• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

In terms of media and communication history, we are arguably in the midst of a social media paradigm. Well-known platforms like Twitter and Facebook have gone from being viewed as mere sites of teenage distraction to becoming embedded ICT infrastructure in mainstream organisations across the society, culture, and economy; such platforms, their uses, and their politics are increasingly entangled with everyday life, work, and relationships. For the past decade there has been a burgeoning interest in social media. This highly international Handbook addresses the most significant research themes, methodological approaches and debates in this field via substantial chapters specially commissioned from leading scholars coming from a range of disciplinary perspectives centered on but extending beyond the social sciences and humanities. Part One: Histories and Pre-Histories ...

Silicon Valley and the Social Media Industry
Silicon Valley and the social media industry
Alice Marwick
Introduction

The global center for venture-backed technology startups, both in terms of sheer numbers of companies, employees, and money, as well as mythological importance, is Silicon Valley in Northern California. When writing critically about the industry of social media, two things are difficult to avoid. First, it is tempting to adopt a dismissive or mocking stance. The peculiar combination of naive idealism and free market worship that characterizes tech startups is ripe for ridicule, especially when examined outside its Northern Californian context. The scramble to build the best laundry startup (Pressler, 2014), the recent $120 million venture capital (VC) investment in a $700 wi-fi enabled juicer ...

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