Sunday, July 16, 2017

"You have one message"

I saw an ad on the internet Weather Channel site that showed the words "You have one message".  I don't deal in communications with the people who run the Weather Channel or those buying ads on it.  I also don't deal in communications on Facebook, the iconic leader of the social media.  "Social media" doesn't seem like a very attractive name to me but human communication, by facial expression, spoken words as with telephones, tapped signals as with telegraphs and prisoners signalling through prison wall, message drums or clouds of letters squirted into the sky by special airplanes, very much matters.

You may remember the days when entering a store meant you might be ready to purchase some of their inventory: bananas or bandanas or something.  Back then, there was no greeter and no one who tempted you with a free popsicle if you joined their loyal band of followers by filling out this form with your email address, the name of your banker, and your grandmother's middle name.  There was a mild hullabaloo about 1990 when a pioneer type journalist got hold of Bill Gates's email address and ventured to send him an exploratory message.  Wow!  He got an answer!

I guess many groups, companies, organizations and causes picture themselves with a nice portion of the billion users of Facebook, happily chatting away on their own network, posting videos of babies and dogs and kittens.  Ever since the development of the telegraph

people have marveled at communication at a distance.  When you add in the ability to take in money for advertising Joe's diner and the very real display of talent and warmth on social platforms of many users, you can see why others might be tempted to try to create the next group of communicators.

The linked article makes clear that communications networks have been around for a long time.  The books "What Hath God Wrought" and "The Victorian Internet" explain the surprise and interest that fast, inexpensive widespread communication using the newly harnessed stuff called "electricity" stimulated.

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