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1/20/2009
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Obama's Is First Web 2.0 Inauguration

Swearing-in of America's new president was followed closely on social networks and the mobile Internet.

As the United States made history with the swearing-in of Barack Obama, some less significant, but still remarkable, things happened in the tech world.

Web 2.0 technologies offered plenty of new experiences and communications tools for those witnessing the historic event.

Social networking sites helped coordinate in-person meetings in the nation's capital and throughout the country, while mobile devices like iPhones ensured that people without immediate television or desktop access could watch the events unfold and communicate their thoughts and perspectives through e-mail, pictures, and text messages.

The iPhone offered a UStream application for viewing live coverage of the inauguration and information about the events taking place.

YouTube offered downloadable video. Twitter members traded tidbits of information, allowing for a broader perspective than in years past. Bloggers and citizen journalists expanded perspective even further through new media sites, as well as traditional media Web sites, while video-sharing sites like Flickr certainly enhanced perspective from a visual standpoint.

Even Second Life got in on the act by hosting its own virtual inaugural ball. Although Second Life members have been active in politics, hosting protests, getting involved in parallel virtual campaigns, and engaging with elected officials, for some time, Tuesday marked the first time that inauguration ceremonies were held in the virtual community.

The virtual inaugural events come as little surprise after U.S. President Barack Obama's transition team held community discussions on health care in Second Life as a way to provide easier access to people with disabilities who wanted to voice their views.

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