Consume or Create, On 9/11 Social Media Offers Both Options

As the 10 year anniversary of the terrorist attack that brought down New York’s World Trade Center approaches, there are many opportunities to comb through the wreckage of national consciousness, courtesy of both news and social media. Among the most complete is Understanding 9/11, an Internet Archive project to collect all broadcast coverage of the event.

Whether you were all the way across the country as I was or in the neighborhood, you have, no doubt, very strong feelings about the event and may want to memorialize it somehow. But reabsorbing the terrible images seems almost unwholesome to me, personally. Do it if you want, if you think it will benefit you, but watch out. An alternative might be Broadcastr’s September 11 Memorial. Here you can bear witness, in person or via telephone and your testimony will become part of the historical record.

Kate Petty, Broadcastr’s director of communications, described the project for us. It is a collaboration between Broadcastr (whose efforts to preserve 9/11 oral histories we’ve written about before), HISTORY (formerly the History Channel) and the National September 11 Memorial and Museum.

“We’re inviting anyone to contribute a recorded story of what happened to them on 9/11, through a toll-free call-in line at 855-We-Remember, or at interactive kiosks installed at the 9/11 Memorial Visitor Center.

“All stories will be kept in the 9/11 Memorial’s oral history archives. Select stories will be uploaded as MP3 files to Broadcastr, where they are accessible for free on the iPhone and Android apps, as well as on the Web.”

The kiosks do not open until September 12, but the phone lines, though not promoted until tomorrow, are already receiving calls, 100 at last count.

“Everybody has a 9/11 story,” Andy Hunter, founder and CEO of Broadcastr told us. “We wanted to create a way that anybody, anywhere could share these memories with each other, and preserve them as part of the 9/11 Memorial archives.”

Also, I’m not sure who I’m kidding about my comments at the top of this post. While writing this up, I have already listened to the testimonies of nurse Francine Kelly, NYPD officer David Brink and New York firefighter Mike Moran. …

WTC memorial photo by Pingnews

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