At the end of the 18th century it became common place for orators to elevate themselves on overturned retail crates or “soap boxes”. This provided the speaker a ready platform wherever and whenever an opportunity to address a crowd presented itself. From political radicals and travelling salesmen to advocates for women’s suffrage, soapbox speeches have a long history as a forum for common folk to address the local community.
Soapbox speeches were never a one-way affair. Close proximity to the audience invited hecklers to holler counter arguments, toss projectiles, or incite violence. Depending on your topic, it could take considerable courage to engage in soapboxing.
More recently, some politicians have taken to standing on a literal soap box for their stump speeches. While this is a bit too calculated, it does echo an early free speech tradition. Of course, these days’ media appearances are carefully managed and hecklers are quickly ushered away by local authorities.
F12 Soapbox is a forum for the staff of F12, also called “Networkers”, to spout off on industry trends, to report findings from conferences, to relay interesting stories about vendors and customers, and to reveal handy tips and tricks. Of course, you may also have something to say on the subject. In true soapbox fashion, you are welcome to add your thoughts or to heckle in the comments below each post. It is the internet, after all!
All Networkers will take turns standing on our Soapbox, we hope you are entertained and informed!
General Manager – Calgary