The Communal Inauguration

CNN/FacebookDespite claims to the contrary, new media does not herald the death of old media, not necessarily. When done right, new media can greatly enhance old media. Case in point was the job CNN and Facebook did teaming up to cover the Obama inauguration in a way never seen before. You could watch a live stream of the CNN television coverage and on the same screen be live chatting with Facebook friends. This was an amazing new way to experience a live television event. It felt like a communal experience, even though my Facebook friends are spread out around the world. It was also a textbook example of new and old media blending together, both enhanced by the strength of the other. This was the true power of possibility for the future.

I can imagine lots of other great applications of this kind of blend. How about the Super Bowl? How about The Oscars or your favorite tv show? Can you imagine the producers of Lost getting realtime reactions and feedback from their audience as they show is airing? Want to bring people back to the live show and stop them from watching on Tivo? Make the live experience unique and exciting, something you cannot get on Tivo.

The CNN/Facebook experiment was a watershed event with far reaching implications. I have been very impressed with CNN lately and their progressive use of new meida. They were the first network to use Twitter to interact with their news audience during broadcasts.