Online advertising is destroying itself.

Online advertising is destroying itself. And it is doing so in a way that will fatally undermine online publishers' sustainability. Increasingly brash formats and data snooping by online advertisers are driving millions of people to sever publishers’ revenue lifelines by blocking all advertising. The outlook is very bleak indeed. Publishers’ are desperate to extract revenues from … Continue reading Online advertising is destroying itself.

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Help me write a kids book that explains the digital age

- So, I’m working on a new project. And I’d like your help with it. A few years ago I wrote a fairly detailed history of the Internet’s development, from the earliest days of networking to the present. That book had hundreds of footnotes, involved reading hundreds of technical documents, and gave me an excuse … Continue reading Help me write a kids book that explains the digital age

Sustainable growth, not disruption

An edited version of this piece appears in The Irish Times , 1 August 2014 (online here) In defining the criteria by which the judges of The Startup Academy will adjudicate which companies would be accepted into the programme we have done something radical. Normally a competitive process like this might select only the startups … Continue reading Sustainable growth, not disruption

Lean Startup Strategy. Not just for startups.

I spoke to Steve Blank, Alex Osterwalder, and the man who coined "Lean", John Krafcik. Here is what they said. This article appeared in The Irish Times 2 May 2014 see link.  “U should apply Lean Start-up Strategy in everything u do. Even ur personal & love relationship. Think about it & makes sense.” Thus tweeted … Continue reading Lean Startup Strategy. Not just for startups.

Interview with internet pioneer Steve Crocker

In a bathroom, at three in the morning in April 1969, a graduate student named Steve Crocker started to write one of the most important documents of the last century. Though drafted in humble circumstances Crocker’s document would set the open, inclusive tone of the next half century of Internet engineering culture, and initiate the process of defining the rules that govern virtually all data exchange on the planet.

Advertising’s historic pivot point

This is a piece I originally published in Contagious.An understandable malaise in ad agencies surrounds all things digital. Low revenues on the one hand and a new answerability to metrics on the other are accompanied by a sense that digital formats remain largely underdeveloped, and that new, possibly unwelcome, surprises await. This is a moment … Continue reading Advertising’s historic pivot point

Startup networking at a 153 year old media company

If a 153 year old newspaper is to adapt, to experiment, and take useful risks, it makes sense to work with startups. Since The Irish Times' initial eight week experiment in 2012, both the NYT and the BBC have followed with their own ways of incubating early stage digital businesses. But beyond incubation there is … Continue reading Startup networking at a 153 year old media company

The 2012 tech topic, and a guess at the topic of 2013…

A brief note: I was asked to think about the hot topic in tech for 2012, and make a prediction for the hot topic of 2013 by Corriere della sera, an Italian newspaper. It might seem passé, but I think the hot topic of 2012 has been mobile Internet.  The ITU disclosed in June 2012 that mobile‐broadband … Continue reading The 2012 tech topic, and a guess at the topic of 2013…

An experiment in startups working with news media companies: looking back at The Irish Times Digital Challenge

(This post also appeared in The Irish Times on 4 October 2012.) LAST FRIDAY, at The Workman’s Club on Wellington Quay in Dublin, an Irish technology start-up company called GetBulb was announced as the overall winner of The Irish Times Digital Challenge. GetBulb has produced a system that can rapidly create data visualisations suitable for … Continue reading An experiment in startups working with news media companies: looking back at The Irish Times Digital Challenge

Piece on 3D printing in The Irish Times

The Irish Times, 24 September 2012: "3D printers to manufacture a revolution". (This is a condensed version of a longer piece - read full piece here) THE THREE trends toward cheaper 3D printing, consumer co-creation, and digital distribution should be understood as part of a great adjustment. The current stage of 3D printing is analogous to the … Continue reading Piece on 3D printing in The Irish Times

Week One: The Irish Times Digital Challenge

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_A_zI4oMWwM I PREVIOUSLY POSTED THIS ON THE HUFFINGTON POST. RE POSTED HERE. Some months ago I set up The Irish Times Digital Challenge to invite digital entrepreneurs to propose ways to work with The Irish Times. Almost 81 early stage digital companies applied, of which 14 were invited to pitch in person. From this a … Continue reading Week One: The Irish Times Digital Challenge

Startups and The Irish Times

The Irish Times is a media company with a long history. To get a sense of this reflect on the fact that it was already half a century old when one of its printing presses was burnt down during the 1916 Rising, when the rebels used its massive rolls of newsprint as barricades. In 1994, … Continue reading Startups and The Irish Times

5 rules: the smallest element of participation is now the individual node.

Speaking in Oslo in 2011

Video of a talk I gave in Oslo at the Norwegian Annual Communications/PR Forum "5 rules for PR in the digital era".

Crowd Manufacturing

Long after his death Isaac Newton's unpublished papers finally revealed a hidden obsession with alchemy. Newton was interested in particular with the Philosopher's Stone, a proto-scientific cum mystical experiment reputed to transmutate one material into another. The Crown feared that the alchemists would devalue the coinage if they did one day manage to make gold … Continue reading Crowd Manufacturing

The Internet makes trust and insight scarce commodities, and makes newsroom veterans more valuable

Recently I have been looking at the newspaper as a service and as a business (for reasons that will become apparent later). Something is becoming clear. While the Internet makes information plentiful, and this in turn may be a challenge to some aspects of the newspaper business, deep insight and trust remain as scarce as … Continue reading The Internet makes trust and insight scarce commodities, and makes newsroom veterans more valuable

Interview on the history + future of the Net

Jerry Brito, a tech thinker and writer for Time Magazine interviewed me about my recent book, A history of the Internet and the digital future as part of his 'Surprisingly Free' podcast series with techies. Jerry has an interesting background: he's an academic, but he has also lead some interesting projects - see below - … Continue reading Interview on the history + future of the Net

A Moore’s Law for 3D printing? (I need data)

Moore's Law (transistors per chip) and Hendy's Law (pixels per dollar) have been useful predictors of where processing power and digital photography were going. Something similar would be really useful for 3D printing. I tried to plot a law for the quality of print per dollar of 3D printers for an article I have been … Continue reading A Moore’s Law for 3D printing? (I need data)

3D printing – Johnny Ryan talks with Vyomesh Joshi, EVP of HP’s printing business

HP are interesting because they are the first major manufacturer to enter the 3D printing space, partnering last year with Stratasys to offer 3D printers directly to designers and architects at the sub $20,000 range. So I questioned Vyomesh Joshi, Executive Vice President of HP's Imaging and Printing Group, about where HP is going. Johnny … Continue reading 3D printing – Johnny Ryan talks with Vyomesh Joshi, EVP of HP’s printing business

Frederick Taylor, DEC, and Zynga: how does “idea fuel” filter to the top of perpetual beta organisations?

I broke bread with the speakers after the Dublin Web Summit on Friday (see my coverage of the Summit for Wired UK), and sat opposite Marcus Segal, Zynga's Chief Operating Officer for Games. Segal is faced with a hell of a problem: Zynga is growing like a super nova, and the model it uses relies … Continue reading Frederick Taylor, DEC, and Zynga: how does “idea fuel” filter to the top of perpetual beta organisations?

My piece in Wired UK – “Optimism in Dublin’s start-up scene: Pub Summit 2011 report”

My piece for Wired UK on the start up scene in Ireland, and the Pub Summit last night, is copied below. See article on Wired. Text of the article below: Despite the rain, and economic collapse, Dublin seems to be the place to be at the moment. A long line of entrepreneurs and investors queued … Continue reading My piece in Wired UK – “Optimism in Dublin’s start-up scene: Pub Summit 2011 report”

Optimism in Ireland

Last night at the Pub Summit I spoke to Eoghan Jennings, ex-CFO of Xing, and the man behind the new Bootcamp accelerator that will be launching in 2012. I was struck by his optimism, and he gave me 12 reasons why Ireland is a good place for startups (credit to Colm Rafferty from Maples & … Continue reading Optimism in Ireland

My overview of 3D printing in Fortune Magazine

My basic overview of 3D printing appears in the current (Fortune 500) issue of Fortune. This piece lays out some rudimentary basics, but I am currently working on a more detailed piece - on what I call the "crowd manufacturing cycle" (short note on this idea in previous post titled "Objects 2.0"). Also, see a … Continue reading My overview of 3D printing in Fortune Magazine

Q&A about the history of the Internet with the Epoch Times

The Epoch Times published a Q&A here with me about the book. We covered the idea behind the book and politics. Text below... The Internet has integrated itself into nearly every aspect of modern life, following users on the cell phone, at work, and at home. While the Web grows, however, its history and future … Continue reading Q&A about the history of the Internet with the Epoch Times

Cory Doctorow / BoingBoing plugged my book

Cory Doctorow was kind enough to put a plug of the book on BoingBoing yesterday. Said he: an engrossing, well-written account of the Internet's founding and the backstory of the underlying protocols and plumbing, which draws on that rich history to make predictions about the net's future. Good man! (see the full piece below,  or … Continue reading Cory Doctorow / BoingBoing plugged my book

2nd extract of my book in Ars Technica — The essence of the ‘Net

Chapter 3 of my book A History of the Internet and the Digital Future has just been published by Ars Technica. This is one of the 3 chapters (of the 13 in the book) that are being published for free. Here it is, or read at Ars. Johnny Ryan's A History of the Internet and … Continue reading 2nd extract of my book in Ars Technica — The essence of the ‘Net

I CAN HAS INTERNET?

I just published the first chapter of my book for free via Ars Technica. Full text over at Ars Johnny Ryan's A History of the Internet and the Digital Future has just been released and is already drawing rave reviews. Ars Technica is proud to present three chapters from the book, condensed and adapted for … Continue reading I CAN HAS INTERNET?

3D printing – Johnny Ryan talks with John Kawola, CEO of Z Corporation

I've been thinking allot about what I call "Objects 2.0" and the impact we will see from 3D printing. I had opportunity to speak recently with John Kawola, the CEO of Z Corporation, one of the leading manufacturers of 3D printers. (I've spoken to the heads of 3D Systems, Objet, Makerbot, etc., and may post … Continue reading 3D printing – Johnny Ryan talks with John Kawola, CEO of Z Corporation

Objects 2.0

This is an initial note on something I have been thinking about for a while, and which I am now writing on: "Objects 2.0" and the "crowd manufacturing cycle". 3D printing, and the cycle of iterative remixing of physical design that will come with it, are going to dramatically disrupt manufacturing. It promises adjustment challenges … Continue reading Objects 2.0

Speaking notes on the digital future

This afternoon I was doing a prerecord for Drivetime, a popular show on RTE (Ireland's national radio station). I took a few minutes and wrote down some points I wanted to cover. We were due to discuss my new book A history of the Internet and the digital future so they cover the big picture … Continue reading Speaking notes on the digital future

Another 5 star review from an Amazon top 10 reviewer!

Five star review on Amazon from top 10 Amazon reviewer (Rebecca Johnson) Rebecca Johnson does not generally review communications or Internet books, so a 5 star review from her shows that A history of the Internet and the digital future is  assessable to a general audience. Full text of her review is below, but this … Continue reading Another 5 star review from an Amazon top 10 reviewer!

The Toronto Star publishes feature interview with me about A history of the Internet and the digital future

How the Internet was born By Jennifer Hunter Columnist Al Gore was ridiculed during the 2000 U.S. presidential election for supposedly claiming he had created the Internet. But digital technology expert Johnny Ryan says Gore’s comments to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer were misinterpreted. According to transcripts of the interview, says Ryan, Gore was taking credit merely … Continue reading The Toronto Star publishes feature interview with me about A history of the Internet and the digital future

Top 10 Amazon reviewer gives 5 star review

Amazon has many reviewers and the top 10 is a contested place. Reviews by people in the top 10, top 50, top 100 are a major asset to sales. One such reviewer (top 10) just gave A history of the Internet and the digital future a 5 star review. At Last! A Comprehensive and Comprehensible … Continue reading Top 10 Amazon reviewer gives 5 star review

Interview with Myles Dungan (RTE): Documents from the Net’s history

Today I am doing an interview with Myles Dungan of RTE Radio for his new history program. He asked me to select a few items that can guide our discussion of my book A history of the Internet and the digital future. Here are some of the items that we will discuss.  Nuclear context: Memorandum … Continue reading Interview with Myles Dungan (RTE): Documents from the Net’s history

Call to bloggers: receive free copy and review my book!

Based on a tip from publishing guru Eoin Purcell, and following the clever example of Joe Konrath, I am soliciting reviews of A History of the Internet and the Digital Future from bloggers of all hues. A free copy of the book will be posted to you in return for a review (of more than … Continue reading Call to bloggers: receive free copy and review my book!

Contents of ‘A History of the Internet and the Digital Future’

Contents of A History of the Internet and the Digital Future ____________________ PHASE I: DISTRIBUTED NETWORK, CENTRIFUGAL IDEAS Chapter 1. A CONCEPT BORN IN THE SHADOW OF THE NUKE Chapter 2. THE MILITARY EXPERIMENT Chapter 3. THE ESSENCE OF THE INTERNET Chapter 4. COMPUTERS BECOME CHEAP, FAST, AND COMMON PHASE II: EXPANSION Chapter 5. THE … Continue reading Contents of ‘A History of the Internet and the Digital Future’

Endorsements from for the book from Tim Wu, Marc Benioff, Jonathan Zittrain, and more…

In advance of publication in September, I've received some great endorsements for The History of the Internet and the Digital Future "Both an enormously useful work and great read.  Read it and understand what has made the Internet different." --Professor Tim Wu, Columbia Law School "Thanks to the proliferation of cloud services, ubiquitous, low-cost bandwidth, … Continue reading Endorsements from for the book from Tim Wu, Marc Benioff, Jonathan Zittrain, and more…

update – a final (final) title for the new book…

UPDATE: After speaking with Reaktion Books about the title the final wording is A HISTORY OF THE INTERNET AND THE DIGITAL FUTURE hitting the shelves of all good bookstores in the UK and US (and presumably Ireland too...) in SEPTEMBER 2010! Previous post... The new book is now almost out of the copy editing stage, and … Continue reading update – a final (final) title for the new book…

New site for the Book

New site and address for the book on the history of the Internet and its lessons for the future of business, politics, and society: http://www.thehistoryoftheinternet.net/

ICANN becomes Independent!

Yesterday's announcement from ICANN ends a lingering point of controversy surrounding the governance of the Internet: the United States’ continued control of the Internet’s Domain Name System (DNS). ICANN's announcement of 30 September 2009 ends that controversy. A relevant snippet from the forthcoming book gives the background to ICANN, the controversy, and the importance of … Continue reading ICANN becomes Independent!

World of Warcraft, WTF?

For the forthcoming book it was inevitable that I would look at World of Warcraft. ‘World of Warcraft’ is by any standard is the most popular computer game of all time. Since its release in 2005 it has built a steadily increasing following of loyal subscribers. 11.5 million people across the globe were paid subscribers … Continue reading World of Warcraft, WTF?