The Presidential Inauguration Committee website pic2009.org is offering Flickr Twitter and YouTube integration so the adoring masses can trade photos videos and text messages as the event kicks off. There are also live SMS updates (though these can only be sent to US cellphone numbers.)
Across the US mobile networks are expecting higher-than-New-Years-Eve text messaging volumes as Obama fans send text messages and picture and video MMS messages. They are upgrading cell towers and network computers to handle the volume to ensure their networks don’t become overloaded.
“If 3 or 4 million people show up and they’re all trying to get on the internet [via their mobile phone] to send pictures there could be congestion” Joe Farren spokesman for CTIA the wireless industry’s trade association told MSNBC.
US mobile networks are also warning that the Secret Service can engage mobile phone jammers as needed to ensure presidential security so people who suddently find their phones not working along the presidential motorcade route may need to be patient (though they note that network congestion is an equally likely cause.)
People all over the world will be able to watch the inauguration live on their computer too. CNN has promised live-to-screen webcasting on their homepage as well as a tie-in with Facebook to allow people to post their comments in a stream next to the video.
MTV will be providing a live webcast of the “be the change inauguration ball”.
The POTUS 130 presidential radio channel is offering 14 day free online trials so people can enjoy the commentary by US political heavyweight commentators Joe Mathieu and Tim Farley. XM Satellite Radio is also offering 17 simulcast channels offering liberal conservative independent African American and even Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transvestite points of view on the inauguration.
In Australia Channel 9 will screen a inauguration special from 10.55pm on Tuesday 20th January and coverage will run through the night live from Washington D.C. with reports from Karl Stefanovic and Robert Penfold.
On online guide is also providing links to all online streaming video services for Obama’s inauguration.