Were Martin Luther, Thomas Paine, and George Orwell the world’s first bloggers?
Take Luther in the early 1500s. About 60 years before, Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press. Before that, only the church and governments could afford to reproduce and manage information, keeping a lock on ideas and power. The printing press gave Luther a way to distribute his thesis — an early version of blogging. Next thing, we had Protestants.
In Paine’s time, the key was the falling cost of printing pamphlets. That allowed Paine to get out his ideas in Common Sense, which greatly influenced the American Revolution. Pamphleteering was quite the bloglike craze in the 1700s, though most amateur writers stuck to politics and religion. The colonists didn’t get anything like one current blog, called, “Adventures of a Domestic Engineer: The day-to-day travails of a sleep-deprived mother of three.”
Orwell wrote pamphlets before writing 1984. Lamb was maybe the first video blogger, or vlogger. In the 1970s, when ABC, NBC and CBS reigned supreme, cable opened TV to low-budget operations. Lamb worked in the Pentagon’s public relations department before launching C-Span in 1979. He was a nobody who took a small bite out of major media’s influence.
These days, Internet blogs are all the rage. Blog-related companies such as Technorati and Six Apart have people in technology hyperventilating like it’s 1999. Blogs are ripping down mainstream media and the ruling class! Blogs give power to the people! Everything is blogolicious!
Jeez. Take a pill, all you blogomaniacs. Blogs are fun. Blogs add a fascinating new element to public discourse. But blogs are another turn of history’s wheel, not a radical departure.
LOL! So true.
Yet I blog.