I set out to become a writer at age 23 — more than forty years ago. I was intoxicated by words, a compulsive reader, and attracted to the romantic idea of the freelance writer as a kind of self-supporting independent intellectual. My goal was to succeed — what writer doesn’t dream of hitting the jackpot? — but also to gain the freedom to think and write about what I wanted to think and write about. It took me some years to get to that point. Before the digital age, I typewrote articles about whatever topics I could sell to any venue that would pay me — men’s magazines, women’s magazines, newspaper sunday supplements, corporate PR, technical writing. When the personal computer came along, I became enchanted by the idea that I could revise pages using a screen and a PC instead of retyping a page of paper over and over. When I looked into the origins of personal computers, I found that much of the technology had been invented at Xerox PARC. In the early 1980s, I called the director of public affairs at PARC once a week, the late Gloria Warner, who very patiently told me that there was no work for me, but didn’t tell me to stop calling. Eventually, she did have work for me. At PARC, I found my way to Bob Taylor, who introduced me to Doug Engelbart. In 1982-83 I commuted for half an hour each way from San Francisco because I was able to do my writing on the first personal computer, the now-legendary Alto. It had a mouse (with three buttons) and a hard disk (I think it held about half a megabyte — it was large enough that I couldn’t casually tuck it under my arm), and I could send my words to a laser printer (also invented at PARC) down the hall. It didn’t take me long to realize that the Alto was not just a better typewriter, but had been designed to be a mind amplifier.
In 1984, when the Macintosh was introduced, I thought that the story of the ARPAnet, Doug Engelbart, and PARC was at least as interesting as the stories of teenaged Steve Jobs and teenaged Bill Gates that dominated the popular narratives. Once I started unraveling the origins of personal computers, I found out about John von Neumann, Alan Turing, Lady Lovelace and Charles Babbage. While researching my 1985 book, Tools for Thought, I bought a 1200 bit-per-second modem for $500 and connected my computer with my telephone, discovering the lively social networks that were springing up online as early as the 1980s. I connected to the WELL in 1985, after exploring BBSs for a couple years. On the WELL, the editor of Whole Earth Review, Kevin Kelly, convinced me to write articles for that publication. When Kelly left to write Out of Control and then to help found Wired magazine, he invited me to take over for him at Whole Earth. In 1995, I was invited to write a syndicated column about technology and the future. My earliest writing here comes from Whole Earth Review and from my Tomorrow columns, except for my Reed College thesis from 1968, which was scanned and OCRed by Stanford library. The title (an old Chinese poem) turned out to be a pretty good prediction of how I would spend the next 45 years — and offers an indicator of my continuing interest in consciousness, technology, and mind amplifiers: “What life can compare with this? Sitting alone at the window, I watch the leaves fall, the flowers bloom, the seasons come and go.” (PDF)
Writing By Howard Rheingold
Douglas Engelbart’s Unfinished Revolution, MIT Technology Review (July 23, 2013)
Computing pioneer Doug Engelbart’s inventions transformed computing, but he intended them to transform humans.
What the WELL’s Rise and Fall Tell Us About Online Community The Atlantic (July 6, 2012)
A meditation on community online, occasioned by the news that the WELL is for sale.
Participative Pedagogy for a Literacy of Literacies Freesouls (2011)
Joi Ito asked a number of his friends to contribute to a book of his cc-licensed photographs of people in the digital culture and social media worlds. Joi is now director of MIT Media Lab.
Attention and Other 21st Century Literacies Educause Review (2010)
A preview to my book, addressed to educators interested in technology, about essential social media literacies, starting with attention.
Is Multitasking Evil, Or Are Most of Us Illiterate?Encyclopedia Britannica Blog (2009)
I was asked to comment on an article about distraction by Maggie Jackson, a technology critic whose opinions I don’t always agree with but do respect.
Mobile Media and Political Collective Action, Handbook of Mobile Communication Studies (May, 2008)
This chapter was contributed to a volume published by The MIT Press, about the use of mobile phones and SMS in organizing political collective action worldwide.
Mindful Disconnection: Counterpowering the Panopticon from the Inside, with Eric Kluitenberg (2006)
Often cast as a cheerleader, I do consider myself a technology enthusiast, but not an uncritical one.
38 articles for The Feature (2001-2005) (arranged as a Pearltree)
An online zine sponsored by Nokia covered social and cultural aspects of mobile media: “Mobile Phones, Ritual Interaction, and Social Capital,” “Mobile and Open: A Manifesto,” “Smartmobbing Disaster Relief” are a few examples of these pieces.
The Tomorrow Columns
San Luis Valley, NM: Can the Internet Help Improve Rural Economies? San Francisco Examiner (1996)
“While others debate whether computer networks might shut out the disenfranchised, some activists are at work in the poorest urban and rural areas, trying to use the technology to tackle immediate social problems of access to educational resources and recruiting customers for local businesses. We might learn a lot more about the potential the Net for rural areas by looking at what some of the people of the San Luis Valley of Southern Colorado are doing.”
Citizens’ Databases Reveal Who Owns Who In D.C.San Francisco Examiner (1996)
“Clever use of public information-gathering technology and many-to-many publishing technology is making it possible for citizens to match specific votes and specific stock ownership.”
Technology and Traditional Cultures Can be a Bad Mix San Francisco Examiner (1996)
“‘What do we lose, and what do we gain?’ is a good question to ask when new technologies are first deployed in societies. It’s not too late to start asking it.”
MariMuse: Online Fantasy Worlds Benefit Inner City School San Francisco Examiner (1996)
“If you believe MUDs are nothing more than fantasy worlds where college students waste their time on the Internet, chatting with each other in verbally medieval disguise, consider the text-based virtual world known as Pueblo that seems to be having a real impact on at-risk children at an elementary school in Phoenix, Arizona.”
Massive Electronic Spying Authorized by Congress, Nobody Notices San Francisco Examiner (1996)
“Few Americans know about it yet, but the legal mandate to create a technology infrastructure for massive electronic spying on large numbers of US citizens was approved by Congress in 1994.”
Online Activism: Rainforest Action Network Takes On Mitsubishi San Francisco Examiner (1996)
“Does the Internet enable small public interest organizations such as environmental activists to challenge multinational corporations in the battle for public opinion? Now that the Rainforest Action Network (RAN) has squared off with Mitsubishi Corporation on the World Wide Web, a central claim of “electronic democracy” enthusiasts faces a test.”
For Some, The Net is a Lifeline San Francisco Examiner (1996)
“Censors in Congress paint cyberspace as a hall of horrors that threatens to destroy our youth, and frame hideously unconstitutional censorship laws based on scare stories. Technology critics dismiss the idea that computer-mediated communications might be a lifeline to some. Unfortunately, this is the only side of the Internet story that most of the world ever gets through the mass media.”
Will The Web Evolve Communities? San Francisco Examiner (1996)
“The first, explosive phase of growth of the Web as a medium, a culture, and an industry, could now evolve into the next stage of growth, where the multimedia display tools of the Web are joined by tools for group conversation.”
The White House: The Last Stop Before The Censorship State San Francisco Examiner (1995)
“The effects of this legislation (S 652) go far beyond the Internet, reaching into every aspect of American lives, undoubtedly influencing the shape of the democracy our children will grow up in.”
Telecom Deregulation or Attack on Democracy? San Francisco Examiner (1995)
“America is on the threshold of a power-shift. Sadly, few American citizens are aware that the the Telecommunications Competition and Deregulation Act of 1995 in the Senate (S. 652) and the Communications Act of 1995 in the House (H.R. 1555), now heading toward a final vote, will determine the kind of democracy our children grow up in, the kinds of businesses citizens will engage in, and the ways we will be allowed to communicate with one another, for decades to come.”
The Religious Right andThe Communications Decency Act San Francisco Examiner (1995)
“The Religious Right is only a few weeks away from final victory in its effort to shut American citizens out of the Internet as a medium for uncensored communication.”
We Need Privacy Protection on Intelligent Highways San Francisco Examiner (1995)
“Governments are installing “intelligent highways,” whose snooping capabilities ought to concern every driver.”
The Medium Becomes a Market San Francisco Examiner (1995)
“‘The medium is the market,’ claim Donna Hoffman and Thomas Novak of the Owen Graduate School of Management, the first marketing theorists I’ve come across who actually know how to use many-to-many media. Now that billions are being invested in the commercial version of cyberspace, actual clues about how the new media market might work are rare and valuable.”
The River, a User-Owned Virtual Community San Francisco Examiner (1995)
“When our common cause was fear for the future of the WELL, a group of admittedly idiosyncratically individualists who normally wouldn’t agree on the time of day put aside our differences and accomplished an enormous amount of decision-making and effective action in a short amount of time.”
Your Voices Count: Net Activism and Real Politics San Francisco Examiner (1995)
“Most citizens, including myself, don’t understand what Congressional regulation and deregulation of cyberspace is really about. I do know that we better understand that today’s legislation about telecommunications will influence the kind of government we’ll have, the cost of communication services, and the kind of business we will be allowed to do for decades to come. It’s not just money at stake, but the power that money can buy.”
Will The Web Evolve Communities? San Francisco Examiner (1995)
“The first, explosive phase of growth of the Web as a medium, a culture, and an industry, could now evolve into the next stage of growth, where the multimedia display tools of the Web are joined by tools for group conversation.”
Virtual Community and Civic Life in Amsterdam San Francisco Examiner (1995)
“The Dutch are trying to do something that the rest of the world might learn from: Now that deregulation of telecommunication access and the efforts of grassroots activists are bringing full Internet access to Dutch citizens, it is heartening to see an early committment to maintaining strong ties between geographic and virtual communities.”
Are Virtual Communities Harmful to Civil Society? San Francisco Examiner (1995)
“Can virtual communities help revitalize civil society or are online debates nothing more than distracting simulations of authentic discourse? Enthusiasts like myself point at examples of many-to-many communication that appear to leverage power in the real world of politics. But how certain can we be, sitting at our desks, tapping on our keyboards, about the reality and limits of the Net’s political effectiveness? Would you bet your liberty on it?”
Communication is Political San Francisco Examiner (1995)
“If too few citizens speak up for liberty and democracy while the Congress and the telecommunications giants divide among them the fat new marketplace they call the “information superhighway,” then we might discover that liberty and democracy will have no place in the new regime. And if the news media go for the flashy, trashy, stories and neglect the political meaning of the new technology, citizens and elected representatives will make important decisions in dangerous ignorance.”
Citizen Censorship or Government Control? San Francisco Examiner (1995)
“What are we really going to do about porno on the Internet? If censorship laws are not the answer, the question of easy access by children to objectionable material online remains a concern to parents, librarians, and teachers. But there is a crucial difference between controlling what your children or students see and hear and giving that control to an agency of the government. Despite the political tactics of would-be censors, speaking up for the rights of families and schools to make our own decisions is not the same thing to advocating pornography for children.”
Would-be Censors Base Arguments on Bogus Research San Francisco Examiner (1995)
“Would-be censors are using the big lie technique to manipulate public opinion on the eve of far-reaching and intrusive legislation. Time Magazine’s June 2, 1995 “Cyberporn” cover story, based on allegedly scientific research into pornography on the Internet, has already been cited on the floor of the U.S. Congress in connection with the so-called “Communications Decency Act” and other attempts to create a legislative staging area for federal control of what citizens post online.”
New Brunswick, Canada: The Wired Province San Francisco Examiner (1995)
“Innovation and entrepreneurship in a networked world is no longer the exclusive product of a few metropolitan centers. The center of innovation now is anywhere you can find a good connection to the Internet.”
Chillocothe on the Net: Innovation from the Heartlands San Francisco Examiner (1995)
“When I discovered that small towns like Miramichi, New Brunswick, in Canada , rural Oita in Japan, and Chillicothe, Ohio, are laying fiber optic cable, opening Internet access businesses, making deals with companies in other countries, it began to sink in that the world economy has already begun to shift from Tokyo and New York to everywhere. Is it possible that the Net is making region-to-region small business possible, breaking the monopoly ofs giant multinationals on global markets?”
Why Cyberspace Should Not Be Censored San Francisco Examiner (1995)
In a country where possession of formidable personal arsenals is a stoutly-defended right, I am amazed and ashamed that my own Senator, Dianne Feinstein (D-Ca.), wants to make it a crime to send bomb-making instructions over the Internet — information that can be obtained in any traditional paper encyclopedia. People who use the Net to commit criminal acts can still be investigated and prosecuted, but we must beware those who would make thoughts and words into crimes.
Folk Songs, Digital Art, and Indian Empowerment San Francisco Examiner (1995)
“Buffy Sainte-Marie and others are catching on to the fact that new communication technologies are making it possible for groups ignored by the mass media to get their own messages across.”
Teaching Technology With Hands-on and Minds in. San Francisco Examiner (1995)
“If future generations are going to make informed decisions as citizens, today’s teachers are faced with the double challenge of keeping up with rapidly-changing technologies and finding ways to attract student interest. A growing network of teachers all over America are experimenting with a teaching philosophy for science and technology called “project-based learning.” I dropped in at a project-based learning conference recently and was pleasantly astounded by what I experienced.”
Slightly Way New Journalism and Virtual Communities San Francisco Examiner (1995)
“There are pitfalls to giving one’s audience a voice to talk back, but I think my online braintrust portends new relationships between readers and journalists as the communication technologies that move words back and forth grow more interactive. Interactive means dialogue, not just channel-surfing. If more citizens become involved in technology journalism, we’ll all be better off.”
Which Part is Virtual? Which Part is Community? San Francisco Examiner (1995)
“I’d like to say something to those who deride the notion of virtual community, and something to those who believe in the idea. If you have never sat with a dying friend who you had known only through a computer bulletin board, or attended a funeral or a birth or marriage of people you know only through a computer network, what right do you have to philosophically dismiss the whole idea of virtual community? And those who use the term ‘virtual community,’ how often do you get out from behind that screen and get to know your online friends face to face, here in the world our bodies inhabit?”
FAQs: Collective Knowledge Gathering San Francisco Examiner (1995)
“In newsgroups where serious if informal discourse takes place among experts, a useful kind of knowledge resource has evolved, known as “the FAQ” — the list of frequently-asked questions and answers. Knowing where to find the FAQs is like having a living encyclopedia of expertise always available.”
Project Genesis: Teaching Students to Think about Technology San Francisco Examiner (1995)
Social Science Looks at Online Intimacy San Francisco Examiner (1995)
“Social scientists such as Dr. Walther are beginning to direct their attention to the vast sociology experiment taking place in cyberspace. We need their knowledge. It’s time to apply the analytic tools of social science to learn how to use new communication media more effectively. We need to learn how best to use the human communication capabilities made possible by computer-mediated communications, and we need to know how to avoid misusing them.”
Beware Tyranny in the Guise of Decency San Francisco Examiner (1995)
“The Electronic Decency Act of 1995, S.314, introduced by Senator Jim Exon (D-NE) on February 2, has a good chance of passage, which would be a shame for all those who abhor censorship and ineffective, fuzzily-defined, morality legislation. A zealot in Washington who knows nothing about the technology he is attempting to regulate has cloaked this attack on every American’s freedom of expression in anti-pornographic rhetoric.”
Digital Reiko San Francisco Examiner (1995)
“Here comes a teenage girl from Tokyo who is going to show the world how to create a cult without leaving her room, and make jillions in the process. She’ll probably reveal something unexpected about what kind of medium the global multimedia communication network wants to become.”
Netiquette By Virginia Shea San Francisco Examiner (1995)
“Fortunately, Virginia Shea has published “Netiquette,” an astute introduction to the net’s unwritten rules. She has mined the net for accumulated social wisdom (acknowledging her debt to netizen Gene Spafford’s “Emily Postnews” series on Usenet etiquette), and explains lucidly how each rule makes the net a more valuable and convivial place.”
New Medicines from Ancient Bottles: Shaman Pharmaceuticals San Francisco Examiner (1995)
“Thomas Carlson, M.D., director of ethnobiomedical field research for Shaman Pharmaceuticals, Inc., believes that jungle-dwelling societies might know botanical remedies for diseases that baffle modern science. This theory is the basis for a multimillion-dollar business effort to patent new medicines from ancient herbal remedies and return benefits to the indigenous people who provide knowledge of medicinal plants.”
Using Computers in Low-Income Schools San Francisco Examiner (1995)
“Ray Porter buys obsolete computers by the hundreds and helps students at the most impoverished public schools become authors, artists, and publishers.”
Did Chernobyl Kill Communism? San Francisco Examiner (1995)
“Can we learn how to avoid mixing arrogant bureacracies with dangerous technologies? If we know that powerful, dangerous, complex technologies are bound to fail, what should designers of these technologies do in the future that they failed to do in the past? We need a thousand intellectual detectives like Wade Roush, digging up biggest untold story of the century — nobody really knows how to operate this big machine that controls our lives.”
Sci-Vis: A New Amplifier for the Mind? San Francisco Examiner (1995)
“The World Wide Web, originally conceived as a way for physicists to publish and view data, is rich in sci-viz resources. In fact, today’s high-speed multimedia internetworking technologies were funded by the US government as defense research, in order to maintain superiority in networked supercomputers — specifically useful for modelling thermonuclear weapons. Like the computer itself, and computer graphics, the child of warfare has matured into an artistic instrument and a new kind of laboratory for groupminds. Sci-vis will grow with the Net.”
Pirate Radio or Community Communications? San Francisco Examiner (1995)
“Changes in the technological base for the electronics industry often trigger social changes. Now that miniaturization of communication technologies is making micro-power radio and other communication tools affordable to citizens, we need to think sensibly about overhauling our antiquated regulatory structures.”
Civil Liberties, Virtual Communities, and Hackers San Francisco Examiner (1995)
“We must make sure that the latest cycle of hacker-notoriety, in the absence of widespread knowledge of what goes on in computer networks, does not lead to bad laws, increased censorship, and intrusively overzealous law enforcement.”
The Hidden Dangers of Indecency Police San Francisco Examiner (1995)
“Free speech is often unpleasant, but the alternative is controlled speech, the hallmark of tyranny. Our other liberties rest upon the foundation of free speech. We don’t need a new law that fails to protect citizens from shocking material, but does give the State more power to regulate how we communicate.”
Virtual Miracles: VR Frees Trapped Minds San Francisco Examiner (1995)
“This work goes beyond entertainment, education, and sheer joy for children who have too little. The virtual world could grant these trapped minds miraculous freedom and power to control the real world.”
The Net Strikes Back San Francisco Examiner (1994)
“The attack of the spammers is probably just the first of many coming collisions between human greed and common courtesy on the Net. We need to get better at building computer tools and social contracts that deal with such problems without entangling ourselves in rules and regulations. When regulations are necessary, they should be carefully designed, with clearly thought out goals. People want to cooperate, and benefit from cooperating, but only if freeloaders are prevented from spoiling the game.”
The Tragedy of the Electronic Commons San Francisco Examiner (1994)
“Out of more than six thousand different newsgroups there are probably a few whose readers might be interested in the services those attorneys offered. But when they deliberately attached their message to every newsgroup (a practice known on the Net as ‘spamming’), they diminished the value of the Net. If every newsgroup becomes a hodgepodge of advertisements along with the freely exchanged information and conversation, then it no longer makes sense to have six thousand newsgroups, and every person who uses the Net loses the ability to filter information that way.”
Why Censoring Cyberspace is Dangerous & Futile San Francisco Examiner (1994)
“Don’t be fooled when some politician uses “pornography and pedophiles on the Internet” as an excuse to cripple the most valuable technology America has going for it. Heavy-handed attempts to impose restrictions on the unruly but incredibly creative anarchy of the Net could kill the spirit of cooperative knowledge-sharing that makes the Net valuable to millions.”
Joi Ito, The Most Wired Guy I Know San Francisco Examiner (1994)
“Joi and his nethead friends have their own ideas of where techno-culture is headed. They want to play the Net like their parents wanted to play electric guitar. Look where they’re pointing; they might know something about where we’re going.”
About the Net
The Art of Hosting Good Conversations Online Rheingold.com (1999)
In this article I describe the ideal qualities, actions and goals for someone who hosts online discussions.
The Internet and the Future of Money Rheingold.com (1998)
In this article I describe how the internet might change the way that people exchange money, goods and services.
Education and Technology
Building Fun Online Learning Communities Rheingold.com (1998)
In this article I describe the online environment MOOSE Crossing, a virtual world designed for students to engage in constructionist learning.
Computers, Ethics, and Schools Rheingold.com (1998)
This article describes the UC Berkeley Extension class titled “Ethics, Access, and Technology,” which addressed internet use in California classrooms.
Technology and Democracy
Citizens’ Databases Reveal Who Owns Who In D.C. Rheingold.com (1998)
In this article I discuss how the internet provides easier access to public information about the stocks owned by lawmakers and how their votes affect those industries.
Maps + Databases + Internet = New Scientific, Civic, and Political Tools Rheingold.com (1998)
In this article I describe how GIS can be used on the web as a tool for education and advocacy of issues such as human resources and environmental sustainability.
Virtual Communities, Phony Civil Society? Rheingold.com (1998)
In this article I discuss the role of virtual communities in civil society.
Declaration of Howard Rheingold Electronic Privacy Information Center (1996)
This web page contains my declaration in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, United States District Court censorship lawsuit between the ACLU, et al., Plaintiffs v. Janet Reno, as Attorney General of the United States, Defendant.
Testimony of Howard Rheingold, author Citizens Internet Empowerment Coalition (1996)
This web page offers testimony from me in ACLU vs Reno (challenge to Communications Decency Act) with Judges Sloviter, Dalzell and Buckwalter from April 1, 1996.
Comments on Intelligent Agents Rheingold.com (1998)
I wrote this article in response to John Brockman’s interview with Pattie Maes and her support of the Open Profiling Standard. I also write about intelligent agents and suggest that we consider the implications of the technological tools that we create.
Technology 101: What Do We Need To Know About The Future We’re Creating? Rheingold.com (1998)
In this series of web pages I write about my background, interests and reasons for studying the evolution of, the present use of and the future of technology.
Taming Technology Rheingold.com (1994)
“What we need badly right now is a way for more and more people to see, understand, and decide collectively, through our discussions and our buying and voting decisions, exactly which trade-offs we are willing to make in return for technological conveniences.”
The Far Side of the Mind
The Shape of the Universe Rheingold.com (1980s)
I write about trees “at the center of everything sacred.”
Whole Earth Review and Catalog Reviews
Howard Rheingold Selected Reviews: Hand’s End Rheingold.com (1994)
In this article I review the book Hand’s End: Technology and the Limits of Nature by David Rothenberg published in 1994 by University of California Press.
Howard Rheingold Selected Reviews: Great Mambo Chicken Rheingold.com (1993)
In this article I review the book Great Mambo Chicken & The Transhuman Condition: Science Slightly Over The Edge by Ed Regis published in 1990 by Addison-Wesley.
Howard Rheingold Selected Reviews: Art and Physics Rheingold.com (1991)
In this article I review the book Art and Physics: Parallel Visions in Space, Time, & Light by Leonard Shlain published in October 1991 by William Morrow & Company.
Howard Rheingold Selected Reviews: Disappearing Through the Skylight Rheingold.com (1991)
In this article I review the book Disappearing Through the Skylight: Culture and Technology in the Twentieth Century by O. B. Hardison published in December 1989 by Viking Press.
Howard Rheingold Selected Reviews: Waking Up Rheingold.com
In this article I review the book Waking Up: Overcoming the Obstacles to Human Potential by Charles Tart, Ph.D. published in 1987 by Shambhala.
Howard Rheingold Selected Reviews: Theatre Anthropology Rheingold.com
In this article I review the book A Dictionary of Theatre Anthropology: The Secret Art of the Performer by Eugenio Barba and Nicola Savarese.
Howard Rheingold Selected Reviews: Out of Control Rheingold.com
In this article I review the book Out of Control: The Rise of Neo-Biological Civilization by Kevin Kelly published in 1994 by Addison-Wesley.
Writing About Howard Rheingold
Review of Net Smart (July-December, 2014)
“Net Smart is not a “60-second guide” to digital intelligence but a thoughtful, detailed analysis to being a better digital citizen.”
Review of Mind Amplifier (May 11, 2014)
“Rheingold demonstrates that tools from the alphabet to the printing press to word processing software have augmented human intelligence and allowed us to do, think and create in ways previously impossible. “
How Being Curious Children Led Two Internet Pioneers to Innovation Fast Company (May 7, 2014)
“Rheingold says he began asking questions when he refused to be put into the box people wanted to put him in.”
The Esteemed Facilitator One+ magazine (February 10, 2012)
“Cognitive explorer and much-lauded connector of social realities, Howard Rheingold explains how to embrace technology and thrive.”
Week 7: Participatory Literacies New Media Narratives Blog (2011)
“As Howard Rheingold notes, ‘a participatory culture in which most of the population see themselves as creators as well as consumers of culture is far more likely to generate freedom and wealth for more people than one in which a small portion of the population produces culture that the majority passively consume.'”
howard rheingold: on becoming (“life…forks every day, in every moment”) The Improvised Life Blog (2010)
“In all the work that we came across, Rheingold shows enduring courage: to think for himself…say what’s what…and be comfortable being an outsider (which just about anyone who is himself is), not to mention writing a blog about rectal cancer and putting pictures of butts all over its home page.”
UC-Berkeley’s Opinion Space Spatializes Public Sentiment Atelier.fr (2009)
“‘Linear [comment] lists are often dominated by extreme postings that can oversimplify and overshadow the rich variety of viewpoints,’ said Howard Rheingold, author of Smart Mobs. As an alternative to linear lists, Opinion Space ‘encourages people to express their opinions and lets them visualize where they stand relative to the diversity of other viewpoints.’ Opinion Space uses collaborative filtering to map users’ opinions.”
“In advance of the gathering, I’m profiling some of the speakers and events. Today’s focus: keynote speaker (on May 22), Howard Rheingold”
The Bottom is Not Enough Kevin Kelly – The Technium (2008)
“Ten years later no one was as shocked as I was to see the Wikipedia disprove this notion, and show how well the bottom could work without any editors at all. Howard was right. For better or worse, the Wikipedia now represents power from the bottom up”
NowPublic Names Silicon Valley’s 50 Most Influential People Atelier.fr (2008)
“The Vancouver-based participatory news network rated the individuals based on four measures: online visability; presence on user-generated content and social networking sites; interactivity and accessibility; and what they call The “R” factor, presence on microblogging platforms like Flickr, Twitter, and Tumblr.”
Discovering beliefs, core values online The Bismarck Tribune (September 30, 2007)
“Communications expert Howard Rheingold writes, ‘I believe that we humans, who know so much about cosmology and immunology, lack a fundamental framework for thinking about why and how humans cooperate.'”
Jon Carroll’s column, San Francisco Chronicle (April 12, 2005)
“About a decade ago, the writer Howard Rheingold coined the word disinfotainment.”
“Rheingold, a veteran technology watcher and well-published futurist (Tools for Thought, 1985; Virtual Reality, 1991; The Virtual Community, 1993), has put his finger on yet another transformative technology. In Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution (Perseus; 288 pages) he describes how large, geographically dispersed groups connected only by thin threads of communications technology — cell phones, text messaging, two-way pagers, e-mail, websites — can be drawn together at a moment’s notice like schools of fish to perform some collective action.”
Smart Mobs NPR (2003)
“The fad of the moment in New York City is an event called ‘Inexplicable Mobs.’ People get instructions over the Internet and gather at a place at an appointed time. NPR’s Rick Karr went to a Mob meeting place last week and found dozens of people already there waiting for their next Mob destination for the evening.”
New Economy; In the tech meccas, masses of people, or ‘smart mobs,’ are keeping in touch through wireless devices. The New York Times (2002)
“‘SMART MOBS.’ The odd phrase might bring to mind rowdies partying after the Harvard-Yale football game. But, in fact, it has been coined by the author Howard Rheingold to describe groups of people equipped with high-tech communications devices that allow them to act in concert — whether they know each other or not.”
Smart Mobs, New York Times Magazine (December 2002)
Clive Thompson wrote about “smart mobs” as one of the big ideas of 2002.
“What it is, is up to us,” Part one, Reed Magazine (February 2002)
Written by Reedie and fellow HotWired veteran Gary Wolf, this is an autobiographical interview about my life at Reed and in the forty following years. The title of the article was the motto of the first virtual community I instigated, the “Mind” conference on the WELL, 1985. When creating the forum, I was asked to give it a motto, and “what it is is up to us” jumped into my mind. I started using it as the signature quote that goes out with every email I’ve sent in the past seventeen years.
Smart Mobs by Howard Rheingold reviewed by Cory Doctorow mindjack.com (2002)
“Howard Rheingold’s Smart Mobs is not the first book to be written about the ad-hocratic times we find ourselves living in, and it won’t be the last, but page for page, you won’t find a better summing-up of all the disparate bitzenpieces that add up to a genuine social revolution.”
Learning from the “Thumb Tribes” Bloomberg Businessweek Online (2002)
“Author Howard Rheingold sees the next big tech trend in Tokyo and Helsinki, where teens busily tap text messages on their cell phones”
Mobile Junkies Reshaping Society? Wired (2002)
“Howard Rheingold, author of Virtual Reality and other works in the early 1990s that prophesied the rise of electronic communities, credits such a display of text messaging with supplying the inspiration for his upcoming book Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution.”
Smart Mobs by Howard Rheingold samizdat.com
“This book is so jam-packed with insights into human behavior on the Internet and related technological advances, that you might miss the main point, which is crucial.”
FM Interviews: Howard Rheingold First Monday (1999)
“This interview originally appeared in Mindjack in the September 1 and 15 issues. The interview was conducted by Dan Richards, with occasional contributions from an online audience, in July and August, 1999. It appears in First Monday with his kind permission.”
Mind-to-Mind Contact for English Majors The Washington Post (December 12, 1996)
“If his newest venture, Electric Minds, is successful, you’ll be seeing Rheingold more and more. EM, he says, ‘is a virtual community, a global network of intelligent people in discourse about what technology means.'”
Mr. Rheingold’s Neighborhood, Time(November 25, 1996)
In which Time Magazine writer Josh Quittner declared Electric Minds one of the ten best websites of 1996.
Suck’s Howard Rheingold trading card.
Minister with Virtual Portfolio: Interview with Howard Rheingold, (January 26, 1994)
From Scott Rosenberg’s Wordyard blog