Events

History in the Social-Media Making

This week was a week of history. It included the first ever Presidential Twitter town hall and the last flight for the space shuttle Atlantis. Although I was in my home office and/or using up the WiFi at a local Starbucks during these events, I hardly felt distanced. In fact, I felt very connected to them.

If you were out enjoying this beautiful summer and *gasp* missed these moments, here’s a quick recap.

Watching Obama Town Hall from Starbucks (thanks @dweingrod for the photo)

Obama’s Twitter Town Hall – July 6, 2011

The social media mecca brought us the nation’s first-ever presidential Twitter Townhall. President Obama had a Tweetup, moderated by Jack Dorsey, Twitter co-founder. Questions came in via the @townhall handle and the #askobama hashtag and the President addressed them. An outpour of inquiries flooded the Twittersphere from education, to the economy, to war and oil. Questions were selected and the President answered them in real time via streaming video on http://askobama.twitter.com. Columbia Journalism Review has a great recap of the event and some of the results are located here: http://www.radian6.com/platform-blog.

Watching the space shuttle launch from UStream

Atlantis Takes Flight for Last Time – July 8, 2011

The US space shuttle Atlantis took its last flight from the Kennedy Space Center on Friday.  After a 30-year history that has cost nearly $200 billion and claimed the lives of 14 astronauts, the Atlantis will retire to make way for a new generation of spacecraft. Mission commentator Rob Navias called it “poetry in motion” as cameras captured the flight. The streaming video overtook NASA.com, CNN.com, Weather.com, UStream and many more video-happy sites. The shuttle arrived at the International Space Station today. Here are images of the flight from NASA.

Both of these history-making moments were online and live as America watched from their computer screens. Twitter and Facebook were astir with status updates and tweets as users wrote their emotions, thoughts, questions and comments. As all of this unfolded in front of me, I felt a part of something. A community of people came together to experience and share a moment. This is what social media is all about. This is why I love it.

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