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.