Inaugural Web traffic breaks Internet

Wordle Tag Cloud by Frank MeeuwsenInternet networks across the country were given a run for their money Tuesday during the inauguration. CNN says it provided as many as 21.3 million streams throughout the morning and afternoon; Facebook announced it had 1.5 million Obama-related status updates. However, the enthusiasm generated by President Barack Obama’s historic inauguration also challenged Internet providers and the nation’s bandwidth. Online video, (see my angry post for more on that below) in particular was problematic. Many people, the NY Times is reporting resorted to old televisions and radios. I was among this crowd: After suffering through a shaky video experience on CNN Live, I didn’t get my first full appreciation for Obama’s speech until I heard it on the NPR as I headed home from work. Sigh. So much for the tech revolution.

The good news: Internet usage hit a historic peak as millions tried to watch the ceremonies online.

The bad news: We gotta a lot of work to do to keep that bandwidth healthy and happy.

For an excellent read on some of the other challenges facing President Obama, check out Wired’s latest article: Wired Presidency: Can Obama really reboot the White House?