David Meerman Scott had a great post today in his blog Web Ink Now. He talks about how the 'new' ways of marketing and PR are really just a return to the way we did things prior to the advent of television.
I like that analogy. We used to have neighborhoods. We all knew the corner grocer by first name and he knew everyone. He not only knew their names, he knew the names of their kids and what grade they were in school. He knew where we worked and where our spouses worked. And we all knew the same about him. As well as just about everyone else in the neighborhood. When someone was sick our down-and-out, the corner grocer knew it, helped out, and spread the word.
Television, big box stores, and a bunch of other phenomenon came along and changed all that. Our traditional 'neighborhoods' were gone.
Blogs have brought them back. Only now my neighborhood is global (with apologies to Shel Israel).