As if you were not already aware, tonight's State of the Union is bound to make history—perhaps more for its presentation and interactivity than for the contents of its message.
A few weeks back, I breathlessly raved about how YouTube was going to live stream the landmark court case on California's Proposition 8—and I was specifically excited about what that kind of thing might mean for the future (and legitimacy) of online video.
Of course, the Supreme Court decided to steal my joy—and invalidate my article—by striking down that decision, ruling that the proceedings could not be streamed on YouTube. I was a little bummed.
Today, however, I have a second chance to wax poetic about a major event streaming live online and what it might mean for the world of online video. And ultimately… this is maybe even a bigger deal than the court case would have been., streaming live right now!
And it's more than just YouTube participating in this little online viewing experiment. UStream will show CBS's coverage. Hulu will join YouTube in streaming the address. And a few networks are hosting live viewings on their websites, including C-SPAN and CNN. Oh, and the WhiteHouse.gov site will be showing it as well.
So there are plenty of choices for online viewing of President Obama's speech tonight, along with the usual television viewing options. I, for one, am watching it online… simply because I finally can. I cant conclude just yet what that experience will be like—or if it will even be different at all.
But I'm greatly encouraged by this move. This is the Obama Administration (and really, the U.S. government) kind of giving the seal of approval to live streaming online. If streaming online wasn't already legitimate—I've caught significant portions of The Masters, March Madness, and even NFL games online—it is now that Obama has weighed in. And that can only be good news to people like the fine readers of this site.
There's also an added element over at YouTube that promises to make this one of the more interactive State of the Union events in history, and it's called CitizenTube