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The commons of the tragedy Lee Rainie - Director The Internet & Collecting the The commons of the tragedy Lee Rainie - Director The Internet & Collecting the History of the Present 9. 10. 03

Why bother to archive? • The Internet changes the nature of production and consumption Why bother to archive? • The Internet changes the nature of production and consumption of information – Everyone can be a “journalist” or contributor • Immediacy and intimacy of information • Volume and scope of information • Practical and scholarly insights

September 11 – Some Internet basics • Number of American adults online dropped 11% September 11 – Some Internet basics • Number of American adults online dropped 11% in the first week after the attack • Number of emailers dropped 17% • Declines in the number of those…. – – – pursuing hobbies online (-50%) purchasing goods (-50%) seeking medical information (-40%) browsing for fun (-35%) doing work-related research (-24%)

What people did more More intense and prolonged searching and content creation – News What people did more More intense and prolonged searching and content creation – News rose 32% – Instant messaging rose 18% – Government Web site traffic rose 31% – Charity and volunteer site traffic increased 24% – Online community activity rose nearly fourfold

What people did online • • • 69% sought news and related information 34% What people did online • • • 69% sought news and related information 34% posted or read personal responses 23% got information about victims/survivors 23% downloaded pictures of the U. S. flag 20% visited a commemorative Web site 14% participated on online polls 10% got info on local demonstrations/rallies 10% signed online petitions 9% contacted elected official by email

Email content 72% used email in some way related to events – grieving, consoling, Email content 72% used email in some way related to events – grieving, consoling, expressing patriotism, finding long-lost friends, making/receiving prayer requests, hashing out military and political options

The virtual commons: Raw emotion “This is absolute chaos… a sheer tragedy…how could this The virtual commons: Raw emotion “This is absolute chaos… a sheer tragedy…how could this happen here? ” -- Tori Hill, Yahoo’s Sept 11 reaction site “I wonder if I will ever sleep peacefully again after seeing those bodies falling. I wonder if I will ever stop crying. ” --- Blogger named ponygirl at Blogger. com

The virtual commons: Hunt for details “People, please keep these reports coming. I have The virtual commons: Hunt for details “People, please keep these reports coming. I have friends in New York but right now this is my only source of information. All the news sites are totally jammed. ” -- Markmark 33 in an AOL chat room

The virtual commons: Tests of faith “I don't know what I believe anymore. I The virtual commons: Tests of faith “I don't know what I believe anymore. I am not even sure how I feel about God. I use to believe all things happen for a reason but have since decided that is an idiotic way to believe…I have decided to leave Beliefnet for a while and think things out. I have been a member nearly a year and met some pretty wonderful people. I will miss you all. Please pray for me. ” -- corinthianxx on Beliefnet. com

The virtual commons: Grief and consoling “I cry at strange times in strange places The virtual commons: Grief and consoling “I cry at strange times in strange places and at the strangest triggers. Today I went grocery shopping and started crying when I noticed the biggest selling Halloween costume: A rack of Firefighter costumes. Kids want to be like their heroes and many kids have seen and decided that wrestlers and cartoon characters, comic book characters aren't heroic enough for them anymore. I cried while I watched a little boy try on the helmets. Right there in the store. Is it just me? ” --Lady. March. Hare on The Well

The virtual commons: Practical advice • Are you okay? How can I help? • The virtual commons: Practical advice • Are you okay? How can I help? • Here is the place you can go to donate blood, attend a meeting, volunteer, attend a service • Here are things you can do to help in your community • Here is the latest news I’ve heard

The virtual commons: Political discussion “I fear he [President Bush] will use excessive force The virtual commons: Political discussion “I fear he [President Bush] will use excessive force which will lead to more terrorist attacks and possibly war. I would feel so much better if Clinton was in office. ” -- donation 111 in the Yahoo Sept. 11 attack site “I am not a Bush fan, I didn't like his dad and I don't like his brother, however he has my full support as leader of the country, his speech writers are remarkable and it [the President’s speech to Congress on September 20] was delivered to perfection. ” -- janesommers in International Women’s Forum

A new online normalcy • More news searching • More interest in government and A new online normalcy • More news searching • More interest in government and politics • More community participation • More spiritual activity • But return to the usual levels of interest in other activities

The 9/11 web-sphere Library of Congress, Internet Archive, Web. Archvist. org http: //september 11. The 9/11 web-sphere Library of Congress, Internet Archive, Web. Archvist. org http: //september 11. archive. org/

Web producers responded by building new features into their sites or expanding existing services Web producers responded by building new features into their sites or expanding existing services OBTAINING AND PROVIDING INFORMATION http: //home. nyc. gov (09/14/01)

Obtaining Assistance http: //www. brainstormsandraves. com/attack/checkin (09/26/01) Obtaining Assistance http: //www. brainstormsandraves. com/attack/checkin (09/26/01)

Enabling Expression http: //www. worldtradecentermemorial. com (09/14/01) Enabling Expression http: //www. worldtradecentermemorial. com (09/14/01)

Providing Support http: //christianity. com/partner/ (09. 26. 01) Providing Support http: //christianity. com/partner/ (09. 26. 01)

Enabling Political Advocacy http: //workingforchange. com/activism (09. 23. 01) Enabling Political Advocacy http: //workingforchange. com/activism (09. 23. 01)

About us Lrainie@pewinternet. org Pew Internet & American Life Project 1100 Connecticut Ave. NW About us [email protected] org Pew Internet & American Life Project 1100 Connecticut Ave. NW – Suite 710 Washington, D. C. 20036 202 -296 -0019 http: //www. pewinternet. org/