In an inauguration defined by a sense of change, the experience of watching Barack Obama take office was fittingly revolutionary, reports the Associated Press: Like never before, millions of Americans watched the inauguration of an incoming president online through live video streaming across their computers. And wholly wrapped up in following Inauguration Day 2009 on the web was reacting to the historic events–blogging, vlogging, and tweeting. Just about every major news outlet offered live feeds on their respective web sites in what was potentially the most web-driven coverage of a significant news event yet. It was partly out of necessity, because many viewers were at work in front of their computers–and away from TV sets–for the midday swearing-in. It was also a notable benchmark in the fast evolution of online video: At the time of the last inauguration, YouTube didn’t even exist. The major news portals all streamed the festivities, some with video embedded right on their home page for the first time.
Akamai Technologies Inc., which delivers internet video for many web sites, said the inauguration was a record for them, with 7.7 million people watching video streams at the same time. And several outlets looked to combine traditional coverage with new media interactivity. CNN, for instance, partnered with Facebook to include status updates from friends for users of the social-networking site alongside its webcast. The result was that it felt like you were watching along with your friends…

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