Remembering September 11 in the digital age

Remembering September 11 in the digital age
From microsites to virtual memorial walls, the media is marking the 10th anniversary of 9/11 with all that digital technology has to offer.

From microsites to virtual memorial walls, the media is marking the 10th anniversary of 9/11 with all that digital technology has to offer, writes Mashable's Meghan Peters.

As the 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks approaches, news websites throughout the world have been organising social and digital media projects that commemorate the day that changed lives forever.

The event is unlike any other. It touches every community in the country and many across the globe, prompting discussion, emotion and remembrance. For news organizations, it’s an opportunity to inform, engage and, with social media, listen to readers.

Much like the American people did on 9/11, media sites are leaning on each other for support and inspiration. Together they’re developing interactive and informative web projects that tell the story of 9/11 as it’s remembered today.

Media powerhouses The New York Times and YouTube are joining forces to create one of the biggest 9/11 multimedia packages on the web. The project features original Times videos, standout videos curated from YouTube and reader-submitted videos from the Times community.

Social narrative-building tool Storyful is also a part of the collaboration, helping to curate the best videos from YouTube and the Times’ reader-submission pool. Storyful editorial director David Clinch said he and his team have already delved into more than 100 reader videos and expects they’ll have selected 50 of the best ones by this weekend. Readers were prompted with three different questions about memories of and change since Sept. 11, 2001.

“The range of what we’ve gotten has already exceeded my expectations,” said Alexis Mainland, social media editor at The Times. “I didn’t think we’d get such a variety of people: old people, young people, people of varying backgrounds.”

The Times has done a fair amount of user-submitted video projects but the collaboration with YouTube helped garner far more entries than the site would have gotten without YouTube. “It just gives us a whole ‘nother dimension,” Mainland said.

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