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Writing on the wall : social media -- the first 2,000 years

Author: Tom Standage
Publisher: New York, NY : Bloomsbury, 2013. ©2013
Edition/Format:   Print book : English : First U.S. editionView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
From the papyrus letters that Roman statesmen used to exchange news across the Empire to the advent of hand-printed tracts of the Reformation to the pamphlets that spread propaganda during the American and French revolutions, Tom Standage chronicles the increasingly sophisticated ways people shared information with each other, spontaneously and organically, down the centuries. With the rise of newspapers in the  Read more...
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Genre/Form: History
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Tom Standage
ISBN: 1620402831 9781620402832
OCLC Number: 827256877
Description: viii, 278 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Contents: Introduction: Cicero's web --
The ancient foundations of social media: Why humans are wired for sharing --
The Roman media: The first social-media ecosystem --
How Luther went viral: The role of social media in revolutions (1) --
Poetry in motion: Social media for self-expression and self-promotion --
Let truth and falsehood grapple: the challenges of regulating social media --
And so to the coffeehouse: How social media promotes innovation --
The liberty of printing: The role of social media in revolutions (2) --
The sentinel of the people: Tyranny, optimism, and social media --
The rise of mass media: The centralization begins --
The opposite of social media: Media in the broadcast era --
The rebirth of social media: From ARPANET to Facebook --
Epilogue: History retweets itself.
Responsibility: Tom Standage.

Abstract:

From the papyrus letters that Roman statesmen used to exchange news across the Empire to the advent of hand-printed tracts of the Reformation to the pamphlets that spread propaganda during the American and French revolutions, Tom Standage chronicles the increasingly sophisticated ways people shared information with each other, spontaneously and organically, down the centuries. With the rise of newspapers in the nineteenth century, then radio and television, "mass media" consolidated control of information in the hands of a few moguls. However, the Internet has brought information sharing full circle, and the spreading of news along social networks has reemerged in powerful new ways. Writing on the Wall reminds us how modern behavior echoes that of prior centuries -- the Catholic Church, for example, faced similar dilemmas in deciding whether or how to respond to Martin Luther's attacks in the early sixteenth century to those that large institutions confront today in responding to public criticism on the Internet. Invoking the likes of Thomas Paine and Vinton Cerf, co-inventor of the Internet, Standage explores themes that have long been debated: the tension between freedom of expression and censorship; whether social media trivializes, coarsens, or enhances public discourse; and its role in spurring innovation, enabling self-promotion, and fomenting revolution.

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