Friday, February 22, 2013
Social Media and Blogging in the Old West
Dateline: Late19th Century
A quick trip to the past proves that at the core, blogging and social media are nothing new.
It isn't as portable as a laptop, but a good sized wagon can carry a small press and allow an itinerant printer to set up shop. For a modest price businesses can print handbills. Lawmen can spread wanted posters. And activists can print pamphlets expounding their opinion without being shut down by a newspaper publisher with advertisers to please.
Tweeters have nothing on telegraphers who have to pay by the character.
Salesmen carry news and gossip as well as sample bags across the country. Of course, you can't rely on the veracity of the information received, but that's nothing new. As Mark Twain said: "A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes."
Live chat is popular, especially at the general store. Just pull up a chair by the pickle barrel. If you're a good customer, you might even get a cup of coffee.