Not knowing what else to do, in the numb hours after the towers fell, I made a web page that explored the World Trade Center in literature and culture, as well as urban technology in general. I updated it a bit over the next few weeks or months, but have mostly left it as an historical record.
As journalists improvised to meet the public’s demand for online updates (in this pre-Twitter, pre-Facebook world, they turned to the unfiltered blogs of individual New Yorkers and other witnesses), their response to the 9-11-2001 terrorist attacks essentially invented modern online journalism, in much the same way that the live coverage of the assassination of JFK invented what we recognize as TV journalism.
Googling for information during the 9-11 attacks was very frustrating. At the time, Google did not make any special effort to index the news sites on a regular basis, so searches for “World Trade Center” turned up old hits like booking information for Windows on the World (the restaurant at the top of the North Tower).
Google actually added a message recommending that people looking for current news visit news pages directly, since the results in Google’s index were out of date.
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