Tweets from September 11

2011 will mark the 10th anniversary of the events of September 11, 2001. Since that day, the world has changed in significant ways socially, politically and technologically. Consider recent natural and man-made disasters – earthquakes in Haiti and Chile, the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Iceland’s volcanic ash cloud – as well as politically divisive events in Iran, Tunisia, Egypt. Facts, opinions and speculation for each new event spread faster than the last, through online social networks. More and more people are getting news of current events from sources like Twitter, and network and cable news outlets are sourcing material from tweets and Facebook updates. This panel will explore the emerging and historic role of social networks in disseminating news and information during disasters and other significant events. It will also attempt to assess how differently historical events such as 9/11 would have been reported if Twitter and Facebook had been introduced to the world ten years earlier. With smartphones and handheld video cameras in the hands of thousands of people on the scene, would conspiracy theories and unanswered questions still swirl around Ground Zero? Would the events have changed at all, or their aftermath be different? In the context of these and other questions, we will speculate on how future disasters will be reported.

View slide presentation


Charles Mangin Principal Option8 LLC

Charles Mangin is not a social media consultant. Charles earned a bachelor’s degree in graphic design from the NC State College of Design in 1998. Since then, his design background has continued to inform his work as a Web developer. In previous positions at design and marketing firms of various sizes, Charles contributed to websites and interactive projects for such clients as Krispy Kreme, Quintiles, Red Hat, and Progress Energy. Now working freelance as Option8, LLC, some recent clients include UNC Chapel Hill, Lionsgate Films, and British Airways. His experiences as both a designer and programmer are integral to his work in Flash and HTML/CSS. Totally unrelated to his work as a developer, Charles once appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman, where he created a portrait of stage manager Biff Henderson out of Post-it notes.

  • George Haddow N/A
  • Katrin VERCLAS
  • Mark Belinsky Pres Digital Democracy
  • Schuyler Erle Troublemaker SimpleGeo Inc
Date: March 2010 Client: SXSW Skills: Talk Website: