9/11: Birth of the Blog

When four planes were hijacked on a sunny fall morning, easy-to-use blogging services were still few and far between. Yet many who witnessed the horror of the attacks firsthand took to the keyboard to talk with the world.

Horrified Americans used e-mail, instant messages, any available communication tool. But weblogs meant large audiences, not just friends and family, could read those stories from the scene. —Robert Andrews9/11: Birth of the Blog (Wired)

Birth? No. Perhaps, when blogs were able to provide information and solace that the traditional media could not, blogs reached the age of reason.

The assassination of JFK was a similar turning point in TV journalism, and the overnight TV coverage of the 1980s hostage crisis in Iran led to the birth of cable news TV.

Once the initial chaos had died down, on 9/11/2001 I sifted through my notes on technology and human culture, and posted World Trade Center: Literary and Cultural Reflections.

At the time, I was still editing my blog more or less by hand, and my system didn’t involve posting blog entries on individual pages, nor did it permit readers to post comments.

Thus, I felt the need to post this as a static web page.

The e-mails came at a steady clip, from all around the world.