Sunday, July 17, 2005

How the blog began - the need to tell the story

The need to tell my story of what happened last week in the terrorist attack on London of 7/7/2005 was overwhelming. The tube bombs went off at 8.50am during rush hour on London's public transport; by 9.16am I had walked off the destroyed carriage, shocked, with other survivors to Russell Square tube and was calling my partner, family and asking my friend from the office to take me to hospital in a cab to get stitched up. At the hospital I told my story to the staff, who wanted to know what was happening as they readied themselves for the flow of injured who were about to arrive; outside the hospital I told some journalists who had started to gather ( from the Financial Times and the Sunday Times ('Shattered: Chaos and Carnage a Hundred Feet Down') and the Telegraph. ('We Were Like Sardines in There, Just Waiting to Die')

Once home, hours later I sat down at my computer, unable to sleep and began to write my story and to search for other people's accounts and for news. The internet was coming into its own as a news source, and soon I left the established news channels and went to London websites looking for eye-witness accounts which were posted much faster.

My first post was to a busy London community and action website called urban 75, which I had registered as a user on months a few months before. Here eye witness accounts and travel information were being regularly posted by Londoners in a thread called 'LONDON BOMBING INFORMATION: NO DISCUSSION - UPDATES ONLY'.

The Editor of the urban 75 site spotted my post and put it in a separate 'thread' called 'Kings Cross Bomb: An ( Urbanite) Survivor's Account' and dozens of people began to read it and ask what happened next, how I was, so I continued posting updates. The site Editor began to collect my posts and to put them as a narrative thread on the home page, which was viewable by the general public and did not require registration. The story began to have many thousands of hits...and then the BBC News website contacted me. One of their journalists was a regular poster on urban 75, and said the BBC wanted to host my story.

Another survivor read my story and he posted his account on Urban 75 as well. You can also find this inspirational speech made by London Mayor Ken Livingstone. He spoke straight after the bombs when he was still in Singapore, where he was waiting to fly home after the successful London Olympic bid.


Blogger phaeton said...

Out of curiosity, I just tried to get into urban75 from work. According to our firewall it's classed as Category: Alcohol & Tobacco.

August 29, 2007 10:44 am  

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