Today’s inauguration of Barack Obama stirred a huge number of people (our publication is officially going with more than 1 million) to trudge into the early morning D.C. cold. It also brought out a large number (we have no official count) of professional and amateur multimedia efforts.
For me I went offline during the actual swearing in, instead opting for a quiet morning on the couch with my wife. That was my only social network until the afternoon.
But once I plugged in I scoured for what I could and here’s the most interesting things I found.
The official #inaug09 hashtag.
New York Times Division:
The Times brought out a bunch of cool, informative stories, graphics and other projects. On the text side could find the words of every inauguration speech (plus archived Times stories from the events). And photos you could get a great look at one professional photo or scan through thousands of crowd shots.
Photos and images came in all varieties.
If you wanted to see it from the air, there was the satellite view.
If you wanted to see it from the ground there were any number of Flickr pages.
If you wanted to see and read the event at once, Neoformix has you covered.
And you could see everything as CNN dropped the eagerly anticipated Photosynth project.
Suddenly this Obama character is popular on Facebook, and CNN took full advantage.
There is a new sherriff in town, and he has a pretty Web site and no need for undue disallows.
People I know division:
Former Statesman Journal and current Missoulian reporter Tim Akimoff went to the smartest group of political pundits, a class of fifth graders.
On my Facebook account I’m connected to a lot of journalists. Makes sense considering that for the past six years the majority of all the people I socialize with have come from the industry.
Recently I noticed more and more people were joining up for the National Buy a Newspaper Day event, started by Chris Freiberg.
The idea sounded intriguing until I read lower in the description of the post:
So for one day, Monday, Feb. 2, 2009, please make it a point to pick up your local newspaper (reading it online doesn‘t count).
Why not? Well, it’s pretty clear and I get where Freiberg is going. The point of the day is to pump money into the industry in a way of voting with your dollars. Every cent that goes to a newspaper is one that will count toward keeping the news alive and showing people still care about the product.
And I think that’s what bothered me. Yes, the news is free online, but if someone wanted to participate in a day like this without picking up the print product what would they do?
A lot of sites have things such as Paypal or Amazon support, and maybe that’s what news Web sites need as well.
I’m still on the fence about signing up for the event. Part of me feels like it’s straining to support an industry and business model that are in need of change, not reinforcement. The other part of me vehemently agrees with what Freiberg says in his description on Facebook, that the in-depth reporting done at daily newspapers needs to continue.
Feb. 2 I’m going to do my part to show that I still care about news and what newspapers do. I’m just not sure what yet.