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Geoff Daily

App-Rising.com covers the development and adoption of broadband applications, the deployment of and need for broadband networks, and the demands placed on policy to adapt to the revolutionary opportunities made possible by the Internet.

App-Rising.com is written by Geoff Daily, a DC-based technology journalist, broadband activist, marketing consultant, and Internet entrepreneur.

App-Rising.com is supported in part by AT&T;, however all views and opinions expressed herein are solely my own.

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November 5, 2008 9:49 AM

Last Night's Amazing Online Election Coverage

Wow. Watching the election last night was a mind-boggling experience from an online perspective. There were just so many choices.

Every major TV news channel was streaming live coverage online.

Alongside video on these sites were a host of interactive visualization tools to parse through the results, including maps of all shapes and sizes as well as interesting tools like on NYTimes.com where they had readers submitting words that describe how they feel which you could sort through based on McCain vs. Obama supporters.

A host of sites and individuals were live blogging throughout the night providing new insight and analysis.

Tweets were flying on my Twitter feed from people discussing their reactions to the election.

And sites like VideotheVote.org provided a venue through which user-generated content documenting the election experience could be aggregated.

There were just so many new sources of information and varying perspectives from across the country, and really around the globe as the world was most definitely watching America last night. And increasingly these online resources were of the interactive multimedia-driven variety that demands broadband.

So it's hard to fathom how our next presidential election is going to be covered four years from now when hopefully everyone in America has and uses broadband, where fiber is everywhere so video of the highest quality can be delivered, and where the traditional news outlets have even more experience delivering compelling online experiences.

One final thought to share on this online coverage from a bandwidth perspective is let's think about how much media was created in the last 12 hours. Consider this math:

- Let's say there were a million people outside last night celebrating nationwide (a number that has to be low as there may have been near that many in Chicago alone)

- Let's say 10% of those people were capturing some or all of the evening in photos and on video, so roughly 100,000 people (based on the number of cellphones and cameras I saw in crowds it could've been much higher)

- Let's say each of those people created 100MB worth of content (another low number for anyone shooting video or lots of hi-res photos)

- Now let's say that 10% of these people decide to upload their photo and videos to a website to share with friends and family (a likely low number since most people who create digital content today share it in some way online)

So based on these four low-ball estimates we get 10,000 people times 100MB which equals 1 Terabyte (TB) worth of content created in less than half a day and likely to be uploaded over the next couple of days.

A few years ago that was an unfathomable amount of information, now we're creating that in a night, and that number's only going up as more people start using these technologies, the technologies gain ever higher resolution, and this content increasingly makes its way online.

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