After 145 years, Western Union has quietly stopped sending telegrams, reports Live Science via digg. Featured on the site Smart Mobs:
On the company's web site, if you click on "Telegrams" in the left-side navigation bar, you're taken to a page that ends a technological era with about as little fanfare as possible:
"Effective January 27, 2006, Western Union will discontinue all Telegram and Commercial Messaging services. We regret any inconvenience this may cause you, and we thank you for your loyal patronage. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact a customer service representative."
Yes we all know about SMS technology and text messaging. In Mitch Kaplan's blog What's Next In Marketing he links to Text Messaging Shorthand Guide. Also, Howard Rheingold's Smart Mobs; The Next Social Revolution is absolutely a " must read" if you are curious about text messaging (SMS) and its potential. In Japan, Scandanavia and elsewhere a whole new generation of youth now communicate via digits, not voice , thumbing and fingering messages to each other in shorthand code, creating "cooperative social contracts" , or networks, viral in nature.