Assignment due 5/18

1) Read Foner, chapter 28
2) Visit the September 11 Digital Archive and contribute something to the collection.
3) Respond to this post with at least one substantial (2-3 paragraph) comment describing your experiences on the web site.  What are the strengths of the site?  The weaknesses?  What may future historians conclude about the events of 9/11 based on their use of the site as a resource?
4) Review the study guide and be ready with any questions at our last class on Wednesday.

21 thoughts on “Assignment due 5/18

  1. I have just finished writing a small contribution on the Sept 11 digital archive. I never knew that the site existed,yet I can’t say I looked for such a site. It was easy to write about that day, because it’s just one of those days you could never forget. I knew where I at almost every moment that day. The site was simple to navigate, and that made it easy to contribute something into the collection. If they would have asked you a million questions, and about joining this or that, it would have taken away from the simplicity that the site gave.
    As for weakness, I wish that I was able to see what I wrote right away. Yet that doesn’t disturb me so much.
    I love that future historian will be able to read different experiences, see things through different lenses. Not everyone experience things the same. What one may not see, someone else may have seen. It gives a wider scope to the whole event. How truly sad that day was.

  2. Similar to Ruka, I never knew such a site like the September 11 Digital Archive existed, and I never really looked for one. Living through such a historic event never made me go out of my way and look for any other primary resources or documentation on 9/11; I had seen the news reports and heard the radio stations at the time that it happened, so I never really looked for more information. I think such a site is quite effective in telling the stories of many different people regarding that day. The site is simple to navigate around, and its layout and purpose is clear – to share. The fact that the site is so simple and easy to use makes it easy for people to make whatever contributions they would like.
    I can’t think of many negatives besides what Ruka pointed out about not being able to see your comment published right away. It occurred to me that maybe the option to comment on other people’s stories would also be something that could possibly enhance the site; however, I think that just being able to view the contributions is a better idea to prevent spam and the like. Future historians will be able to get a more personal look at the normal everyday people and what their experience of 9/11 was actually like. While everyone can agree that it was a tragedy, this site is able to provide deeper insight to the mournful event.

  3. I think its a very useful website for both historians and politicians as well as for regular people. They have this huge collection of stories which is an excellent resource for future cultural studies of the reaction to the September 11 attacks. In addition, they have photos and videos, which for me were interesting to see.
    They also have this New York City Fire Department Incident Action Plans in the documents section, which was a coordinating communication devise used among all the groups working during 9/11 Ground Zero Rescue and Recovery Operations. It includes: announcements of hazards, locations for void searches, updated safety rules, feeding sites, contact phone numbers of the key people in charge at numerous agencies, etc. I think its a great source for micro-historians.

  4. I believe this September 11 Digital Archive is a brilliant idea. It can provide insight to the tragedy for historians since it reveals the different accounts and stories of individuals. However, the accuracy and reliability of these stories are not guaranteed. Historians should take precaution when basing their findings from this website. Historians may come to a conclusion that the impact of the happenings of that day is unforgettable and lasting.

    As for the website itself, it is easy to use and navigate. The design of the website is simple and straightforward. Contributing a story is simple and people can remain anonymous if they wish to do so. The website is fairly organized even with the enormous amount of data.

  5. September 11 Digital Archive is impressive for having a huge collection of personal stories related to the 911 incident. It’s a very helpful website for people who wish to get a feel of what happened on that tragic days. However, the website design is not very pleasing. It’s tiresome if the visitor wants to read a large number of stories, since the visitor must click every time to read each one of them. The website should include a function to read the multiple stories on one screen or a functions to access the previous or the next entry.

    I believe the historians can obtain a large number of tragic stories and civilian responses from the email; however, the website shares the same problems as the twitter archive. Having a digital archive means that active internet users have more chances of encountering the website, and such effect on the demography would pose restrictions on how the data can be used.

  6. I thought the September 11 archive was very personal and the collection of stories was helpful in having insight on how people were feeling and what they were doing during this tragic event. I think is is a great idea to archive this event in history because of the wide range of people who will respond. I thought that the strengths of the site lie in this aspect. As far as weaknesses, i agree with Yi in the fact that there are a large number of stories to go through. It can be difficult to navigate through this feature.
    I think that historians would be able to see how each person was personally impacted on this day whether they were in New York or not. I think that the event impacted every Americans life across the nation. They will also be able to see the ability of the people to unite in order to cope with the effects of the situation. Also as stated by Yi, the database if good at seeing the demographics of the people who’s lives were impacted which is very important.

  7. The September 11 archive is a great tool for historians to research and acquire useful information about the tragic event. The site contains a plethora of links to other websites such as NYT where users will be able to access stories and news posts relevant to September 11. I contributed a story on the site, where I wrote about my experience on the day of September 11 (it wasn’t much since I was in another country at the time). Posting my story was easy but I knew the title of my story was like a codename “Story” followed by a number), and it would probably take some time (and codebreaking!) to access my story on this site (because thousands of stories are archived). I think it would be a better idea to archive stories based on a title so at least the posters would be easily able to access their stories and also search for stories according to their title which might provide a more focused search.

    The site is great for technicians but I don’t think its very user friendly for the laymen. I got frustrated at the beginning just clicking on a few things and realizing that you have to click a few times before you actually get to access a content. and for some of the access you need to have an account with them, which is another inconvenience (unless one plans to commit extensive research with the site). The site also looks pretty basic with no flash, which could add a few visual animation to make it more modern, user friendly and interactive. I think this site can learn a lot from retailers like on how to organize and make information more easily accessible just like Amazon organizes their products to allow its users more efficient and fast access to the products their looking for.

  8. I agree that the September 11 Archive is a great place for everyone to contribute a piece of memory to 9/11. It allows ordinary people like you and me to express freely about our thoughts and feelings of that disastrous event. Just like making a puzzle; the future historians will be able to put the pieces together and visualize the event themselves. I agree with Ruka that thank god the site does not ask tons of questions, which will make lazy people like me likely to contribute. It is very user friendly and convenience.
    The tap 9/11 FAQ leads to frequently asked questions of the event, the questions and answers are posted there and it also cited the sources the answers came from. Some of the answers that people often want to find out about 9/11 might be there. However I think that the browse function of the site is the most important. It helps us to explore the collection for stories, images, emails, documents, sounds, and videos of September 11 that not only site visitors contributed but as well as other organizations. After-all the purpose of the site to share individual’s memories.

  9. This site has a vast amount of information about 9/11. One of the greatest things about this site, is it’s ability for all visitors to leave their personal story or image or any memory of 9/11. We’ve all been there that day and all of us have different memories of that day. With the compilation of all these information, it allows people in the future that weren’t able to have a first experience to know what happened that very day. Another thing I thing is a great success is the way it organized everything on the site. Everything is easily accessible and proves how digital archiving can be the next great thing. The one thing I felt could have been done better was if it had more pictures on the homepage.

    I believe this would become a great asset to researchers in the future. This archival provides many primary sources and that ultimately would lead to accurate story-telling of what happened on 9/11. They can conclude what happened to most people during the day of this event.

  10. When I first got to the site I realized how simple the layout was. I felt this was a good thing as it is an informative site and being colorful and appealing is not what it should be trying to convey. One thing I really liked was how organized the site was. On the homepage, they clearly describe what each tab will give you. When I went to the browse tab, it was organized in that, you can easily find what you need. This is helpful for you to find the stuff you’re looking for. Lastly, my favorite part of this site is the “9/11 FAQs” tab. I like how they asked and answered the common questions. Each question was also answered with detail information. This website gives such a great variety of information on September 11, and in addition it allows people to contribute to build this archive even more.

    This archive is undoubtedly a great resource for researchers. There are so many information and primary sources that it allows their research process an easy one. The organization of this site is phenomenal and very user-friendly. Researchers can conclude all the events of the whole day and how it happened.

  11. I never knew this site existed. Although it is extremely simple and contains extremely personal stories and pictures it is lacking functionality. A sideshow would have been appreciated or when you open a picture the option to go to the next one would save a lot of time rather than going back and opening every picture individually. I also think the FAQ is very helpful and insightful. However I went to a link “Here Is New York” that also has other pictures of 9/11 but their proceeds go to Children’s Aids Society. I’m all for the Aids society but it seems counter intuitive that the proceeds aren’t applied towards 9/11 victims. I think for historians this is a very comprehensive and useful tool. I’m not sure what they would conclude? What everyone else has? But the archive surely gives a more personal recollection of the tragedy.

  12. The September 11 Digital archive is great. From my exploration of the site, I found it covered a wide range of aspect about September 11th, 2001. I looked through several links and I noticed a link to a New York Times page that provided information about the crash of the planes. The site also covered how the buildings fell, where the plane hit, what was happening inside the building, and chronological actions of several hours after the plane crash. This would be excellent for historians, in dept detail on such a horrific day.

    In terms of strengths the site is well organized and covers a wide range of information. It would definitely help researchers find what they are looking whether it is personal experiences, fire protocols, the president’s actions, or the plane’s impact on the buildings. It is an excellent site to look to, to find information about September 11, 2001.


  13. The September 11 archive is a fantastic site to acquire information on the September 11 incidents. There are hundreds if not thousands of first hand accounts of that day from around the world as well as from the epicenter of incidents, New York City and Arlington County. These stories give insight on how the acts of terrorism impacted people’s live as well as their intial thoughts. the site also provided actions that leads up to the attack in chronlogical order in detail as well as posting up a Q and A section where the most frequently asked questions are answered.

    This site would be a great tool for future historians to use. They would have access to hundreds of primary documents as well as stories and timelines from outside sources as well such as the New York Times. The site is well organized and easy to use. Vistors to this site are able to easily select what type of articles to read since the site contains many types of articles from personal to government as well as video, images, audio and outside sources as well.

  14. I think the September 11 archives is important because it holds a lot of histories based on many people who are either affect by 9/11 or people who aren’t affect. I like how the site contains many materials such as stories and pictures of 9/11. The one thing I don’t like about the site it that there are too many stories and it’s hard to look through it.
    The site would be useful for future historians because they could look through the archives and find a lot of information about the attack of 9/11. This is because there are a lot of different perspectives, and memories that each individual has about 9/11.

  15. The best part of the website is the fact that everyone can contribute to it. Its a more personal view of history than i am accustom to seeing. Its a day that everyone remembers what they were doing where they were and could expand on how it actually affectedtheir lives. It may be the single most accurate account of history possible. Even i was able to recount both the horror and the hero of the day, and my personal story of the day.

    The site’s stregnths are the same as the sites weaknesses. It may be too much information. No historian or regular person for that matter will be able to sift through all of the information. They will end up just picking an choosing which stories they look at. Despite this i still ike the effort. Very rarely are people allowed to be a part of history.

  16. I think the Septemeber 11 archives is a great website with loaded information that descirbed the tragedy. From the images to the stories to many interviews, the viewers can feel the objections to it and we can also form personal emotions toward them. The website is very represantational because it includes wide range of victims who want to express themselves about 9/11. It is very accessible and the layout is very organzied.
    This is very helpful to historians because it provides insights to what is the afetrmath of 9/11. If historians want to find out about how the twin towel looked like right after it fell down,there are a lot of images show just that. If The historians want to know how people react to it, there are intervies and document sections for them. The website is very convienent. However, the only problem I think this website has is that it is not well known. If it can get advertisement to make more people involve in it, it can be very helpful to future reference of 9/11.

  17. I really like the September 11 Digital Archive. First of all, it presents different photos, stories which are contributed by different people. The collection is valuable specially that told by the people who exactly experienced the event on 9/11. The site also describes 9/11 with a lot of details. Although there is a lot of different stories on the site, I don’t like how there are too many stories since some of them are not credible, like Wikipedia anyone could edit/write anything they like.

    I think future historians can learn a lot about the 9/11 attack from this site because there are many different sources of information that the site provides.

  18. I think the website and the digital collections is a wonderful idea. We all know that digitially collecting information is increasingly becoming a way to preserve history. The various accounts give a personal feel to the site. The question and answer section is also fantastic. The only downfall is that the thousands of stories are a bit overwhelming to get through.

    Future historians would get a personal first hand experience about the events of Sept 11. The thousands of stories and pictures provided would rule out any bias’s or one-sidedness about the event.

  19. It is such a brillian idea of the people who built this website.Even though the design of webpages are simple,it makes me feel comfortable,no ads,no complicated layouts,I can easily find the link I would like to go through.For the weakness of this website,I would say,there is no such a search bar for people to search for the information they are looking for.

    Saying about my experience,when I was surfering the website,the place I spent my most time on is the stories,in there,I’ve read lots of stories from different people from different sides,these stories not only provide important information to historians and politicians,but also leave an detailed aspect of September 11 to our later generations.

  20. I think that this site is just another example of how modern technology, through the internet, can connect people in ways that were never before possible. Human beings need to vent, for some people its easy to just talk things out, others need to do it in a more indirect way, and I think this site is really a brilliant medium for those personally effected to feel a connection to others that are either in the same position that they are or just to know that there are people out there that really care.

    There are 2 things about the site, however, that I feel could use some improvement. As Jonathan mentioned in class, it would be nice if there were some sort of filter or a separate section for those effected more indirectly to feel that they made they’re contribution to the site without clogging up the “more important” posts (for lack of a better term). I agree with him that, while it is nice to see people from across the country sharing they’re own feeling sand recollections of one of the most significant days in recent world history, it does tend to seem vaguely irrelevant that John Smith from Cincinnati noticed the towers standing above the rest of the New York City skyline from uptown when he took his family on a site seeing tour in 1987. Other than that, as was mentioned in this thread more than once, it would be great if it were a little bit easier to search the entire site to find a particular post or posts regarding anything you may care too look for.

  21. I really like the site. It is so wonderfully created,as well as organized. The most important thing about this site is that it educates all the new viewers, not only the ones who already knows about sept. 11 but also to the knows who are not sure about what happened that day in New York City.

    This site also makes it personal for some people, who contributed their personal stories from 9/11 . It kind of gives them support to each other that their stories can relate to other people as well. This site listed separate links, such as questions/answers, visuals and research links that people can easily browse. I liked this website a lot.

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