Review: Obama’s Inauguration Online & the Web 2.0 Generation, a Partisan Party

Obama inauguraton, Tweeted

If you were in any doubt about which demographic tipped the win for Obama, the online coverage of his big day held a pretty hefty clue.

For anyone who was in front of their PC, surfing the news, it was apparently hard to tear away from the live video coverage, complete with scrolling user comments, of the inauguration day celebrations for the new American president.

UPDATE Feb 2013

Looking back over the last few years, I wonder how many of the “web 2.0 generation” switched allegiance to Senator Dr. Ron Paul? You know, the guy CNN pretty much refused to cover.

As for the politics of Obama vs Bush, given the #NDAA, the #drones, #Benghazigate, the erosion of the #USConstitution, the “#change”?!?, has there really been any difference?

Sorry. This site isn't supposed to be political. (Any more than politics should be a Pepsi Challenge.)

In terms of the original article, I will say one thing. CNN met its brief with aplomb. My tip: turn it off and get some news.



For those of us watching on the telly, and I was, as well as online, we had the pomp, the ceremony and the cheering crowds, plus the reporters and pundits.

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Online, there was a whole new dimension. Live chat. teamed up with Facebook, offering viewers the chance not only to watch the proceedings, but also to comment live with their friends, else the entire Facebook community, all in one browser window. Apparently, over 600,000 comments were published. On services like Twitter, essentially a slimmed down Facebook with constant chat and links, the chatting was not disimilar, but with users having another browser tab or three open to see the pictures with their preferred news video service.

Web-wide, the millions of comments overall, was telling.

Hey, I didn't read them all. This review doesn't go that far. But I read hundreds (and published quite a few.) Of those, I read maybe three that were somehow anti-Obama, and maybe one that felt sorry for Bush.

Obama Inauguration image, live on Twitter

The other 99%, probama.

There are a few reasons for this. Natural political fatigue of the last administration, and the fact that heavy-dose Republicans were down the pub, may be two good ones. Then, best not to omit, there's this overwhelming sense of expectation, a couple of US wars being waged, the global economy down the pan, and most wondering what's in store for 2009 and beyond.

But those important factors still don't account for the heavy partisan tilt. Especially, they don't account for the shower of emotion waved online, whether for Obama or against Bush.

In case you missed it, here's a clutch from the Facebook/CNN feed which is going on, still, as I write, as Barack and Michelle take to the floor, dancing at one of the inaugural balls. Sense this emotion…

  • TC wants to know how many Red Bulls he has had today!
  • KL loves to see the Obama's dancing together. They seem so happy.
  • MF is in awe of Pres. & 1st Lady Obama party hopping.
  • MC is dancin as well…
  • JP Obama and Michelle always look so great together and they really mean their love. It's great.
  • DW is like glued to the T.V.
  • VT OMG How many times does he want to DANCE?
  • KM feels warm inside :).

Now compare that to this, just as the former president left the White House, for the last time as commander-in-chief…

  • JS bush is GONE
  • AK back to tx, ex
  • DS the president has left the building
  • CM is ruined this country glad to see the back of him
  • EL is like glued to the T.V.
  • SP is happy that it's a new day: “it's morning in America” 2008. Let's get to work!
  • CH 8 loooooooooooooong years

These people, and millions like them, won Obama the election.


Hey, it's the Web 2.0 generation, stupid! (And Obama's got most of it linked up on that Blackberry…)

What do you think? Let me know. I'd like to hear.


About the Author:

Olly Connelly (yeah, that's me) blogs at, polices WordPress security at and helps noobs build web servers at, so if you've got sleeping problems you know where to come.


  1. the_guv  February 5, 2009

    @SnowFallBaby – for sure, for sure!

  2. SnowFallBaby  February 4, 2009

    now it’ll get interesting, amazing online response though

  3. the_guv  February 2, 2009

    @jjonson & marmalade – tx for that

  4. marmalade  January 27, 2009

    nice piece

  5. jjonson  January 23, 2009

    interesting angle, those comments sum it up

  6. the_guv  January 21, 2009

    UPDATE: some interesting online stats … according to -600,000 status updates have been posted so far through the Live Facebook feed -There were an average of 4,000 status updates every minute during the broadcast -There were 8,500 status updates the minute Obama began his speech -Obama’s page on Facebook has more than 4 million fans and more than 500,000 wall posts -Millions of people logged into Facebook during the broadcast Ha. Bit dull then! Guv.

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