The journey from logs to blogs

September 13, 2009

In 1809 John Quincy Adams, the 6th president of the United States, set sails from Massachusetts to St. Petersburg. During the journey he kept a log of the coordinates, weather and all kinds of little things. All in one-line text, in less than 140 letters…

So, 200 years later the Massachusetts Historical Society comes up with an idea to publish the log via — yes, you guessed it — Twitter. Which is kinda crafty, I must say!

Keeping a daily log was no problem for the president-to-be: J. Q. Adams loved to write his diaries, which totaled at a stunning 51 volumes. Should he live today, I’d guess he’d not only tweet but also do some serious blogging.

If he’d be comfortable with today’s media, that is.

200 years ago, his writings must have reached only his family and closest friends. He wrote for them. He wrote for himself. The journey from logs to blogs has been a long. A lot has happened in the last 10 years. An awful lot in the last 5 years. For sure, social media would make him feel awkward and out of place.

But you and I have seen the sea change. We shouldn’t feel out of place. We should understand and embrace the potential of open and accessible conversations.

Our logs are written for the whole world.


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