How Blogging Started

BloggingAccording to Wikipedia, the authoritative source on everything, the term “blog” wasn’t coined until the late 1990s, but the history of blogging started in 1983.

I disagree!

Recently I was watching Big Trouble in Little China.  Awesome movie from 1986 by the way (although my wife disagrees).  Jack Burton, played by Kurt Russell, is truck drive that’s dragged into a centuries-old mystical battle in Chinatown.  The storyline isn’t what’s important…it’s the opening and closing scenes that are paramount to this blog.

Blogging started with the Citizen Band Radio — yes, that’s right, the CB Radio started the blogging revolution.

You remember that really cool silver and black box your dad used to have mounted under the dash of the car set to channel 19 and making all that static.

Well, maybe some of you don’t remember that…possibly some of you don’t even know what a CB Radio is or was.

The citizens band radio originated in the United States  in 1945 to permit citizens a radio band for personal communication (e.g., radio-controlled model airplanes and family and business communications).

The CB Radio

After the 1973 oil crisis the U.S. government imposed a nationwide 55 mph speed limit, and fuel shortages and rationing were widespread.  The CB radio was used, especially by truckers, to locate service stations with better supplies of fuel, to notify other drivers of speed traps, and to organize blockades and convoys in a 1974 strike protesting the new speed limit and other trucking regulations.  One trucking leader was able to almost singlehandedly coordinate this interstate highway blockade of hundreds of tractor-trailers in eastern Pennsylvania using the citizens band radio in his truck.  His name was J.W. Edwards and his radio name (handle) was “River Rat”.  The blockade began on I-80 and quickly spread throughout the country, with “River Rat’s” messages literally being relayed from one area of trucks to the next (sounds like retweeting, doesn’t it?.  The radios were crucial for independent truckers; many were paid by the mile, which meant their productivity was impacted by the 55-mph speed limit.  The use of CB radios in late 1970s films such as Smokey and the Bandit (1977) and Convoy (1978), popular novelty songs such as C.W. McCall’s “Convoy” (1975), and on television series such as Movin’ On (debuted 1974) and The Dukes of Hazzard (debuted 1979) established CB radio as a nationwide craze in the USA in the mid- to late 1970s.

It was in the movie Big Trouble in Little China, where Jack Burton laments over his CB Radio his personal journey of the Pork Chop Express (essentially blogging to anyone listening).  This is how the story opens…Jack is riding in his truck on a stormy evening wearing his dark sunglasses and preaching over the CB.

When some wild-eyed, eight-foot-tall maniac grabs your neck, taps the back of your favorite head up against the barroom wall, and he looks you crooked in the eye and he asks you if ya paid your dues, you just stare that big sucker right back in the eye, and you remember what ol’ Jack Burton always says at a time like that: “Have ya paid your dues, Jack?” “Yessir, the check is in the mail.

So, don’t you go thinking that blogging is anything new.  It’s been around with CB radios since the mid 40’s.  As Jack Burton always says…

Just remember what ol’ Jack Burton does when the earth quakes, and the poison arrows fall from the sky, and the pillars of Heaven shake.  Yeah, Jack Burton just looks that big ol’ storm right square in the eye and he says, “Give me your best shot, pal. I can take it.

Over and Out, See You On The Flip Side Good Buddy!


About johnrknotts
John Knotts is a results-oriented business professional leader, manager, and supervisor with experience from the military, small business, several nonprofits, and is currently a management consultant. Working out of the San Antonio, Texas, he retired from the Air Force in July 2008 and worked with Booz Allen Hamilton from the end of October 2008 to December 2011. Now he is a Strategic Business Adviser with USAA. John leads large and small strategic transformations and has extensive experience in the areas of change management, strategic planning, process improvement, strategic communication and marketing, strategic human capital and resource management, education and training, facilitation, organizational design and development, modeling and simulation, financial and budget analysis, activity based costing and management, quality management, competitive sourcing and privatization, leadership development, and business development.

2 Responses to How Blogging Started

  1. Lilian Druve says:

    Thanks for sharing!

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