Just like some aging celebrities, CNN got a botox like injection of youth from the ever growing facebook yesterday.
“This is CNN”. Isn’t the same without hearing James Earl Jones’ booming voice resonating the real message, “This is THE NEWS.” For many, including me, CNN has been just that, THE NEWS. It’s the channel to jump to at home and website to click from the office or on the blackberry. It’s been this way for me since college, going on a decade. You want to catch-up on the world, the nation or the scores from the late games, you go to CNN, watch and/or read. For me, it’s mostly read. Click on the next story, read. Very passive. No longer.
To be fair, the CNN website has a ton of things to do. Look at video segments, read stories and blogs, pull up images, vote in polls and zoom in on Google integrated maps. It’s media rich. The component they’ve lacked, a good social piece. Who has a good social piece, facebook. That’s right, CNN and facebook teamed up and brought a unique experience to the Presidential Inauguration yesterday.
I turned to CNN for the live, streamed broadcast of the inauguration and was surprised to see a facebook pane just to the right of the live video. Begin multi-tasking. After logging in, facebook provided a bar to update my status and two tabs. The first, a constant roll of status updates from other people watching the CNN feed, just like me. The second tab, status updates from my specific friends. Even though I wasn’t in DC and not with a group in downtown Chicago watching on a giant screen, I felt a part of that historic day. My voice could be heard, well read, by millions of others and I could read their thoughts. News not only came from the live video, but also from a thousand others, some standing in the crowd on the Mall, some from rooftops and others relaying the excitement from around the world. I even got traffic updates from a friend in DC, just trying to help anyone heading to the Mall.
I hope CNN and facebook continue their partnership, bringing more live events to us in this format. No longer passive media, but social media.
Fast side note. I’ve been asked many times if I think facebook should be discussed and or used in schools. There’s not an easy answer here. You know your students, your community and your curriculum better than I do. I do believe that all of your teachers and administrators need to discuss and understand facebook. You don’t have to befriend a single student to learn about the site and I bet you’ll be surprised at the number of your friends that are already there, waiting to befriend you. I just befriended my mother-in-law.
CNN and facebook on Inauguration Day: By-The-Numbers
1.5 Million Obama related status updates
4,000 status updates per minute
8,500 status updates during the first minute of Obama’s speech
Arrington, Michael. “Facebook’s Big Day: 1.5 Million Obama-Related Status Updates Via CNN.” Washington Post.com. 20 Jan 2009. The Washington Post. 21 Jan 2009 <http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/01/20/AR2009012004599.html>.
Below is a quick video showing a sample of the facebook status updates during the inauguration.