Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Hoaxes as Reinvention

One of the public relations stunts that P.T. Barnum executed which was not a hoax was being the first private citizen to send a transatlantic telegram. In a move that would make the yet-uborn Marshall McLuhan proud, Barnum openly admitted that the content of this first telegraph was not important. The medium itself was the message. Barnum was reinventing himself and his personal brand within the early electronic/communication revolution. (coincidentally, Barnum had a 5th cousin who later got rich building telegraphs)

There is a fascinating new book about the collision of science, industrial technology and show business in the late 19th and early 20th centuries: Madness in the Making

With this in mind, over the next several months, this blog will be mirrored, and eventually moved to my academic website at the Mass Media Department's website at the University of DC.

But between now and then, there will be more posts on this site.