Keep Up with the Inauguration Ceremonies from Anywhere

Keep Up with the Inauguration Ceremonies from Anywhere

Taryn Williford
Jan 19, 2009

If you can't be in D.C. for the big day tomorrow—that ominous event that everyone's been talking about for years: the inauguration of Bush's successor, our 44th president—rest assured that the World Wide Web, through the magic of the interwebs, will make sure that you feel like you're there. Even if you do find yourself in D.C., but not wanting to deal with the chaos and crowds that have accumulated in the nation's capital since Friday, you can take advantage of these play-by-play options compiled by Lifehacker in the form of video streams, photo groups and social updates. If Facebook can predict an election, then it should be able to offer decent coverage, right?

Streaming video (at your desk)

  • The Official Sites: The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies' official site is obviously going to be a great source for live video streams (with closed captioning), and the site itself has a wealth of information on everything inaugural, including clips of previous presidents' ceremonies and tons of inaugural trivia.

  • NBC/CBS/ABC: You can get free streaming coverage from any of the big three networks: NBC's coverage is actually over at MSNBC's inauguration page, CBS' Inauguration webcast kicks off at 7 a.m. EST Tuesday and ABC News will likely host its live coverage at its 44th President site.

  • Hulu/Fox:, Fox News, and Hulu will offer the same stream via Hulu's Obama video page starting at noon EST.

  • C-SPAN: CSPAN offers all four of its channels online at all times, and Obama's inauguration should be no different. Stay tuned to C-SPAN's main page, however, for the debut of an Inauguration Hub that will feature, according to CNET, a "control room" that lets visitors switch between four feeds of the goings-on on the fly.

  • Facebook/CNN: and Facebook team up to offer a live inauguration feed with a social twist: You can sign into your Facebook account starting at 8 a.m. EST Tuesday at Live and update your status alongside the streaming coverage, while seeing a real-time stream of your friends' status updates as well.

  • Current/Twitter: Same type of deal as above, just with Current doing the streaming at 11:30 a.m. EST and micro-blogging platform Twitter providing real-time tweets. Multi-taskers checking out Current Twitters the Inauguration should twitter with the tag #current in their message.

On your phone

  • Ustream through your iPhone: If gets their iPhone app approved before Tuesday, then simply search for "ustream" and you'll get a live feed of the Ustream coverage mentioned above. If not, TechCrunch has details on getting a beta invite. Ustream's site also suggests an email to might do the trick.

  • InaugurationReport apps: For both iPhones (search "inaugurationreport") and Androids (search IR09), the join project's mobile apps let you view semi-real-time Twitter updates, Flickr photos, text messages, and content upload from other mobile IR users from one handy app screen.

The social web

  • A joint project of NPR, CBS, American University and many more, the site rounds up all the contributions made by on-the-street citizen reporters through Flickr, Twitter, text message, YouTube, and IR's own mobile apps (see below).

  • Flickr: The official multi-user inauguration pool is here, but the Presidential Inaugural Committee has its own stream, as does the president-elect himself.

  • Twitter search: The hot searches are inauguration and the #inaug09 tag.

  • Photosynth to create massive 3D compilation of oath-taking: If somebody you know in D.C. for the wants to contribute to a gigantically cool 3D mesh of the moment Obama takes the oath, email a photo (one at a time, up to 10MB per pic and three separate submissions allowed) to, then, later that day, head to to see the big mash-up, powered by Microsoft's Photosynth technology.

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