all a twitter

PHSC Twitter

Toronto.  Well, it had to come to this. Twitter, I mean. When the society was established back in 1974, everyone had a land line and a postal address. Personal computers were unheard of. Mobile telephones were massive affairs used only by companies and very deep pocketed folk.

Later, businesses could have and use a new concept – the toll free telephone number. It could be used country, continent or even world-wide (for a fee to the owner).

Personal computers (so called micro computers) began to appear in the 1980s. They were a bit too pricey at the start but quickly dropped in relative cost. Bulletin boards popped up as a means for individuals to communicate via “modems” that cost nearly as much as a  personal computer.

In the 1990s, the web surfaced as a communications tool on the internet. The internet  technology had been kicking around with its packet switching technique for decades (remember ARPANET?). Two things tipped the balance – cheap toll telephone service and cheap personal computers. For the first time, world-wide communication was practical. Email as an alternative to postal service was growing too, although initially, it was more often “intranet” – linked only to other company branches and staff.

Our society joined the web in the spring of 1996, to the puzzlement of most members. Five years later, our paper journal, in print from 1974, was augmented (late 2001) by an innovative newsletter in pdf format that allowed for last minute items and colour images too expensive to print on paper. This newsletter was free to everyone.

Over time, smart phones and social media blossomed. Postal service, land lines and web sites became passé to the hip and the younger generation. A few years back under guidance from our society president, Clint, studies showed that the modern set of under 50’s preferred to use smart phones and social media.

Today, we use ZOOM, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to communicate world-wide with photographic historians and collectors. We still have a postal service address, our journal, our web site, and face-to-face meetings and events (COVID-19 permitting). The rigorous rules to limit COVID-19 exposure reduced our journal to an annual magazine sent to those who lacked email or requested a hard copy. To keep interest alive, we implemented a more frequent series of pdf files keeping in touch with both our members (journal issues, specials, etc.) and other interested parties (via newsletters, the web site, and social media).

And most recently, this month, we have a Twitter account. Its use has made our monthly program by ZOOM literally a world-wide event! Louise and Celio who spear-headed the social media excursions and ZOOM as well as Sonja, our editor for the newsletter (PHSC News) and husband John, deserve a hearty thank you for continuing our push into the modern world in spite of being an historical society by mandate.

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