Taverns: The Original Social Networks

Taverns – or bars, as they are known today – were social gathering spots long before the dawn of the internet.

They were places where one would go to meet up with friends and discuss various topics from their day or what they plan on doing in the future. Or, if one were so inclined, they would go to the tavern by themselves, have a drink (or two) and share details of their life by confiding in the bartender. Some probably just talked about what type of issues they had with their home; others probably shared more intimate life details. Whatever the case was, people went to taverns to network. There they would meet up with other people and wax intellectually about clandestine events that could happen in the future (as in the case of Paul Revere and his famous “Midnight Ride“).

The Dawn of the Internet

With the burst of the internet bubble in the early 2000s, social media sites rose from the ashes and created online virtual worlds where anyone with access to the internet could set up a profile and “network” with the others on the same network. Today this is done primarily through Facebookand Twitter. There are others, of course. For example, there isQuora, which is a large question and answer forum – essentially, if you have a question, someone will have an answer. Then there is Tumblr, “the easiest way to blog.” It’s fully customizable to your taste(s) and quite user-friendly. There are many, many other sites out there -far too many to list – so I have provided an infographic on the history of social media courtesy of Skloog.

The Red Coats are Coming

Had it not been for the Green Dragon Tavern, and its owner, Paul Revere would not have known about the proposed movement of British soldiers and their march into Lexington, MA, prior to theRevolutionary War. Granted it took a short while for the owner to get to Revere’s house, and then Revere to paddle across the Charlestown River and ride into Lexington on his horse warning everyone. Nonetheless, it did get done. The “Sons of Liberty” were known for meeting at the Green Dragon Tavern, discussing ways to counter Stamp Distributors, which eventually led to the Stamp Act. Also meeting in taverns and discussing intelligence was the Committee of Correspondence, who discussed diplomacy and covert operations (among other things).

Where Would You Have a Conversation?

In today’s modern world, you can have multiple conversations at once without even leaving your couch. You likely have a mobile device, which, in some cases is like a mini-computer. There are also desktop computers, laptop computers, tablets and even now your television might even connect you to the plethora of social networks available. This infographic, courtesy of Brian Solis and JESS3, is a detailed view of the multiple social platforms available and how they are utilized in the social world.

Where do you want to have a conversation?