Obama Announces 'Neighborhood Inaugural Ball'

Promises robust interactive components to link balls across the country together electronically
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President-elect Barack Obama has announced what is billed as the first neighborhood inaugural ball, with the neighborhood being in large part electronic.

The ball will be the first one of the evening on Jan. 20, anchored by a celebration at the Washington Convention Center. But "neighborhood balls" are also being organized across the country, with Obama promising "robust" interactive components including Webcasts and text messaging to link those balls electronically.

That technology, says the Presidential Inaugural Committee, "[will] allow Americans who are attending neighborhood balls across the country to participate actively in this celebration."

Tickets to the Washington ball will be either free or low-cost, with some set aside for DC residents.

"This is an Inauguration for all Americans," said President-elect Obama in a statement Monday. "I wanted to make sure that we had an event that would be open to our new neighborhood here in Washington, D.C., and also neighborhoods across the country. Michelle and I look forward to joining our fellow Americans across the country during this very special event."

The Obama campaign is widely acknowledged as having the most Web-savvy campaign of any presidential candidate, which included text messages, blogs, e-mails, Webcasts and more.