Inauguration day

I’m still catching up from the whirlwind of the past 36 hours. In that time, I’ve seen an editorial conference come off without a hitch,  enjoyed some recognition for multimedia conference coverage, learned from hours of company meetings, mixed and mingled with hundreds of coworkers in front of 10′ screens, talked about blogging with Brian Madden and helped moderate a social media session with Chris Brogan, Colin Steele, Mark Fontecchio and a room full of bright, engaged tech reporters, editors, IT marketers and publishers. I plan to write more about that last later.

That alone made it a significant and looong day.

Add in the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States and I’m only now feeling like I’m sidling to the edge of rushing slipstream of events in my personal and professional life, to say nothing of the larger changes on a global level. The new WhiteHouse.gov captures some of that zeitgeist, with its radically improved design and features — not to mention a new robots.txt file, as Jason Kottke pointed out yesterday.

I was fortunate to be able to watch the swearing in and the speech itself on a projected screen with the rest of my division. I’ll always be grateful that those resources were made available and that I was able to share that moment with my colleagues, along with the world’s Tweets about the #inauguration streaming along on the screen of my iPhone.

Aretha Franklin gave us a rendering of My Country Tis of Thee for the ages.

The quartet Yo-Yo Ma , Itzhak Perlman , Anthony McGill and Gabriela Montero performed an exquisite classical composition arranged by John Williams.

And then for a twenty one minutes, we enjoyed the extraordinary spectacle of shared collective excitement, hope and sustained eloquence.

(I was amused to hear that Barack had to retake the oath today after that hiccup at the beginning with Chief Justice Roberts.)

I’m still sifting through many other remarkable moments from the day and evening. Now that the celebrations have ended, the real work begins.

Tired as I am, I’m buoyed by the renewed sense of possibility I felt in the office, online and in the airwaves. My to-do list grows ever longer, both at home and at my editor’s desk. Even so, I feel a sense of hope, of optimism and of gratitude for being alive at this moment.

We live in extraordinary times.

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