From Clapping to Likes, and Back Again

A new series looking at the cultural history of attention metrics from Victorian music halls to Facebook.

“This was before the days of ratings […] I still don’t know how many people watched any episode of Blackadder. I used to wander round Shepherd’s Bush [the location of BBC TV offices in London] looking in people’s windows, particularly people with basement flats, to see whether or not anyone was watching. I was looking to see if anyone was watching because one didn’t know whether it was a success or otherwise.”

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