About Howard Rheingold
Howard Rheingold's Story
I fell into the computer realm from the typewriter dimension, then plugged my computer into my telephone and got sucked into the net. In earlier years, my interest in the powers of the human mind led to Higher Creativity (1984), written with Willis Harman, Talking Tech (1982) and The Cognitive Connections (1986) with Howard Levine Excursions to the Far Side of the Mind: A Book of Memes (1988), Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming (1990), with Stephen LaBerge, and They Have A Word For It: A Lighthearted Lexicon of Untranslatable Words and phrases(1988).
I ventured further into the territory where minds meet technology, via the subject of computers as mind-amplifiers, and wrote Tools for Thought (1985) [New edition from MIT Press, April 2000]. Next, Virtual Reality (1991) chronicled my odyssey in the world of artificial experience, from simulated battlefields in Hawaii to robotics laboratories in Tokyo, garage inventors in Great Britain, and simulation engineers in the south of France.
In the early 1980s, I started exploring the nascent online culture of BBSs. In 1987, I started writing about life in my virtual community with an article in Whole Earth Review that is credited with introducing the term "virtual community," and ended up with a book about the cultural and political implications of a new communications medium, The Virtual Community (1993 [New edition published by MIT Press in 2000]).
I had the privilege of serving as the editor of The Whole Earth review and editor in chief of The Millennium Whole Earth Catalog (1994). Here's my introduction to the Catalog, my riff on Taming Technology and a selection of my own articles and reviews from both publications.
In 1994, I was one of the principal architects and the first Executive Editor of HotWired. Here is one of my early sketches for what became the first commercial webzine. I quit after launch, because I wanted something more like a jam session than a magazine. In 1996, I founded and, with the help of a crew of 15, launched Electric Minds. Electric Minds was named one of the ten best web sites of 1996 by Time magazine and was acquired by Durand Communications in 1997.
My 2002 book, Smart Mobs, was acclaimed as a prescient forecast of the always-on era. The weblog associated with the book won Utne Magazine's Independent Press Award in 2003. In 2005, I co-taught a course at Stanford University on A Literacy of Cooperation, part of a long-term investigation of cooperation and collective action that I have undertaken in partnership with the Institute for the Future.
I co-taught Participatory Media/Collective Action at UC Berkeley's School of Information, taught Digital Journalism and continue to teach VirtualCommunity/Social Media at Stanford University, was a non-resident Fellow of the Annenberg School for Communication, and was a visiting Professor at the Institute of Creative Technologies, De Montfort University in Leicester, UK. In 2008, I was a winner in MacArthur Foundation's Digital Media and Learning competition and used my award to work with a developer to create a free and open source social media classroom. I have a YouTube Channel that covers a range of subjects. Most recently, I've been concentrating on learning and teaching 21st Century literacies. I've blogged about this subject for SFGate, wrote an article for Educause, have been interviewed, and have presented talks on the subject. I am hrheingold on Twitter.
Howard Rheingold / firstname.lastname@example.org