The Impact of Web 2.0 and Video on Politics

On January 20, millions of people around the world watched the inauguration of U.S. President Barack Obama from our laptops while it streamed live over the Internet. In fact, Akamai Technologies noted that a record 7.7 million people worldwide watched the inauguration live. Also according to Akamai, as Obama began his speech, 12 million people were accessing news content every second, with worldwide Internet traffic spiking to levels 54 percent above normal.

From the beginning, the Obama campaign took advantage of Web 2.0 to reach out directly to the American people – and the world community. Video certainly played a prominent role in helping us get to know the candidate and his beliefs, and his weekly video post on the newly redesigned White House Web site demonstrates his commitment to continuing to use video to connect with people now that he is in office. To help President Obama get to know us better, many of us have recorded videos for the new President with our webcams and posted them to, YouTube and our blogs.

Moving forward, video and Web 2.0 are sure to play an important role not only for President Obama’s administration, but also in future political campaigns around the world. As evidenced by the Obama campaign, video can open up the conversations among our global community, giving not just presidential hopefuls, but average people, a voice, a face – and most importantly – a platform for reaching out to others.


Vice President, Internet Communications