December 9th, 2010 15:15 EST
Will Roberts Wrangles Social Media
For nearly three decades, Will Roberts has traveled the country to keep vaudeville and interest in his predecessor and personal hero, Will Rogers, alive and kicking in the American consciousness.
Now, the long-time performer and cowboy humorist is taking to technology in the hopes of reaching a new generation of fans.
"Roberts, a syndicated humorist and a professional trick roper by trade, is using the latest forms of communication to expand his reach in the hopes of attracting a new type of audience.
"Folks attention span is so short, you have to hit `um` quick or you will lose them. In this modern day and age Americans newest slogan is: Mom, apple pie and high-speed Internet," Roberts said. They say you can live two weeks without food, a day without water, but take someone`s internet access away and they won`t last five minutes."
After spending years working in more traditional media outlets, including gigswith Fox, CBS and PBS in broadcast television and radio, Roberts is mixing things up to match drastic changes in the way people interact, a case of an old-school performer making an impact through new media.
In addition to expanding his reach through the internet, which includes an online blog and cartoon, Roberts has also added a pair of iPhone apps to his bag of tricks to reach a generation more tuned into mobile devices than televisions or radios.
He also has his own MySpace page featuring a handful of videos showing off his trick-roping skills to go along with Facebook and Twitter accounts allowing fans can keep up with the performer.
With roughly 60 news web sites already picking up his humorous jottings on everyday life, Roberts hopes that expanding to mobile apps will bring his message to an even wider audience.
Though Roberts has spent the better part of 27 years as a vaudeville performer "including stints as a magician, a clown, a dancer and a singer " the performer said expanding into new media is an extension of his true calling: to serve as a voice for the little guy.
"In a world where some people feel the loudest and brashest voices are the only ones heard, Roberts continues his mission to speak up for real people across the country who sometimes feel left behind."
"In this day and age, I am trying to get folks to talk, not yell," he said. The long and the short of it is that I used to travel 200 times a year for five years doing my Will Rogers-style show. I have met a lot of folks and people are what it`s all about. They want to be heard, and I like to believe I am a voice for the people who don`t get heard."
By Tim Neuenschwander
Visit Will Roberts - Modern Day Will Rogers work.
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