"The Internet failed in at least two areas this week as
the world reeled from the insanity acted out in New York and
Washington. On Tuesday, CNN.com and other major news sites were
virtually unreachable by many. Though the sites were still active,
traffic was more than they could handle. CNN.com responded by
putting up a simplified, low-graphics set of pages covering the
attacks that required less bandwidth and server load.
A far worse failure came from sites created by volunteers where
survivors could let friends and families know they were safe.
Unfortunately, some people listed as "safe" on some of these sites
were not, and others have yet to be discovered.
One part of the Internet that delivered is IRC, Internet Relay
Chat. Special channels ("chat rooms" AOL-speak) dealing with the
tragedy appeared minutes after they occurred. One such channel,
#worldtradecenter, was set up on the Open Projects Network. The OPN
is home to many open source projects, vendors, help channels, user
groups, and in fact to #slashdot itself."