Even if you’re suffering from pre-inauguration fatigue — do we really have to comprehend what kind of statement Michelle Obama’s dress might make? — big events are giving news organizations plenty of options to experiment with multimedia tools and other online-only presentations.
Like the coverage of the marathon presidential campaign (which I summarized here), this is a big part of the fun — witnessing not just the future of journalism, but how it’s evolving right now, all on the fly. Perhaps like the First Lady’s wardrobe-in-the-making.
Much of the emphasis is on social media, of course, with CNN.com’s “The Moment” — a 3D panoramic collage formed by user-generated photos sent from Washington as Barack Obama takes office — getting plenty of attention. The technology is called PhotoSynth, developed by Microsoft. The reviews have been better for this than the election-night hologram that “appeared” with Wolf Blitzer.
Here are some other new media experiments tied to the inauguration. And a compendium of inauguration-related links compiled by journalists in a collaborative format across many news organizations. Mainstream media outlets are finally grasping the ethos of online communication:
” ‘Increasingly, what we do is not just a one-way conversation,’ said Mark Lukasiewicz, vice president of digital production at NBC News who will produce live coverage for MSNBC Tuesday. ‘It’s not just about what we do on cable, it is what the conversations elsewhere are about what we do.’ “
Even Jim Lehrer of PBS — the last remaining old-school television news anchor — will be Twittering, at least indirectly. And the official Obama inaugural committee has set up a special Twitter page for Tuesday’s events.
Most of the television broadcast and cable news networks will be live-streaming inaugural festivities on their companion Web sites.
NPR has created a special inaugural hub with user photos, live chats, blogging and other features. Here’s a very helpful story for those sending photos, text messages and other digital data when “The Moment” arrives — better hope the networks don’t crash.
And C-SPAN — which in many ways has been ahead of the multimedia curve — also has its own hub with various live feeds from Washington, and coverage from other news outlets, such as the CBC. Not everybody thinks its such a square outfit.
Blogging pioneer Jason Kottke is inviting you to watch on his site, via the Hulu online video service that was such a big hit for those wanting to see “Saturday Night Live” with Tina Fey dishing on Sarah Palin.
I do think this is a bit much — the mlb.com site, the one devoted to Major League Baseball, drumrolled an announcement Monday that it too is live-streaming the inauguration for free. How charitable! But why, with all the other networks doing the same thing? It suggests its loyal fans — stuck in that dark void between the Hot Stove League and the start of spring training — have nothing better to do.
If I’ve left out something you think should be highlighted here, by all means let me know. Before noon Tuesday, of course.
In the meantime, I’m going to dig into the YouTube vault and check out another famous inaugural — one that took place a couple months after I was born. It’s even in color!