I have so many people to thank for their help on this project. They start with the people with whom I’ve been having a conversation about media for years. They include (alphabetically and among many others) Marko Ahtisaari, Chris Anderson, Kevin Anderson, David Ardia, Azeem Azhar, Frank Baker, John Perry Barlow, John Battelle, Sam Bayard, Emily Bell, Yochai Benkler, Guy Berger, Jim Bettinger, Krishna Bharat, Matt Biddulph, Nick Bilton, danah boyd, Stowe Boyd, James Boyle, John Bracken, Jim Brady, Jody Brannon, Dan Bricklin, John Brockman, Aaron Brown, Merrill Brown, Steve Buttry, Jason Calacanis, Chris Callahan, Serena Carpenter, Jerry Ceppos, Ying Chan, Suw Charman-Anderson, Jeff Cohen, David Cohn, CJ Cornell, Thomas Crampton, Mark Cuban, Steffi Czerny, Cory Doctorow, Steve Doig, Len Downie, Jon Dube, Esther Dyson, Renee Edelman, Richard Edelman, Werner Eggert, Charles Eisendrath, Jim Fallows, Dave Farber, Rob Faris, Seth Finkelstein, Fabrice Florin, Mei Fong, Bill Gannon, Jon Garfunkel, Bob Giles, Kristin Gilger, Steve Gillmor, Mark Glaser, Michael Goff, Ben Goldacre, Paul Grabowicz, Don Graham, Eszter Hargittai, Jay Harris, Scott Hieferman, Retha Hill, Mary Hodder, Reid Hoffman, Adrian Holovaty, Ellen Hume, Kimberley Isbell, David Isenberg, Joi Ito, Xeni Jardin, Jeff Jarvis, Alex Jones, Matt Jones, Paul Jones, Martin Jönsson, Chris Kabwato, Mitch Kapor, Scott Karp, Doug Kaye, Gary Kebbel, Dan Kennedy, David Kirkpatrick, Bruce Koon, Jonathan Krim, Andrew Leckey, Larry Lessig, Steven Levy, Harry Lewis, Andrew Lih, Caroline Little, Melissa Ludtke, Rebecca MacKinnon, Colin Maclay, Om Malik, Phil Malone, Isaac Mao, Jason Manning, John Markoff, Kevin Marks, Joshua Micah Marshall, Tim McGuire, Brock Meeks, Ari Melber, Nicco Mele, Susan Mernit, Jerry Michalski, Amanda Michel, Bill Mitchell, Allen Morgan, Walt Mossberg, Charlie Nesson, Craig Newmark, Eric Newton, Robert Niles, Allen Noren,Chris O’Brien, Oh Yeon Ho, Lise Olson, Pierre Omidyar, Steve Outing, Geneva Overholser, Ray Ozzie, Lanita Pace-Hinton, Marcia Parker, Sam Perry, Chris Pirillo, Vikki Porter, Lee Rainie, JP Rangaswami, Andrew Rasiej, Eric Rasmussen, Marcel Reichart, Howard Rheingold, Gabe Rivera, Rick Rodriguez, Jay Rosen, Scott Rosenberg, Steve Rubel, Alan Rusbridger, Richard Sambrook, Robert Scoble, Doc Searls, Wendy Seltzer, Jake Shapiro. Frank Shaw, Jan Schaffer, Jake Shapiro. Clay Shirky, Ludwig Siegele, Dave Sifry, Micah Sifry, Craig Silverman, Lisa Sounio, Josh Stearns, Lisa Stone, Kara Swisher, Matt Thompson, Yossi Vardi, Simon Waldman, Steven Waldman, Jimmy Wales, Joan Walsh, Linton Wells, Howard Weaver, David Weinberger, Kevin Werbach, Steve Wildstrom, Ev Williams, Lisa Williams, Dave Winer, Leonard Witt, Xu Wu, Jonathan Zittrain, Ethan Zuckerman and Markos Moulitsas Zúniga. Andy Oram did an initial edit of many chapters, and was an early sounding board as I wrote. JD Lasica and Brad King read the draft and made excellent suggestions. Rachel Head copy-edited the final draft, and her tweaks and thoughts were a further improvement. I’m sure I’ve forgotten to mention some others; my apologies, and I trust they’ll know how much I appreciate their input.
The Mediactive project was conceived at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University—an unparalleled pool of talent and wisdom about our new digital environment. I was a Fellow there from 2006–2009, and was asked by Persephone Miel, a Fellow who was leading a project called “Media Re:public,” to write an essay for a longer document she was creating on the state of media. That essay helped me think through the principles that form the heart of this project. Persephone died in the summer of 2010, too young, and is sorely missed by all who knew her.
The book gestated at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism & Mass Communication at Arizona State University, which has helped me see journalism in new ways as well. The school’s terrific students, staff and faculty are on the front lines of journalism’s evolution in this era of accelerating change, and as a university ASU is working to create a more modern model for higher education. Chris Callahan, the Cronkite School’s extraordinary dean, has vision and energy that are unmatched in his field, and it’s been an honor to be part of this team.
Portions of the book appeared first in my Mediactive blog and in my new column on Salon.com. The people at Salon, a pioneer in the online media world, combine a commitment to quality with a progressive spirit that inspires me.
Josh Sprague, a former graduate student of mine at Arizona State, has worked with me on the Mediactive project at various steps. His help has been invaluable.
Monitor Talent manages my speaking and consulting gigs; Chris Meyer, Mel Blake, Meghan Fennell and Jacqueline Lewis have offered terrific advice about my career and Mediactive’s place in it.
Clay Shirky’s insights are no secret to his growing legion of fans, of whom I’m one. He honored me by contributing the foreword to this book, and his friendship is a continuing joy.
I owe special thanks to my literary agent, David Miller, who stayed with this project even after it veered outside the traditional publishing world. David, like me, is learning about the future of media. I’m grateful for his extraordinary counsel.
The editor for this book is my longtime friend Tom Stites. He’s a current Berkman Fellow and creator of the Banyan Project, which aims to bring quality journalism back to the people who may need it most: average folks who’ve been largely left behind. My instructions to Tom, when he took on this project, were simple: Don’t let me off the hook. He hasn’t, I’m glad to say, and the result is a vastly better book. Thank you, Tom.
I’m a better person thanks to Noriko Takiguchi. She makes me sane, and lights my life.