Blogging the Bombs

It’s a couple of days on, so let’s step back and take a look at what happened on Thursday. I’m still trying to articulate exactly how I feel about it all so let’s leave that for another post and instead look at more practical matters.

Basically, it seems to me that Thursday 7th July 2005 will be seen as the day the British Blogosphere grew up. Although I was working in the offices of one of the largest news gathering organsations in the world, I was still getting my most up to date news by standing watching BBC News 24 on the TV in the corner of the office. Because I couldn’t do that for the whole day, I turned to the internet for my news.

The first thing I noticed was that both the BBC and the Guardian (the two news web sites I instinctively turn to first) weren’t keeping up with developments quickly enough for me. They both have editorial procedures in place which meant that stories were only being updated every thirty minutes or so. Both sites were, of course, great for in-depth coverage later on, but for more immediate news I went elsewhere.

I spent much of the morning reading Nosemonkey’s constantly updated post. Later I discovered the Wikipedia page and the Guardian news blog (which was more up to date than the main Guardian site). The Flickr photo pool was also being updated constantly with people uploading photos from their mobile phones – the first time that phone cameras have been used so much for chronicling an ongoing news event.

At noon we all gathered round the TV to watch Tnoy Blair’s statement. It was good (he’s always been good at reacting to tragedy) but it was nowhere near as good as Ken Livingstone’s reaction – whoever wrote that deserves a promotion.

Over the next twenty-four hours, more well thought out reactions appeared. The Sharpener set up a pledge for us all to sign. We Are Not Afraid was set up to tell the terrorists that… well… that we’re not afraid. And the London News Review nicely summed up the feelings of Londoners with their open letter to the terrorists.

And everywhere I went on the web I was finding much the same feeling. Of course people were angry but their anger was directed purely at the people responsible for the attacks. Only in a very few places did I see people trying to place the blame with a wider community like all Muslims. The few places I did see those opinions raised, they were shouted down pretty quicky.

All in all a terrible day, but the way that Londoners in general and London bloggers in particular dealt with it has reaffirmed my belief that I’m living in the best city in the world.

One comment

  1. Hi Dave, I heard about your site on the news and it took me a little while to find it. The news channels are all giving the address as I don’t suppose you would be able to get any webspace to make a site with that address? Was just an idea. Anyway, well done on getting onto the national news; I take my hat off to you. Your site gives people somewhere to go for information, pictures, reflection. Whatever the visitor’s purpose, it’s fulfilled.I’ve been glued to the news channels since Thursday. I have seen all the police briefings, as well as the political ones. The speech that has upset me the most is the one made by the mother who has flown over from Nigeria looking for her son Anthony. What she said about the bombings said it all, really. And I can’t imagine how harrowing it must be to be retrieving parts of bodies 150 feet underground in temperatures of 140 degrees and with all the rats and fumes down there. Many of the people who died were my age and younger; I am 24. I wouldn’t want to die at 24; there is so much that I still have to do, and I can’t imagine going to meet my maker (so to speak) so young. At any age, it’s appalling in such a way, but at the age of 24 or 22… There won’t be much left of many of them. What kind of twisted mind would think up such a plan of blowing up a tube train full of people deep underground, let alone carry it out? Anyway, a very well done on the website. May terrorism not break our spirit, and may whoever did this be caught and punished before they commit any more such atrocious acts.

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