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Situating Social Media in Communications History

November 23, 2009

I’ve been working on this graphic with a friend of mine to help explain how social media relates to other communications technology. Please use the SlideShare below to get a closer look.

What do you think? Any suggestions or ideas? Please leave a comment below.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 24, 2009 4:31 am


    I’m not a visual artist (that should be apparent from my blog design). Because you have examples of tech in the previous time-periods I would add flicker, youtube as examples of visual communications, blogs and twitter as text, and pandora as sound. Also, to some people social media includes tools like Google Reader and Gmail, so you might want to title that section “Social Media” rather than “social networks”.

    Looks great though!


    • November 24, 2009 10:32 am

      Thanks for your input, John. I was imagining a follow up image or list that explains what social media actually is (i.e. Brian Solis’ pinwheel). The intent of this graphic is to help folks understand how communication technology has progressively used different mediums/media and build on previous tools. The last loop is titled “Social Networks” because social media messages are sent via our real-world relationships. I know it’s confusing because the term has increasingly been defined as “social networking websites”. But here I’m using the pre-existing concept of offline social networks or relationships between people.

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