History Unfold”).  In the end, however, from a media perspective, it wasn’t WHAT we watched (Obama’s oath stumble and so-so speech, Cheney’s wheelchair entrance, Aretha Franklin’s big hat, Yo-Yo Ma’s amazingness) but HOW many of us watched it that has etched a place into online news history.

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Three words: Live.  Streaming.  Video.  LSV has been battling for a greater stake in the media cosmos for a few years now.  With Obama’s inauguration, it has arrived.  As CNN reported yesterday, close to 8 million people watched the festivities online, making it “the single most-watched event in the history of live Web video”:

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With many workers stuck at their desks during the late-morning swearing-in of President Obama on Tuesday, more people than ever went online to watch live video of the historic inauguration.  News sites, including CNN.com, shattered records for viewers watching live streaming video online. And, sometimes for the first time, news sites carried video feeds on their front pages.

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I am officially one of these new LSV junkies.  I watched the whole shindig from Singapore at 1 a.m. via the live video on CNN.com.  Steady cameras, commercially-uninterrupted, nice sound quality, and only fits and starts of the loading hiccups that have always been the death of LSV in the past.  I also loved the CNN video sider showing your Facebook friends’ status updates (which were all variations of “Inauguration woo-hoo!”), in a way making me feel connected to the moment with those I know back in the States who were also watching (in their case while pretending to work).

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And so Professor McAdams, I humbly submit this suggestion: Time for an update to the online news timeline.

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All my best,

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Dan

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  1. [...] be a U.S. college basketball fan.  In another example of what I am calling the year of the video (see previous post about live-streaming of  Obama inauguration), the words college and media have come together impeccably well in the form of “March [...]



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