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How Did CNN Partnered with Facebook Inauguration Coverage Do?

January 21, 2009

When I saw that Facebook and CNN were going to be working together in streaming the President Obama’s inauguration a few days prior, I clicked the “Yes I’ll attend” button and was excited to watch while sharing comments with friends.

According to InsideFacebook.com, more than 1 million people had updated their Facebook status through the CNN.com Live Facebook feed as of 2 p.m. Eastern time today. The Web site also reported that there were 8,500 statuses updates the minute Obama began his speech and 4,000 status updates every minute during the broadcast.
Logging on about a half-hour before the actual swearing in of the then President-elect, I waiting for the LIVE video to start playing and I too updated my status, “Jessica is waiting on the world to change.” (I know, I’m clever.) However, that was the only thing I was able to do. As the time neared for Obama to take the oath of office the video was still waiting to connect!
Scott Bouchard, a Web designer here at TMC and who also blogs for his Design vs. Functionality page titled his blog for yesterday, Welcome to the Inauguration Waiting Room. And that, my friends, wasn’t far from the truth.
He wrote, “Like many people around the world, I've been trying to tune in to see the Inauguration of the 44th President of the United States of America via Internet. CNN.com Live and Facebook have been advertising that they will be streaming Inauguration coverage all day today, but I just keep getting dumped into a waiting room. I get cycled back out and then just sit on a loading page. I've let it sit there for 15 minutes twice already.”
Although, it seems that some didn’t have to wait, expressing the convenience of online social networking.
"I think it was a tremendous catalyst to show some of the things social networking can do," said Allen Weiner, an analyst at research firm Gartner Inc. "It was a thing of beauty. It was easy to use. The TV window never overwhelmed the conversation, but it provided context. Social networks work when you have something to talk about -- from the size of Aretha Franklin's hat to the content of what Obama was saying."
Easy to use? I’m sure it was, if you could get connected.
Scott explains why this happened, “It was basically too much traffic and not enough resources, they set up a queue because they had set a maximum number of connections for any given time. Once the maximum was met, they dumped users into a waiting room and were supposed to be filtering them in as positions became available, either no one was logging off, or the queue was failing. Either way they underestimated the amount of resources they needed to get it to run smoothly and lost traffic as a result.”
Mark Zuckerberg, get on the ball for the next time you want to be a partner in crime!
This article was originally posted on the jk on Tech blog.

Jessica Kostek is a channel editor for unified communications, covering VoIP, CRM, call center and wireless technologies. To read more of Jessica’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jessica Kostek

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