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A student’s tribute

Jonathan Juchnevics, a sophomore majoring in mass communications, wanted to use his talents in Web page design to join America in paying tribute to those lost on Sept. 11 by creating a memorial Web site.

“I work on Web pages all the time,” Juchnevics said. “I just sat down and was going to create something small. I just kept working on it and after about eight hours, (it was made).”

Juchnevics said the Web site he created, which is his first of this magnitude, has received an enormous response. He said the site was visited 10,200 times in the first two full weeks.

“(I’m) amazed and (in) disbelief,” Juchnevics said. “It’s good to know people are enjoying what they’re seeing on the site.”

Juchnevics’s page is located at . As of Tuesday, it has been visited 15,872 times. The page includes written and artistic tributes to the attacks and links to various related sites. There is also information on a group that is designing five memorial quilts.

In addition to tributes and links, the site has a complete list of the victims. Juchnevics said he had to do some work to find names of all the victims.

“CNN, mostly, and the WTC Miracle Foundation offered me some information,” he said. “I did some calling and investigating on my own as far as the victims are concerned. I would call New York City to see if they were on the list.”

Juchnevics said once he purchased the domain name for the site, he knew he wanted it to be advertised so that it could be seen by a larger audience. He said he contacted other sites and search engines, and was able to find advertising for his site.

“I have no official training in Web design,” he said. “The fact they obviously liked the site enough to advertise it was pretty amazing.”

Anna Perrault, associate professor in the department of library and information science, said while she has not seen the site, the fact that it could be found on search engines contributed to its success.

“Being that there are lots of people looking for sites having to do with (the tragedy), it’s probably not that unusual for the site to get that many hits,” she said.

Perrault said while Juchnevics’ site may be easily searchable and the visitor figure not unusual, it is probably a short span of time for so many hits. She said a good Web site is usually one which people hear about through word of mouth.

“(A lot of hits are) a result of people seeing the site and saying, ‘This is really terrific, I’ll send it to my friends,'” she said.Perrault said it is nice to hear that a USF student is getting recognition for this kind of work.

“There are actually not all that many people that can do a terrific Web site,” she said. “You have to have some artistic ability to make it look really good.”

Perrault said people who are contacting Juchnevics for advertising are genuinely impressed with his work.

“The people who have contacted him as a result, I think that’s because they are thinking that it’s well done,” she said.Juchnevics said the individual responses he has received have been amazing.

He said he has received about 100 e-mails a day from visitors. He said the e-mails have come from as many as 14 countries.

“I got one in German (which I couldn’t understand),” Juchnevics said. “Underneath it, in big font, it said ‘Thank You.'”

The site’s message board is filled with guest statements concerning the site. A visitor named Kari from Alabama commented on the tragedy.

“Seeing this makes you thankful for what you have and sad for so many others that were affected by this. God Bless America,” Kari said.

Another visitor, Debbie LaDuke from Las Vegas, said the United States needs to unite.

“From East to West, we will all bond together! Stand united behind our president, and let’s say goodbye to terrorism,” LaDuke said.

Juchnevics said with all of the success and responses, the future of the site seems good.

“I’m constantly working on it,” he said. “I’m going to leave it up permanently and not take it down.”

Juchnevics said the impact of his site has been impressive. He said he has gotten an offer to develop another Web page.

“I’ve already been asked to develop a Web page for a private school up in Massachusetts,” he said.

“And that one I’ll get paid for.”

  • Contact Rob Brannonat