There were two standout mobile events in 2008: The Beijing Olympics and the presidential election — in the latter, text was a critical component of Barack Obama’s campaign and voters used mobile services, like Twitter, to keep people up-to-date on what was happening at the polls. I wrote in a year-end piece that companies should keep this momentum going in 2009, and it seems that is happening with the next big news event — Obama’s inauguration on Jan. 20, which the New York Times (NYSE: NYT) is saying has the potential to be a “Wireless Woodstock.” While carriers are concerned that the networks in D.C. won’t be able to keep up with the demand by the two million people expected to flood the capital, news outlets and other mobile providers are also encouraging people to follow the news, or report what’s going on from the front lines using their mobile phones. Here are a few examples:
— NPR: NPR, in partnership with CBS (NYSE: CBS) News and American University, is asking people to participate in a variety of ways, including downloading the “Inauguration Report” to an iPhone or the T-Mobile G1, which allows users to send in text messages, upload audio reports and pictures. The ongoing feed of contributions is viewable on NPR’s website. A similar service was launched by NPR on election day and garnered a lot of participation.
Lots more after the jump…
— Ustream streams inauguration live on iPhone: Ustream has developed an application for the iPhone that allows you to watch videos, including the upcoming inauguration. Only a limited number of users will be given