Web mourns Jobs' death, finds inspiration in his life

Apple updated its website Wednesday to reflect the death of Steve Jobs.

Story highlights

  • Facebook, Twitter, other sites flooded with tributes
  • Chatter on social networks provided a rare glimpse behind Apple's walls
  • Jobs' 2005 commencement speech to Stanford was a popular video
  • Google added "Steve Jobs, 1955 - 2011" to its search page

Steve Jobs has consistently managed to capture the world's attention with his stage events. On Wednesday evening, the world took to the Web to express their condolences about the news of his death.

Facebook news feeds filled with links and anecdotes about the impact that technology -- and more specifically, Apple's technology -- had on users' lives. Messages on Twitter and the site's list of trending topics quickly became dominated by phrases such as "RIP Steve Jobs," "#ThankYouSteve" and "iHeaven."

The flood of messages slowed Twitter to a crawl at times or produced error messages saying the site was over capacity.

On those sites, many people posted and quoted from Jobs' heartfelt commencement address to Stanford University in 2005, in which he first provided details about his health problems. Many pointed out how promotions for Apple's products on the company's website were replaced with a black-and-white photo of Jobs.

Clicking that image, which Apple titled "hero," leads to a page with a company statement and an e-mail address for sending condolences. CNN's iReport is also collecting reactions.

Dave Pell, a software developer and technology investor, referenced Jobs' signature stage pitch, saying, "And one more thing... Thanks."

Celebrities, corporate executive and politicians, including U.S. President Barack Obama, also voiced their opinions on their social networking profiles and on blogs.

"Steve's impact is immeasurable," Jay Adelson, a co-founder of Internet infrastructure giant Equinix, wrote on Twitter. "It's not enough to remember him. We need to live his dreams."

The many websites devoted to Apple rumors and products placed large banners in memory of the company's co-founder. The alternative-culture blog Boing Boing revamped its design in honor of Jobs to resemble retro Macintosh software. Wired painted its front page black, with a shadowed picture of Steve Jobs in the center.

Google's co-founders posted statements about Jobs' importance to them personally and to the industry, and underneath the search box on Google.com, the company added: "Steve Jobs, 1955 - 2011." Research in Motion, from its BlackBerry Twitter account, called Jobs "a great visionary and respected competitor." Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg called Jobs "a mentor and a friend."

Twitter, as it struggled under the weight of the discussions about Jobs, provided a rare peek behind the walls of Apple's headquarters. Joe Hewitt, a former Apple developer, tweeted that he spent time with Jobs once for one of his famous product demos. Hewitt said he braced for rudeness, as Jobs has been criticized for, but he described Jobs as kind and energetic.

"His legacy wasn't any specific product," Apple's Blake Seely wrote on his Twitter page. "It's Apple. That's a lot of pressure. We have to rise to it and make all his work worth it."

Apple flew the flags at its Cupertino, California, office at half-staff, and people began to arrive on the campus with flowers, reports said. Several employees posted Twitter messages containing only the Apple logo.

"The air has been sucked from my office at 1 Infinite Loop," Erik Lammerding, an Apple manager, wrote on his Twitter page.

Twitter's offices in San Francisco were not immune, either.

"So much talk on Twitter of Steve Jobs, but Twitter HQ has been eerily quiet the past few hours save the clicking of keyboards he tailored," tweeted Mark Trammel, a Twitter designer. Dick Costolo, the company's CEO who attended Apple's news conference on Tuesday, tweeted that Jobs created a new standard of excellence. Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey wrote simply: "Thank you, Steve."