We often think of blogging as a uniquely modern activity. Only relatively recently were individuals able to create their own corner of the Internet and say anything they want, thanks to services like Blogger, WordPress.net, and Tumblr. Before that, you had to have the money and/or technical expertise to run your own blog.
Before the Internet you had to have enough, money and/or influence to be able to get your message on TV or radio.
Going back even further, the only way to get your message out was to have your own printing press and means of distributing what you printed.
That’s where men like Andrew Jackson and Benjamin Franklin come in.
Franklin, for instance was a prolific writer and publisher. As a young man he was an apprentice printer, so he learned about writing and publishing early. Later, be became a writer himself. One of his most famous works, Young Richards Almanac, was on of the most popular publications of it’s time. Like many current blogs, Young Richards Almanac was a compilation of both original and borrow works. At the age of 16 Franklin was writing for his brother’s paper, The Courant. In 1726, after returning from Europe, Franklin setup a printer and begin publishing and writing most of the newspaper, The Pennsylvania Gazette.
In addition to printing and writing for newspapers, Franklin also wrote and printed much more personal and opinionated pamphlets. With names such as “A Dissertation on Liberty and Necessity, Pleasure and Pain” and “Necessity of a Paper Currency”, Franklin was willing to take on politics, finance, and even established religion. Any topic was game for him to write on.
To make sure his works were read by others, Franklin worked to promote his works when possible, just as any good blogger spends time promoting their posts.
Much like Franklin, Thomas Jefferson was a prolific and opinionated writer. Writing on such topics as religious freedom, economic and social justice, and caution in international affairs, Thomas was very controversial in his time. In fact, many of his ideas are still the subject of debate today.
Jefferson wrote one of the most popular documents in the history of the world, The Declaration of Independence, after being chosen by his peers to do so.
In addition to this public writings, Jefferson also penned many personal letters to friends, business partners, and family. these would have been the equivalent of today’s Facebook posts, except with proper grammar and spelling
I’m convinced after looking at the writings of men such as Jefferson and Franklin, that if they were alive today, that they would indeed be bloggers. They would use the most effective and democratic form of communication available to them, and today that is the blog.
So, if you are like me and like to share your thoughts with the world hoping that they will read and enjoy them, you can rest in the comfort of knowing that we follow in a line of men such as Franklin and Jefferson.