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From Gutenberg to Zuckerberg: What You Really Need to Know About the Internet
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From Gutenberg to Zuckerberg: What You Really Need to Know About the Internet

3.7  ·  Rating Details ·  180 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
Our society has gone through a weird, unremarked transition: we've gone from regarding the Net as something exotic to something that we take for granted as a utilitarian necessity, like mains electricity or running water. In the process we've been remarkably incurious about its meaning, significance or cultural implications. Most people have no idea how the network works, ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published September 1st 2011 by Quercus
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K.M. Herkes
Apr 12, 2014 K.M. Herkes rated it really liked it
Preface: I am on a never-ending quest to keep my brain from turning to mush under the weight of the pop culture I bury it in. I attempt one non-fiction book a month in an effort to Always Be Learning. I do always learn. Sometimes it's a slog. Sometimes it's fun.

On my food-based analogy review scale, this book gets a solid "Potluck dinner with friends on a summer evening. With beers." It offers lots of different dishes from different origins, some of which don't go well with others, but the atmos
Dec 30, 2015 Sara rated it it was ok
Shelves: goodreads
Commodifying the remote word – from Gutenberg to Zuckerberg

[Through my ratings, reviews and edits I'm providing intellectual property and labor to Inc., listed on Nasdaq, which fully owns and in 2014 posted revenues for $90 billion and a $271 million loss. Intellectual property and labor require compensation. Inc. is also requested to provide assurance that its employees and contractors' work conditions meet the highest health and safety standards at all th
Dane Cobain
Feb 28, 2015 Dane Cobain rated it it was amazing
I found this book in a bargain bin at The Works, which just goes to show that you can find great stuff in bargain bins – this book is, without a doubt, one of the best books that I’ve ever read about the internet. How much you enjoy it will probably depend upon how much you used the internet in the early days – there’s some great stuff about the founding of Napster, for example, that you’ll only really relate to if you used it the first time around.

Napster itself was only made possible by both t
Nov 09, 2014 Ni-els rated it liked it
Tad disappointed about the premises, could be my own fault. Was rather looking for a simple explanation of how the internet works - technically - and the problems and consequences involved. What it rather is, is some short insights into network architecture (but not too much, as I would liked more info on fibre, exchange points etc), but most of it on the cultural significance of our transition into an Internet-era.

Having said and coming to terms with that, some chapters were at some points rea
May 05, 2014 Fay rated it liked it
Interesting overview of the history of the internet, including sections on copyright law and privacy issues. Naughton draws parallels from the way the development of printing presses changed society several hundred years ago, in ways that were impossible to predict at the time.

The book was only published in 2012 but the chapter on surveillance already seems somewhat dated given the ongoing controversy around Edward Snowden's revelations, which the author could not have foreseen. However he has
Jul 23, 2014 Vicky rated it liked it
I thought this book was really informative and a good read, so please don't let the three stars put you off - I'm comparing it to novels which have moved me.
It kind of mixes up sociology - specifically the impact upon technology on society - from the huge changes that occurred following the invention of the printing press to the changes and unknown future of the internet.
Will it be a Orwellian future (big brother) or Huxellian (excess pleasure)- the author decides it's a combination of both.

Aug 15, 2016 Rob rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, 2016
A history of the Internet by an early adopter (best-known perhaps for his articles in the Guardian) and plain speaker, well-written and fascinating, if perhaps a little too tightly chained to a popularising aim.

Here we get talk of its inherent disruptions and histories of the ARPAnet, email, digital music, copyright, the Cloud etc. A no-nonsense narrator weighing up the various sides in certain controversies, Naughton is highly readable and keenly forthright. The book fairly flies by. Of course,
Jan 03, 2016 Anetq rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Excellent run-through of the 9 most important ideas about the internet:
1) Take the long view!
2) The Web is not the Net (super short chapter, points for keeping it short & simple!)
3) For the Net, disruption is a feature, not a bug
4) Think ecology, not just economics
5) Complexity is the new reality
6) The network is now the computer
7) The Web is evolving
8) Copyrights Vs. "copywrongs": or why our intellectual property regime no longer makes sense
9) Orwell Vs. Huxley: The bookends of our networke
Silvia Mansoor
It's a good book. It's a bit technical at times, but it's not a difficult read. I'd recommend it. The author starts out talking about disruptive technologies in general, but focuses on the Internet for the majority of the book. There are so many things about the Internet and the web that I didn't know before reading this book. The author does well to put everything in perspective as well. For instance, the Internet is still new! A lot of us (especially millennials) may feel like it has always ...more
Interesting, I especially liked the conception of communication media through the framework of ecology rather than economics and a few other points. I disagreed with some of the authors he quotes on authorship pre-Gutenberg and a few other absolutist sounding statements that he quotes. I loved the history of the internet bits best. He doesn't, in the end, offer a future-telling of the impact of the internet but rather shows how the infrastructure effects our interactions with it, the fears of ...more
Titus Hjelm
Jan 13, 2015 Titus Hjelm rated it liked it
I got this as an add-on to another audiobook I bought. As a luddite I thought it might be time to learn something about the net. The book didn't disappoint in the technical details--it's basically a summary of important thinking on the subject in the last thirty years. Even in audiobook format, the narrative was easy to follow, the stories illustrated the points well and so on. But when it comes to social analysis, the book lapses into Wired-type techie hype, simplistic idealism ('ideas run ...more
Michael Boezi
Mar 09, 2014 Michael Boezi rated it really liked it
I like books like this. Good overview of the development of the Internet, and the changes that it brought. The story is still unfolding, of course—but Naughton does a good job framing the foundation.

"Against the backdrop of history, this will look like it all happened in a flash." I wrote a song in 2012 about The Shift to Digital, called Stupid Gutenberg, which you can hear here:

The concept that we are in the middle of a revolution—as it is happening—is fascinatin
Tariq Mahmood
Aug 03, 2014 Tariq Mahmood rated it really liked it
Shelves: techy
It's a good book for someone who is interested by the history and growth of then internet and the World Wide Web. It's provided me great and useful information about the genesis of both interrelated technologies and it's current state of utter domination. I enjoyed some of the phrases used by the author in order to explain the often complex technologies involved, like dumb network and smart services. The book looses focus when it tries to prophecies the future of the technology though, with the ...more
Sep 08, 2012 Gary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: silicone-chip
Barely wasting a single word, Naughton takes the reader through all the key ways in which the Internet is changing the world (like Gutenburg's invention) and why the structure of the Web itself guarantees such creative-disruption.

Highly readable and thought-provoking. Never falls into text-book speech.

Excellent and loved it.

Favourite part: the chapter on intellectual property as outdated in a day of perfect copies and bitstreams. Also loved the chapter entitled: Orwell VS. Huxley!
Sally Seymore
The author takes us back to five and a half centuries ago - to the time of Gutenberg - when the printing press was developed. From there onwards the world changed rapidly; from the telephone, fax, mainframe computers, laptops; to where we are now with social media ruling our lives. John Naughton asks serious questions about the effect these developments have on the future and where we are going to from here. Who is actually in charge? A wonderful, informative book.
Steven Pilling
Jun 07, 2013 Steven Pilling rated it liked it

Really Interesting book.

Takes the history of the internet and turns it around, important case studies and a focus on the effects on society rather than just a list of users etc.

The book is informed by clever but accessible writing and a writer who has an idea and sticks to it.

This is not always easy going but worth it.
Fred Garnett
Jan 06, 2013 Fred Garnett rated it really liked it
Despite the naff title this is a key book to read if you want to understand the social impact of the web and social media today. Probably the best British book on things webbie since Tim Berners-Lee Weaving the Web. Far more insights than Andrew Keen, Cult of the Amateur.
Sep 18, 2012 Simon rated it it was amazing
A good and insightful book that is easy to read and not overly technical preferring to consider the implications (the so what's) rather than the how does it work questions

Thought provoking
Mar 15, 2016 Randal rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Makes some interesting arguments about the future of the Internet, but as with any futurist they are likely wrong as often as they are right. Useful background on how we got here.
Jason Antoniewicz
Dec 28, 2012 Jason Antoniewicz rated it really liked it
Knew much of this stuff, but there were things I didn't know, and all presented accessibly and interestingly. A good book, this.
May 25, 2013 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-read-2012
a part history of the internet and how we got to where we are, and part contemplation on the direction that the internet should go in
To academic. Ended on pg. 140. Felt like on long college lecture instead of interesting read on the history of the internet and our future.
Wei Li
Mar 01, 2016 Wei Li rated it liked it
This book is a delightful read if you're confused about the Cloud or how the Internet works (and how it effects us), but towards the end, Mr. Naughton repeats many points, which is frustrating.
Jane Walker
Oct 20, 2013 Jane Walker rated it it was amazing
Shelves: other-non-fic
For me, this was at exactly the right level, and deals with aspects of the internet which most of us who use it all the time have not understood or never considered.
Stephen Dull
Stephen Dull rated it really liked it
Apr 16, 2014
Snorre Solvang
Snorre Solvang rated it liked it
May 26, 2016
Cameron Schy
Cameron Schy rated it really liked it
Oct 19, 2014
Matteo rated it really liked it
May 13, 2013
Doug parry
Doug parry rated it it was amazing
Oct 27, 2013
Denise rated it it was ok
Aug 18, 2012
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“It is too early to tell whether the Internet’s effect on media will be as radical as that of the printing press. It is not too early to tell that there is nothing that happened between 1450 and now that comes close.’49” 0 likes
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