there's something uniquely powerful about being at an event. being able to say "I was there", "I saw it happen". events don't come much bigger than what happened yesterday when the USA got its 44th President. such was the interest in the event that much of the UK broadcast schedules for the day were turned over to rolling coverage of the inauguration.
but if passively watching the event wasn't enough, CNN and Facebook allowed citizens from all over the world to get a bit closer to the action. the two brands teamed up and co-sponsored a live video stream of the inauguration on a co-branded microsite. everyone who signed up to the Obama Inauguration Facebook page and changed their status were displayed on this microsite in real time for everyone to see.
what made this so powerful was the combination of the (CNN) broadcast stream in combination with the (Facebook) status frame on the right hand side of the page which automatically updated the many and varied status updates from those around the world watching on.
a gloriously powerful meeting of mainstream and social media, with each making the other more powerful. mainstream giving a sense of collective action - and arguably belonging - to the social space, with social media bringing a human, personal and individual presence to the broadcast space.
can we watch the event as though we were there? well thanks to CNN and Facebook, yes, we can.
ps thanks to Mikhail for the heads up on this