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Tech Trends w/ Tara: Remembering 9/11

This past Sunday marked the 10th anniversary of the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks which claimed over 2700 lives.  The events of 9/11 and the subsequent days are said to have changed the world.  Yet, the world has also changed for other reasons over the past decade, the least not being due to technological advances.

We all have our where-I-was stories.  Maybe you were just heading into work.  Maybe you were sitting in your elementary classroom.  But few of us were on our mobile phones.  None of us where ‘in the cloud’ or playing Angry Birds.  Not only does nearly every American adult now own a cell phone (83%), 1/3 own a smart phone. (Pew Research Center)  In 2001 Twitter wasn’t tweeting, Facebook wasn’t even a gleam in Mark Zuckerberg’s eye and it would be another 4 years until YouTube started turning out viral sensations.  Imagine if they had existed.  We would have had up to the minute updates from people at Ground Zero.  We would have seen Flickr pictures with geo tags.  Warning tweets.  Consolation tweets.  People spreading the word over Google Talk.  Facebook statuses letting everyone know they were safe.  From Americans.  From the World.  We would have been glued to our computers as much as we were all glued to our televisions that day.

While the abundance of social media we now experience helps spread current news quickly, each year on September 11th people around the world use social media to remember, honor, mourn and discuss the future.  Search the hashtags #sept11 and #wherewereyou in Twitter for news reports and personal stories.  A search for 9/11 in Flickr will bring up both inspiring and touching pictures of remembrance.  I found myself scrolling  through 9/11 post after post on Tumblr.

The web is awash with memorials, archives, blog posts, news articles, videos, and nearly every other kind of creative output available.  While the internet can seem ephemeral, these online tributes can be archived and kept for future generations as documents about the events, our continued reaction to them and how the world has changed.  Look below for a few examples of archives created by organizations and libraries to preserve valuable information on the event that changed the world.


Along with the social media sites mentioned above, the following are great online resources and digital archives for further information about 9/11.



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