new book examining the development and future of the Internet, written
by Elon University School of Communications faculty member Janna
Quitney Anderson, is winning praise from technology pioneers and
book, "Imagining the Internet: Personalities, Predictions, Perspectives"
(Rowman & Littlefield, 2005), is a companion to a Web site (www.elon.edu/predictions)
and research project she developed in partnership with the Pew Internet
& American Life Project.
foreword is by Lee Rainie, director of Pew Internet and former managing editor
of U.S. News & World Report. Anderson's book zeroes in on communications
history and how the Internet's future has been seen by technology
stakeholders over the past 15 years. It puts the imagined future
in perspective and examines the serious impact of pervasive networks,
detailing how they are likely to change our lives over the next
who previewed the book to write the jacket blurbs gave it praise:
offers a great perspective on the history and future of the Internet,"
wrote Gordon Bell, a senior researcher at Microsoft who led the
National Science Foundation's Information Superhighway Initiative.
books come from thorough research... Being a part of and having
the last word in this fine past-and-future Internet chronicle is
a real honor."
writer Christine Boese reported the book "is packed with interesting
facts and milestones... My favorite part in these excursions into
the words of technology prophets and critics is picking out the
threads that had an influence - that helped shape the larger visions
of what this massive commons has become."
founder and chairperson Tiffany Shlain wrote, "Janna Anderson
illuminates with great clarity the history, dreams and challenges
of the internet, which allow the reader to see glimpses of the future.
A wonderful and important contribution."
an assistant professor and the director of Internet projects for
Elon's School of Communications, began research for the book in
2000. She has been assisted in two major research efforts with the
Pew Internet and American Project by nearly 100 communications students
as part of their coursework, including the building of portions
of the "Imagining the Internet" Web site, which was launched in
to providing areas on which people can post their own predictions
about the future, the site includes more than 4,000 early 1990s
internet predictions and it details results of a 2004 survey of
nearly 1,300 technology experts who made predictions about the next
decade of Internet development.
A 2005 survey
of technology stakeholders will be added this year on the ever-evolving
site. Anderson received a $10,500 grant from Pew Internet to work
on this continuation of the research. The
results of the 2004 Elon-Pew Experts Survey received worldwide media
attention, led by a story in the New York Times. More than 150 media
outlets picked up on the story via wire services, and scores of
Web sites in the United States, Europe and the Far East posted links
to the "Imagining the Internet" Web site. Approximately
100,000 copies of the study have been downloaded.
the site's predictions database, the book also shares concepts of
such thinkers as Ithiel de Sola Pool, George Orwell, Marshall McLuhan,
Vannevar Bush, Duncan Watts, Fritjof Capra and Isaac Asimov, while
parsing the thoughts of Bill Gates, Nicholas Negroponte, John Perry
Barlow, Bruce Sterling, Clifford Stoll, Al Gore, and dozens of other
networked communications stakeholders and skeptics.
In his foreword
for the book, Rainie praises the contributions made by the work
of Elon faculty, staff and students in building the "Imagining
the Internet" site and book.
"Of all the
things we have done, nothing has taught us as much and made us think
as expansively as this effort," Rainie wrote. "We are very grateful
to Janna Quitney Anderson, her Elon University colleagues, and their
students for their dogged, shoe-leather work in tracking these predictions
down - and for the synthesis and analysis Anderson shares in this
book... On our best days at the Project, we hope we produce material
that is valued as a 'public good' by other researchers and those
who want to understand the role of the internet in American life.
The creation of the Predictions Database, the thoughtful insights
offered by experts willing to share new predictions, the contributions
of the public at large as people submit their visions [to the site],
and the fund of knowledge available in this book are the kind of
public good we were funded to create."
the Internet" book is available online from the publisher, Rowman
& Littlefield (256 pages, $27.95 paperback; $75 hardcover) and at
other major online booksellers, including Barnes & Noble.com, which
offers discounted prices ($20.10 and $60) on both paperback and