In his social media talk, Tom Standage explores the premise laid out in his recently released book 'Writing on the Wall.' The author explains that social media is not a new concept and has been in existence for centuries. He describes its history from the Roman Empire to the internet.
The Digital Editor at the Economist defines social media as media received from other people, that is exchanged along social connections and generating a distributed discussion or community. If one accepts this definition, social media experiments are more about an exchange of media, which can happen in person or online. However, literacy is required. Standage cites Cicero and ancient Pompeii as examples in his social media talk.
While social media experiments might not be new, the digital revolution allows communities to be created and for social connections to be formed without space as a barrier, which revolutionized the concept.