How did you watch Obama’s inauguration?

Cable or satellite TV? On your computer via the internet? Both? According to a poll conducted by newteevee.com, the internet was the top choice of respondents who took part in this event. I was able to catch a little bit of both, mostly web via the CNN & Facebook feed which reported millions of connections or streams as they call it, during the day. Along side the video from CNN, Facebook members posted comments. This interaction from the audience may be the future of TV viewing. Not exactly a new trend for veteran web video viewers but a big step for a mainstream traditional broadcast media source. A fusion of new with the old.

While I watched this feed online it occurred to me that a milestone for the new web may have been reached. A combination of a particular point in time where a new technology is available and a major world political celebrity using this new technology to their advantage. He not only mobilized millions of people via grass roots activities to the voting booths, he also, directly or indirectly, attracted millions to try out these new communication tools that had previously been the domain of geeks and teen-agers. To paraphrase on old saying, ‘how can you keep them down on the farm after they’ve been to Facebook?’.

There will be folks who move back to their old ways of communicating but many will stick with this new fangled internet thing. Some will start seeking out more opportunities to use the web to communicate and may turn their back on traditional channels. Even with the turmoil in the world today, 2009 may be a year of growth for Web 2.0 as a technology and as a culture.

Dean

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