The Future of The Internet…

This past weekend Emily and I attended a book release party for The Future Of The Internet And How To Stop It by Jonathan Zittrain. The party was hosted by the always gracious Melanie Ellison (a client of ours who writes under her maiden name, Melanie Craft) and the inimitable Arianna Huffington at Melanie’s home in San Francisco.

In my preparations for the party, I hopped online to read the book’s excerpt — the introduction, and was instantly hooked. Unlike what the title may suggest, Zittrain isn’t about stopping that speeding runaway locomotive we call the internet, but rather, he sets out to make a case for keeping the internet from derailing. He argues that the internet today is heading away from the kind of innovation that helped create it and more toward a kind of control that can only stifle it.

After getting over the thrill of meeting Arianna, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, and craigslist founder Craig Newmark, among many others, I sought out Jonathan Zittrain to sign my copy of his book. Jonathan Zittrain“Web nerds unite!” he penned, and I felt I was in very good company. Shortly thereafter Mayor Newsom introduced Melanie, who talked a bit about Jonathan (they went to high school together — small world). Then Arianna spoke about the importance of the book and introduced Jonathan. For a self-professed web nerd (who is also the Professor of Internet Governance and Regulation at Oxford Internet Institute, Oxford University, and co-founder of Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society), Jonathan is a good public speaker, using language that even techno-newbies can understand. He does this without condescension and with ample amounts of humor. If I have the opportunity to hear him speak in the future, I will jump at the chance. After I finish reading the book, I promise to hop back on here and give a review.

Melanie Craft, Abi Bowling, and Arianna Huffington
Melanie Ellison, me, and Arianna Huffington (photo copyright by Waxcreative Design, Inc.)


NOTE: Kara Swisher from All Things Digital attended the party and put together a little video. You can check it out here.

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6 thoughts on “The Future of The Internet…

  1. Abi, hi. I met Emily a couple weeks ago at Jane Porter’s book launch party. I know Cheyenne through Facebook, and Julie–of course! You and I have just not connected yet. Do you Facebook?

    Wow! Melanie Craft, Larry Ellison, Arianna Huffington… What a high power book reading. I’m looking forward to your review here, because I’m rather curious what he thinks is the future of everything to do with the ‘Net.

  2. Hi Keira… nice to meet you! Alas, I do not Facebook. If I did, I think I wouldn’t ever leave my office, and I suspect my husband and son would not appreciate that so much! I plan on being fairly present on this blog, however, and I will be at RWA in San Francisco this summer.

    It was indeed a high power event, but honestly, you couldn’t meet two more gracious hostesses who made everyone feel very welcome.

    My problem with the book right now is merely finding some good chunks of time to devote to reading it! Wish me luck…

  3. I saw Jonathan Zittrain on Charlie Rose last week and was very impressed. He’s much more than the average web nerd. :-) I’ll be interested to hear what you think of his book.

    (Hey, you guys need a “Preview” function on this blog.)

  4. Good suggestion, Candice! For every feature that can be added to a blog, such as comment preview, there are at least half a dozen different plugins out there. I will add that to my list of plugins to research (I’m very picky about which plugins we use, as those are invariably the plugins our authors use!)

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