Monday, May 2, 2011

9 years, 7 months & 20 days

By Chris Daley

Today is my turn to contribute to the Maroon PR blog and I feel it’s impossible and irrelevant to write about anything else besides the significant news dominating the world at the moment. The confirmed death of al-Qaeda leader, Osama bin Laden.

On 9/11/01, I was still a college student finishing up my credit requirements at Towson University. That morning – a Tuesday if I recall - I happened to have an 8 a.m. Geography class. I returned home afterward with one of my roommates who was also in that class and we turned on the TV at about 9:30 a.m. to find that the world was changing before our very eyes. With everything that happened and all of the stories we’ve heard, in the simplest terms I describe that day as very strange.

CNBC Sports Biz reporter Darren Rovell (@DarrenRovell) tweeted this last night as the news of bin Laden’s death broke, “Reports of Bin Laden killed comes 9 years, 7 months & 20 days after 9/11.” This had me thinking of the changes that have taken place during the past decade, so I “Googled” a few interesting notables:
  • The average cost of a gallon of gas was $1.46 in 2001
  • Unemployment rate was 4.8% in 2001
  • Arizona D-Backs defeated the NY Yankees in the World Series
  • Most popular movie of 2001 was Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
  • Most popular song of 2001 was Lady Marmalade, Christina Aguilera, Lil' Kim, Mya & Pink
  • was the most popular website (Google was number 12)
  • Mark Zuckerberg (founder of Facebook) was 17 years old; Justin Beiber was 7 years old
In 2001 we communicated with people differently, and still relied heavily on television and newspapers as our main news sources. I had a cell phone, but didn’t really text message people. I had a PC – a very large Hewlett Packard - but used it mostly for class assignments and downloading illegal music. I rarely even checked my email back then. When the attacks on 9/11 occurred we were all glued to the television for days, and newspapers were what we read to learn about local people affected by the attacks, as well as to gain their reactions/comments.

Today, the platforms in which we communicate have changed dramatically from just ten years ago. I have a Blackberry. I text people more than I call them and exchange messages and post reactions through Facebook. I have three email accounts I check periodically throughout the day. The list goes on and then of course there’s Twitter.

Brad Adgate (@badgate), Research Director at Horizon Media, tweeted today, “Death of bin Laden resulted in 4,000+ tweets per second on Twitter rivaling the amount for February's Super Bowl.” An amazing stat to think about.

The news about bin Laden’s death is another example of how our world is more connected than ever, and how the social media world will continue to break and influence stories before other mediums can catch up. I can’t even imagine where we’ll be ten years from today. I hope that during the next ten years one of the major topics dominating the social media universe is the end of the war on terror.

There really isn’t any point being made in my blog that isn’t already known. I more or less felt like sharing some thoughts on the news. I’m interested to see the news surrounding the death of bin Laden continue to unfold. We’ve only begun to scratch the surface on this story and sure enough I’ll be paying close attention to the details on Twitter and uniting with fellow Americans on Facebook.

Chris Daley is a Senior Account Executive at Maroon PR. Contact him at Follow him on Twitter at @ChrisDaley43

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