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Looking Forward While Going Backward...and In Heels

Facebook Helps Connect us to the 2009 Presidential Inauguration

by Guest Blogger, Donna DeClemente, Donna's Promo Talk

Facebook_obamaWhat a day yesterday was. It was a historical day full of excitement and emotion. Plus it was a day that you just couldn't keep away from the online media and social networking world. It was hard to keep my mind focused on work when each time I opened my Internet browser there was Yahoo giving me up to the minute information on what was going on in our Nation's capital.

It was a day that we've been counting down to for a very long time and it was so wonderful that it all took place without any major problems. Yes, it was cold and some people never made it to their seats because security was so tight and the transportation lines were too long. But with almost 2 million people on the Mall there were no arrests, no terrorist attacks, no one waving a gun. Instead we witnessed strangers getting to know each other, no mater background, race or age.

Yesterday The New York Times launched an inauguration-themed, one day promotion on Facebook featuring video ads inviting users to visit the Times' Facebook page to answer the question: "What should Barack Obama first address as President?"

Over 35,000 people posted their views on what issues they feel Obama should tackle upon taking office. Topics ranged from the economy, to health care, education, Iraq/Afghanistan and energy and the environment. Visitors to the NY Times Facebook page today can read many of these comments which are posted along with the person's first name, their city, state and their photo.

Nytimes_Virtual_GiftIn addition The Times is doing a virtual gift ad that includes an Obama virtual stamp designed by artist Christoph Niemann that can be shared among Facebook users. This inauguration-focused campaign is structured after one the newspaper ran immediately following the election in November which also featured video ads on Facebook and a sponsored virtual gift of an image of the Times' edition bearing the "Obama Wins" banner headline. 

Thanks to Facebook Connect, Facebook users yesterday were able to update their Facebook pages directly from the live stream which allowed them to stay on CNN’s page for live coverage and discuss the events with their Facebook friends without ever leaving the site. A mini-Facebook window on showed updates from friends in real time. The CNN Live with Facebook integration is the most widely used Facebook Connect integration they've seen to date.

Cnnbarack-300x113 Here's the latest stats according to the Inside Facebook blog as of 1:22 EST today:

  • 1,000,000 people updated their Facebook status 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 has more than 4 million fans and more than 500,000 wall posts

Now that our 44th President of the United States is the most savvy as it pertains to online media, I can't wait to see what he'll do next to bring us together in conversation. Welcome Mr. President!


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