Sunday, September 12, 2004
Google On September 11
I regret not posting this yesterday, on the third anniversary of the attacks. This paper, "The Effects of September 11 on the Leading Search Engine" by Richard W. Wiggins, discusses the way people used the internet on 9/11, and more specifically, how they leaned on Google for information in a time of crisis. It includes a screenshot of Google the day of the attacks, When Google had this message:
If you are looking for news, you will find the most current information on TV or radio. Many online news services are not available, because of extremely high demand. Below are links to news sites, including cached copies as they appeared earlier today.
Google also had a Zeitgeist for September 11.
The page is a fascinating look at Google, the one site internet users rely on more than any other, how it was used and how it reacted to such a major event. As the web was taxed like it had never before, someone at Google stepped up and decided that Google needed to be the face of the internet, evolving as the day went on and making small but significant changes so as to help web surfers with the tragedy. It is suggested that Google News and the tabs Google now sports evolved directly from 9/11.
We can expect that this study is now a primer on what we can expect from Google in the event of future tragedies and world events. Imagine Google in World War 2, or on the day Kennedy was shot. It would be comforting to believe that such a thing will never happen again. It would also be foolish.