January 22, 2009

Social Media Sites and Inauguration Coverage: A Glimpse Into Communication of Today and The Future

This week's Inauguration will not easily be forgotten. From the earliest moments to the First Couple's First Dance, it was a day filled with hope, memorable "tissue" moments, though-provoking music and words, and images of a gracious passing of the Presidential torch of power that will be carried with all of us for a very long time.

In addition to the usual TV coverage, a surprising twist to my day was how much more enhanced the experience became for me due to the power of my social media involvement on Twitter and Facebook. As the Inaugural events were unfolding, simultaneously, my virtual community of friends and colleagues were posting their impressions and images real-time from all 4 corners the United States. We even shared what we were snacking on! No longer sitting alone with our thoughts, we became a rich community of voices sharing our thoughts and impressions real-time.In the blink of an eye, a virtual living room of spectators for the biggest historical moment in most of our lives emerged.

And, we were not alone! JuJu Chang from ABC News had a flipcamera and her iPhone at the Inauguration. She not only posted videos on her ABC News blog but updated to Twitter and Facebook throughout the day. It was a cool way to give views another way to experience the Inauguration besides the more traditional TV coverage ABC was also doing, which was excellent.

We have yet to really tap into the full power of these communication tools but if Tuesday was any indication, a door has been opened that we have only just begun to walk through. It will be interesting to see how we all end up using social media in our media and communication lives and to learn from each other's experiences. We are likely to find we will only be bound by the limits of our own individual creativeness.

There was a true sense of unity and community this week that was visible and palpable on the Mall, parade route, the many evening balls, and in all our communities on and off line. While I had a bit of Inaugural media coverage brain burnout the following day, I woke up that morning hopeful about the future and looking forward to exploring more the power of the world of social networking.

Image: First Dance (FoxNews)

Republished with permission from Dr. Gwenn Is In