This blog is the public mind space of the Institute for the Future of the Book, a New York-based think tank dedicated to inventing new forms of discourse for the network age. if:book covers a wide range of concerns, all in some way fitting into the techno-cultural puzzle that is the future of ideas. When we're not writing this blog, we build open source software and lead publishing experiments with authors, academics, artists and programmers. More information can be found on our main site.
We are physically located on the third floor of a small building in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and hosted by the University of Southern California (yes, 2,575 miles from the office). We are funded by the MacArthur Foundation.
Contact: curator [at] futureofthebook [dot] org
The Institute for the Future of the Book
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if:book is a group blog, written entirely by the Institute's staff (and the occasional guest). The group as it currently stands (email for everyone = firstname [at] futureofthebook [dot] org):
Sebastian Mary Harrington (London)
sMary graduated from Oxford University in 2002 with a First in English Literature. Since then, she has written commercially for clients including Microsoft, the European Union, The Economist and Sony Playstation, alongside four mercifully unpublished novels, some published but thankfully obscure poetry and one guerrilla screenplay that has shown at the NFT and National Portrait Gallery. When not investigating new online literary forms with the Institute, she is co-founder of UK web startup School of Everything (chosen by Seedcamp as one of Europe's hottest startups of 2007) and co-founder and creative director of cult London art event ARTHOUSEPARTY.
Chris Meade (London)
Chris Meade is Co-Director of the Institute, based in London. From 2000 to 2007 he was Director of Booktrust, the UK reading promotion charity which runs the Bookstart scheme and a host of projects, prizes and websites to encourage the discovery and enjoyment of reading. Previously he was Director of the Poetry Society where he set up the Poetry Café in Covent Garden and the lottery funded Poetry Places project which ran residencies for poets at London Zoo, the Millennium Dome, a gas platform, a high street store, a solicitor's office and many more community settings. In the 1980s he was a pioneer of reader development, promoting public libraries as 'imagination services'. Chris is currently studying for a masters in Creative Writing & New Media at De Montfort University and is a member of Friendly Literature Organisations (FLO), a consortium supported by Arts Council England with whom he has been exploring the creative potential of new media for readers and writers.
Bob Stein (New York-London)
Bob is founder and Co-Director of the Institute and founder of The Voyager Company. For 13 years he led the development of over 300 titles in 'The Criterion Collection', a series of definitive films on videodisc, and more than 75 CD ROM titles including the CD Companion to Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, 'Who Built America', and the Voyager edition of 'Macbeth'. Previous to Voyager, Stein worked with Alan Kay in the Research Group at Atari on a variety of electronic publishing projects. 11 years ago, Stein started 'Night Kitchen' to develop authoring tools for the next generation of electronic publishing. That work is now being continued at the Institute for the Future of the Book.
Ben Vershbow (New York)
Ben is Editorial Director of the Institute and has been with the group since its founding in 2004. He works primarily as a publisher and writer, coordinating and chronicling the Institute's various Web experiments. In addition to being a frequent contributor to if:book, Ben has written on digital publishing and network culture for Publisher's Weekly, Library Journal and Forbes. He received his B.A. in Theater Studies from Yale and is active in various productions around New York.
Dan Visel (New York)
Dan was born in the rural midwest, which he left to attend Harvard University, where he studied American literature & wrote a thesis on William Gaddis's "The Recognitions". He ran a magazine and wrote several travel guides in Rome before moving to New York, he worked for SparkNotes as a book designer, concentrating on issues relating to document structuring and information design. In his spare time, he designs Circumference, a journal of poetry in facing-page translation.
- Kathleen Fitzpatrick
- Sol Gaitan
- Eddie Tejeda
- Jesse Wilbur