*** Writing on the Wall by Tom Standage

Writing on the Wall: Social Media – The First 2,000 Years is a learned, yet utterly accessible history of the world as viewed from the angle of communication, and although it has its moments of deja-vu, I found it to be very worthwhile and fresh. The wall from the title? Used by the Romans to communicate by writing very physical notes on the walls of their houses. Retweets? Julius Caesar. LOL and other abbreviations? The Romans, again. Governments afraid of social media? Many, including Queen Elizabeth (the First, in 1579). Craigslist? See the fantastically named Theophraste Renaudot in 1630. Hijacking the company messaging system to discuss company politics? ATT Telegraph employees in 1850.

A fun book, reminiscent of A Better Pencil and A Social History of Knowledge (in a much more digestible format than the latter.)

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One response to “*** Writing on the Wall by Tom Standage

  1. Pingback: ** Bargain Fever by Mark Ellwood | FT's Books

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