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How Do you Explain the Internet to Abe Lincoln?

"Typewriters are a wonderful invention. Do you know how to spell catty-corner, Mr. Lincoln?"

"Spell it however you like, but please get on with it."

"Typewriters are a wonderful invention. Do you know how to spell catty-corner, Mr. Lincoln?"

"Spell it however you like, but please get on with it."


I smiled at the audience as they chuckled, wondering how Abe Lincoln would feel about the latest buzzword in modern marketing: SEO.


Lincoln was the leader our country needed in the 1860s. He was open to new ideas, progressive, and forward-thinking. His dreams and ideas for the future of our country changed the landscape forever. Surprisingly, he is also a great analogy for what businesses face today as they try to wade through all that is happening in digital marketing.


You're probably familiar with Abraham Lincoln's claim to fame: he's the president who led the Union through the Civil War, kept Congress from breaking up the nation, and freed the slaves. But do you know Lincoln's stance on the invention of the steamboat? Or his thoughts about tariffs?

And how about this one: Does Lincoln have anything to teach modern-day business owners about Putnam Marketing Ads?


When it comes to marketing, Abe Lincoln was a man ahead of his time. He's one of the few people in history to have successfully campaigned for public office under his own name without any previous political experience. Not bad for a guy who spent most of his working life as a traveling salesman selling cheese, hats, and other sundries until his dad decided to make him a lawyer!


You'd think that a guy who kicked off his political career by running for Congress in 1846 would fit right in with today's politicians. But when it comes to understanding social media, online marketing, and SEO, Abe Lincoln would have been just as lost as any of us in the 21st century. And as we've done here at Putnam Marketing for years, let's use Abe Lincoln to illustrate what those terms mean then and now.


When you go to a website through a web browser like Chrome, Firefox, Safari, etc. The computers are sending each other messages through an application called "HTTP" and the message says "listen to this website." So, regardless of what someone is using to access the internet, they all are sending and receiving information.


When people type in a website in their browser, they are sending a message to a server, but the server sends it back to their browser. So, when you’re on Putnam Marketing, you click on a map and the server sends information about the address. The server is like the database of all of the information on websites. When you access a website, you are requesting the server to give you information about it.

The internet is basically a collection of all of these millions and millions of servers sending messages back and forth.



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