Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “From Gutenberg to Zuckerberg: What You Really Need to Know about the Internet” as Want to Read:
From Gutenberg to Zuckerberg: What You Really Need to Know about the Internet
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

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

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  133 ratings  ·  23 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
Kindle Edition, 385 pages
Published December 1st 2011 by Quercus (first published September 1st 2011)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about From Gutenberg to Zuckerberg, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about From Gutenberg to Zuckerberg

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 392)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
K. M. Herkes
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
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
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.

Titus Hjelm
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 soci ...more
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
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
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
Tariq Mahmood
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
Michael Boezi
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
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
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.
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

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
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.
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
Jane Walker
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.
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
Jason Antoniewicz
Knew much of this stuff, but there were things I didn't know, and all presented accessibly and interestingly. A good book, this.
Michael Campbell
Comprehensive primer on how the internet is revolutionising communications.
Phalin Shah
Best book to learn about how the internet works.
Sophia Richards
Very readable, and very useful.
must have for any tech newb or expert
Beetlebox marked it as to-read
Oct 05, 2015
Amin marked it as to-read
Oct 04, 2015
bianca is currently reading it
Sep 18, 2015
Vaseline marked it as to-read
Sep 13, 2015
Dianne marked it as to-read
Sep 13, 2015
Kemi Makun
Kemi Makun marked it as to-read
Sep 09, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 13 14 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Future Minds: How the Digital Age is Changing Our Minds, Why This Matters and What We Can Do About It
  • Search: How the Data Explosion Makes Us Smarter
  • The Vampire in Lore and Legend
  • The Internet Galaxy: Reflections on the Internet, Business, and Society
  • Black Code: The Battle for the Future of Cyberspace
  • The End Of The Party
  • Is the Internet Changing the Way You Think?: The Net's Impact on Our Minds and Future
  • Mind Change: How Digital Technologies Are Leaving Their Mark on Our Brains
  • Tobruk
  • Personal Connections in the Digital Age
  • The Ark Before Noah: Decoding the Story of the Flood
  • The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires
  • How to Fix Copyright
  • Operation Valuable Fiend: The CIA's First Paramilitary Strike Against the Iron Curtain
  • Consent of the Networked: The Worldwide Struggle For Internet Freedom
  • Sons of Abraham: A Candid Conversation about the Issues That Divide and Unite Jews and Muslims
  • Framed!: Murder, Corruption, and a Death Sentence in Florida
  • Just Jake (Just Jake, #1)
A Brief History Of The Future Movies: A Crash Course (Crash Course (Watson-Guptill)) From Gutenberg to Zuckerberg: Disruptive Innovation in the Age of the Internet From Gutenberg to Zuckerberg: Disruptive Innovation in the Age of the Internet: Disruptive Innovation in the Age of the Internet Soft Systems Analysis: An Introductory Guide

Share This Book

“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
More quotes…