US: A hitchhiker’s guide to technology, media and cultural innovation in the new frontier states of the American West

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More than Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, social media as a concept covers applications, techniques and issues as diverse as online gaming, mobility, bandwidth-intensive applications, deep-packet inspection and personally identifiable information. Ultimately ‘social media’ is about redefining the nature of all dimensions of relationships, narrow and broad – sometimes for the better, sometimes not. Here, Hogan Lovells takes a brief trip across the American West to explore the frontiers of social media and tech innovation.

The journey starts at the farthest western edge of the continental US, in California.

Leaders of the world’s tech economy, such as Apple, Google, HP and a stable of tech companies that are not global household-names, were founded in dorm rooms and garages at and around Stanford University. Just a short drive south of San Francisco, and an even shorter drive over the mountains from the Pacific shore, you cannot get much farther west in the lower 48 than Stanford and its greatest progeny, the Silicon Valley…

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