Elon/Pew Publications

Use this page to link to an excerpt from our book and to download PDFs of some of our most popular short publications and reports.

Download Free Publications
Click any of the following to download a PDF version.

Forward 150 Years (21-page assessment of our potential future)
Back 150 Years (a 24-page look at recent communications history)
KidZone Highlights (12 pages of education and entertainment)
Teachers' Tips (13 pages of tools and ideas for teaching about the future)
2004 Predictions Survey (62-page report sharing prognostications)
2006 Predictions Survey  (115-page report)

View a Powerpoint Presentation
Click here to see a 60-slide show about the content on the Imagining the Internet website.

Books generated by Imagining the Internet projects

Up for Grabs: The Future of the Internet I

In brief: "Up for Grabs"  (Cambria Press) is a print volume - number one in a series - that includes most of the data generated for the first "Future of the Internet" survey conducted by Elon University and the Pew Internet & American Life Project. How will the Internet be expected to change the workplace, family life, education and many other foundations of society between 2004 and 2014? Profoundly. That was the forecast of nearly 1,300 leading technology experts and scholars who responded to The Future of the Internet I, a 2004 survey by researchers at the Pew Internet & American Life Project and Elon University.

The title of the second book in the series is "Hopes and Fears." It was released late in 2008. It contains data gathered in the 2006 Future of the Internet II survey.

Participants in the study reacted to a variety of 2020 networked information technology scenarios related to national boundaries, human languages, artificial intelligence and other topics.

Among the questions implicit in the scenarios were: Will more people choose to live "off the grid"? Will autonomous machines leave people out of the loop? Will English be the lingua franca? Will national boundaries be displaced by new groupings? Among the themes in the predictions: Continued serious erosion of individual privacy; the improvement of virtual reality and rising problems tied to it; greater economic opportunities in developing nations; changes in languages; the rise of autonomous machines that operate beyond human control.

The book based on the third "future" survey is titled "Ubiquity, Mobility, Security," and it delves into people's expectations tied to future mobile devices, Internet interfaces, work and life changes and the architecture of the Internet. 

It includes insights on the role and importance of mobile devices, the transparency of people and organizations, talk and touch user interfaces with the Internet, the challenges of sharing content while trying to perfect intellectual property law and copyright protection, divisions between work and personal time given the blurring of physical and virtual reality, and the "next-generation" engineering of the network to improve the current Internet structure.

Among the respondents are people affiliated with many of the world's top organizations, including IBM, AOL, Microsoft, Intel, ICANN, the Internet Society, Google, W3C, Internet2, and Oracle; Harvard, MIT, and Yale; and the FCC, FBI, U.S. Census Bureau, and U.S. Department of State.

They provide significant and telling responses to questions about the future of government, education, media, entertainment, commerce, and more. They foresee continuing conflicts over control of networked communications and the content produced and shared online.

The fourth book in the series, "Challenges and Opportunities: The Future of the Internet IV," includes content on the end-to-end principle, the semantic web, the future of reading and writing and perceptions of the ways in which knowledge acquisition is changing.

It shares experts answers to such questions as, "Is Google making us stupid - what is the future of intelligence in the age of instant information?" This and other important issues were addressed by nearly 900 expert respondents who wrote compelling answers to the 10 questions asked in the Future of the Internet IV survey.

Technologists, business leaders, scholars and others shared their views about the Internet and the evolution of: intelligence; reading, writing and the rendering of knowledge; identity and authentication; gadgets, applications and the predictability of innovation; personal and social relationships; industrial-age institutions; cloud computing; the Semantic Web and Linked Data; Generation Y, also known as the Millennials; and the core values of the Internet, such as the end-to-end principle. This book is an extension of and deeper look at the results of six Pew Internet/Imagining the Internet Center reports generated from the survey in 2010.

The series of surveys garners smart, detailed assessments of multilayered issues from a variety of voices, ranging from the scientists and engineers who created the first Internet architecture a decade ago to social commentators to technology leaders in corporations, media, government, and higher education.

They provide significant and telling responses to questions about the future of government, education, media, entertainment, commerce, and more. They foresee continuing conflicts over control of networked communications and the content produced and shared online.

The extensive elaborations supplied by Future of the Internet survey respondents provide a vision of a networked, digital future that enhances many peoples' lives but also has some distressing, even dangerous, implications.

The big-picture Internet issues of the next decade, as foreseen by the experts in these surveys, include: positive and negative changes in the family dynamic; a conflict between our desire for privacy, security and ownership of intellectual property and our desire for the convenience of free information sharing on networked devices; and a concern over being inundated with information.

You can order the books, including e-book versions, directly from the publisher, Cambria Press, online or from online retailers such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble. 


descriptionImagining the Internet
Click here to read excerpts from each chapter
Selected by the American Library Association as a "Choice" book for 2006 - named an outstanding academic title - in the top 10 percent of works published.

In brief: "Imagining the Internet: Personalities, Predictions, Perspectives"(Rowman & Littlefield), is a print book that serves as a companion to this database. In addition to offering a large collection of quotable forecasts from tech luminaries of the 1990s, it includes a brief history lesson and a deep look at the future of pervasive networks of all kinds, incorporating the stories of Six Degrees, the Romantics, the Utopians, technorealists, gaia, and a projected battle between Cosmists and Terrans over a future in which artilects may dominate the galaxy. It shares concepts of such thinkers as Ithiel de Sola Pool, Vannevar Bush, Duncan Watts, Albert-Laszlo Barabasi, 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. The book can be ordered (softcover for under $30; hardcover about $75) from online retailers, including Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com or you can order it directly from Rowman & Littlefield online.

Recommendations for "Imagining the Internet"

"Janna Anderson offers a great perspective on the history and future of the Internet based on Elon University/Pew Internet & American Life Project's extensive prediction collection. Good books come from thorough research. Starting with the earliest communications systems, such as the telegraph, is a useful bonus. Being a part of and having the last word in this fine past-and-future Internet chronicle is a real honor."- Gordon Bell, vice president of research and development, DEC; leader of the National Science Foundation's Information Superhighway Initiative; senior researcher, Microsoft

"There are many books on the Internet and cyberculture - part hype, part gloss, sometimes solid technology criticism. Anderson's book is valuable because it helps sort out differing viewpoints and puts them in a historical context, recreating many of the ups and downs of the 1990s, before things got really crazy. She has an amazing database of predictions, collected over time, and selects from it well. This book is never dense reading, but it is packed with interesting facts and milestones to jar my memory, to help me recreate what that time was like, because the subtle changes are what have worked us over so thoroughly. 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." - Christine Boese, cyberculture columnist, CNN.com; writer, CNN Headline News

"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."- Tiffany Shlain, founder and chair, the Webby Awards

"Anderson examines the sometimes prescient, sometimes humorously off-base predictions made about the possible evolution of the Internet during the early 1990s... Anderson's knowledge is encyclopedic, and her accessible, jargon-free style - reminiscent of New York Times science writer Gina Kolata's - will engage professors and researchers without alienating undergraduates. Like the essay anthology 'Web.Studies,' ed. by David Gauntlett and Ross Horsley, and Katie Hafner's historical text 'Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins of the Internet,' this book would make a choice acquisition for any library's technology section. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All readers." - M.E. DiPaolo,in a review for CHOICE, published by the American Library Association

"[Imagining the Internet] looks at the future through an analysis of the past. It is somewhat difficult after becoming immersed in these insights to remember that Internet communication began with the utmost diffidence. Indeed the first events involved a computer crash and unmemorable twaddle. ... We hope that this material will be useful to scholars who wish to assess the distance we have come; journalists who are trying to figure out where we are now; government, industry, and nonprofit officials who want to build the Internet of the future; and people of all walks of life who must learn to recognize the coming complexities of their networked world."- Lee Rainie, director, the Pew Internet & American Life Project, from the Foreword


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