At Internet Evolution we believe that the next huge leap forward in the history of the Internet is happening now – and the goal of our site is to gauge its impact on every aspect of life (as we know it!).
The Internet has quickly become ubiquitous: Today, there are more than 5 billion connected devices. That figure is expected to nearly triple by 2015, to 15 billion worldwide. More than 2 billion people around the globe now use the Internet – that’s 30 percent of the world’s population. Facebook alone claims over 700 million users.
But understanding the Internet’s future and where we are headed digitally is no longer about measuring the number of people using it. It's about how they use it and the myriad ways they access it.
As Internet usage continues to explode worldwide, the lines between Internet and “real world” are on their way to becoming invisible. As this unfolds, we’re seeing a massive change in people's expectations of what the Internet can achieve. It's obvious that the Internet isn't just a new and better method of business communications (a cheaper, fancier telephone for the 21st Century, as it were). Beyond presenting huge opportunities for companies to invent new businesses and improve their current methods, the Net has an important role to play in improving the quality of life for the world's population.
From basic examples like using videoconferencing to cut back on business travel and, therefore, reduce carbon emissions – to large-scale examples like applying predictive analytics to build safer, more cost-effective, and more efficient cities, the Internet is taking the physical world we once knew and digitizing it, making all of its data accessible, and analyzable, in real-time.
The explosion of Internet-connected devices and data-consuming applications also has heralded a new era of computing. The physical datacenter is rapidly giving way to the cloud. This shift to the cloud has ushered in the age of analytics, allowing enterprises to start making sense – in real time – of the customer and employee information they’re consuming at unprecedented rates.
These are the kinds of topics we examine closely in Internet Evolution – in several ways:
First, through the ThinkerNet – an interactive forum where an invited assemblage of 300+ of the Internet's leading minds blog and exchange opinions, while interacting with our users via message boards and “instant” chat. (Click here to view our "virtual masthead," or click here to email us about joining the ThinkerNet as a contributor.)
Second, through a series of investigative reports on the most important issues relating to the future of the Internet.
Third, through various other media, including video tutorials, video blogs, video documentaries, audio shows, and more.
One more thing...
Even by the standards of such an exciting and influential technology, the Internet has attracted more than its share of fluffers, bluffers, toadies, and blowhards – often pursuing a thinly veiled M&A or IPO agenda. Our goal is to provide an antidote to the illogical boosterism that has always gone hand-in-hand with the Internet (often with disastrous results).
At Internet Evolution we view the future of the Internet through a prism of pragmatism – acting as an “anti-bubble” filter that sifts out hype and "conventional wisdom," and provides realistic views about where the Internet is headed.
Mitch Wagner has worked both sides of the street, as a technology journalist and a marketer and social media strategist. He helped lead development of social media marketing strategy for a business-to-business security company. Prior to that, he was an executive editor and writer at InformationWeek, where he launched the publication on Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin. He pioneered blogging for Internet Evolution's parent company, United Business Media.
Mitch has been a writer and editor at InternetWeek, Computerworld, and more. He started his career in technology journalism covering Digital Equipment Corp. and IBM, then covered operating systems before leaving that beat to start writing about this new idea of doing business on the Internet (against the advice of his editors, who were sure the Internet wouldn't last). Mitch's first journalism jobs were on local community newspapers in the New York metropolitan area; on his very first job, after writing and pasting up the whole newspaper, he put the bundles in the back of his car and delivered them.
Mitch is a social media addict. Follow him on Twitter: @MitchWagner and Facebook. He lives with his wife in San Diego, where he avoids direct sunlight.
Alison Diana has written about technology and business for about 24 years, spending a decade at CRN before entering the freelance world after her daughter was born. Alison is Editor, ThinkerNet, at Internet Evolution. Previously, she was editor in chief of 21st Century IT. Although she's written about practically every topic over her career, she specializes in social media, healthcare, the channel, education, and retail. Alison, who lives in Central Florida, has written for many of the top B2B publications and Websites including: Information Week, CRN, eWEEK, Channel Insider, CIO Insight, ChannelPro, Baseline Magazine, Redmond Channel Partner, and IT Expert Voice, as well as many of the industry's leading vendors and channel organizations. She graduated with honors from the School of Visual Arts with a major in print journalism, and minors in sociology, humanities, and psychology. She can be reached on Twitter at @alisoncdiana.
Kim Davis is a Londoner by birth, a New Yorker by choice. He became a professional journalist in his teens, following punk bands for the New Musical Express. When the scars healed, he co-founded and edited an academic philosophy journal, Cogito, ergo collecting a doctorate in the subject from the University of Bristol.
His career as a writer and editor has continued to be shrewdly focused. In recent years he has reviewed dozens of art exhibits and hundreds of restaurants, published a New York dining guide, edited hyper-local news, and founded and managed online forums where people discuss just about everything except the chosen topic. As writing became blogging, he was introduced to the magical kingdom of the Internet where everybody knows your password. He plans to reflect philosophically on the future of the Internet while downloading as little malware as possible.
Kim divides his time in a complicated way between the East Village and Brooklyn, and he owns a ten-year-old daughter, several thousand books he plans to re-read, and a Yankees shirt, number 42, which he thinks helps him fit in.
Stephen Saunders is a successful Internet entrepreneur, award-winning technology writer, renowned flaneur and bon vivant, and the founder of Internet Evolution.
Prior to launching Internet Evolution, Saunders was the founder and CEO of Light Reading (www.lightreading.com), an online startup, which was sold to United Business Media in 2005 for $33 million. Founded in 2000, Light Reading rapidly became the largest and most influential source of news and analysis of the telecommunications industry – attracting a huge and influential readership of telecom professionals and investors around the globe.
Prior to Light Reading, Saunders was an executive editor at Data Communications, where he directed that doomed publication's editorial content. Coincidence.
Saunders has been recognized with many awards for his work, including six Jesse H. Neal Editorial Achievement Awards from The American Business Press and three awards from the Computer Press Association. In March 2008 Saunders was inducted into Min's Digital Media Hall of Fame. In October 2008 the lead developer at Twitter called Saunders "a troll" – something Steve still considers his happiest moment in 21 years of publishing.
In April 2009 Saunders was named to the No. 2 spot on Folio magazine's Folio 40 ranking of magazine industry influencers and innovators, one ahead of President Barack Obama. The magazine subsequently revised the list following a public outcry, demoting Saunders to the No. 3 spot.
He was named Min's "Marketer of the Year" in September 2010. No outcry ensued.
Internet Evolution received two prestigious honors at the 2010 Folio Eddie and Ozzie Awards, where it was recognized as the Best Business-to-Business Science Site as well as the Best Business-to-Business Technology/Computing/Telecom Website.
In 2011 Internet Evolution won the Outstanding Website WebAward from the Web Marketing Association.
Steve is the author of three books, The Data Communications Gigabit Ethernet Handbook (McGraw-Hill, 1998), The McGraw-Hill High-Speed LANs Handbook (McGraw-Hill, 1995), and The True Story of King Arthur (48hourbooks, 2009). Gripping reads, all. Especially the last.
Saunders started his career in publishing in 1983 working as a van boy (literally, a boy on a van) delivering the BBC's Radio Times program guide. Simpler, happier times for him.
When not producing videos in far-flung locales, from Reykjavik to Rajasthan to Rwanda, Saunders lives in New York with his increasingly disgruntled family.
Terry Sweeney is a writer and editor based somewhere in the smog-laden environs of Los Angeles. He has covered technology for more than 20 years, with broad expertise in storage, networking, security, wireless, and celebrity stalking.
From October 2005 to June 2007, he was Editor in Chief of Byte and Switch (www.byteandswitch.com), storage networking's most widely read Website, which, when you think about it, is really not saying much. He was also a Founding Editor of the sinister IT security Website, Dark Reading (www.darkreading,com), as well as Storage Pipeline (absorbed in a nearly bloodless coup by the insatiable Byte and Switch). He did not leave under a cloud.
Sweeney was also News Editor at Internet Week and spent three years in Paris working for Communications Week International. When the Germans occupied the city he fled to Geneva, Switzerland, where he served as Editor in Chief of the print, online, and video content for the ITU’s Telecom 99 conference. He later ran guns to freedom fighters in the Belgian Congo. Maybe.
He has contributed to The Washington Post, Crain's New York Business, Red Herring, Blue Herring, Rogue Herring, Information Week, Network World, SearchStorage, and Chicken Fancier, among other business and IT titles. He also designed a prototype flying machine and a fully functional submarine. No. Wait… That was someone else…
Sweeney surely did, however, graduate from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1982 with a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and a minor in Portuguese, for no discernible reason.
Chris Williams is Director of Machine Technology for DeusM and the primary architect of DeusM's n-Server platform. Previously the Web Development Manager for the Light Reading Communications Network, a part of UBM TechWeb, he has spent the better part of 13 years imagining, developing, testing, developing, planning, imagining, managing, testing, testing, developing, testing, developing, managing, imagining, developing, testing, and enjoying Web applications. A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (so you know not to bother him during March), Chris can bake a cake with an SQL query, single-handedly stress-test your expensive user-management solution, identify the flaws in your five-year plan, debate the ins-and-outs of British politics, and give you a haircut with VBScript (huh? yeah!). A veteran of the ever-loving UltraPlayer and the always-scooping Light Reading, Chris is surly, remembers almost everything, and resides with his wife and son (and 3 cats and 2 dogs) in Durham, N.C.
Ken Surabian Design Director
Ken has won more awards for magazine design than any other design director, including five Jesse H. Neal awards, two American Society of Business Press Editors awards, three Business Press Association awards, and two dozen other professional citations. His former clients include Fortune, Time, and Newsweek. He is rather short.
Kevin Cramer Content Overseer
Mr. Cramer's primary responsibility is maintaining – indeed, elevating – the quality of the prose that appears across the DeusM family of Websites. He also casts his gimlet eye upon the message board traffic, ensuring that our Dear Readers neither veer too wildly off topic nor engage in slanderous, ad hominem attacks upon their fellows. (His inter-office memos are a delight to behold.) He was the Copy Chief of the Light Reading network of Websites from its foundation in 2000. Not a former Navy Seal, previous editorial stints included Women's Wear Daily, which is not as exciting as it sounds, and Data Communications. He lives in New York City with his angry cat and his bitter, bitter memories.
There are regions where gardeners achieve conspicuously more spectacular results than botanists; and to distinguish those areas from one another is one of the first symptoms of a sense of reality. — Isaiah Berlin
Amy Averbook Director of Marketing Services
As Director of Marketing Services, Amy oversees all things Marketing for DeusM, including audience development, product development, client services, and project management. Prior to DeusM she was Director of Marketing for the Light Reading Communications Network. Amy received her Bachelor's in Economics from the University of Michigan (Go Blue!). In her free time Amy enjoys karaoke, pilates, and any CSI or Bones episode ever made. She is extremely organized and hates to delete emails, though she still can't seem to keep up with the stockpile that Chris Williams has collected over the years.
* Source: www.internetworldstats.com; January 7, 2007
** Source: IDC; March 6, 2007
The ThinkerNet does not reflect the views of TechWeb. The ThinkerNet is an informal means of communication to members and visitors of the Internet Evolution site. Individual authors are chosen by Internet Evolution to blog. Neither Internet Evolution nor TechWeb assume responsibility for comments, claims, or opinions made by authors and ThinkerNet bloggers. They are no substitute for your own research and should not be relied upon for trading or any other purpose.
The US National Security Agency learned the hard way that it can be dangerous to give a contractor too much money and access, with too little scrutiny. The NSA and other government agencies hire tens of thousands of contractors
a year to analyze data. Edward Snowden -- who revealed himself as the NSA leaker after fleeing the country -- was one such contractor, reportedly holding a $122,000 salaried position at Booz Allen Hamilton at the time of his departure.
Big-data and analytics tools enable marketers to understand customers as individuals, identifying unmet needs and addressing each customer as a "segment of one," says John Kennedy, VP corporate marketing, IBM.
The whole Amazon.reader debate is a double-stupid. It's stupid to think that there's any e-book buyer who doesn't know Amazon's URL, and it was stupider to let ICANN launch the whole free-form TLD initiative to start with.
Enterprises would like to move to cloud computing but are hesitant because they are concerned about providers’ ability to secure company data. Here are some tips that help to ensure that if breaches occur, the business is not left holding the bag.
Edmunds separates customers into segments based on the info it collects on its site and from partners, and uses that to push out custom content, said Brian Baron, director of business analytics for Edmunds.com, at Predictive Analytics Innovation Summit.
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Wanted! Site Moderators Internet Evolution is looking for a handful of readers to help moderate the message boards on our site as well as engaging in high-IQ conversation with the industry mavens on our thinkerNet blogosphere. The job comes with various perks, bags of kudos, and GIANT bragging rights. Interested?