As Howard Rheingold himself puts it, "I fell into the computer realm from the typewriter dimension, then plugged my computer into my telephone and got sucked into the net." A writer and designer, he was among the first wave of creative thinkers who saw, in computers and then in the Internet, a way to form powerful new communities.

Will Richardson talks with Howard Rheingold, 18th January 2009.



Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution - Transforming Cultures and Communities in the Age of Instant Access. Howard Rheingold, 2002
Summary - "Smart mobs emerge when communication and computing technologies amplify human talents for cooperation. The technologies that are beginning to make smart mobs possible are mobile communication devices and pervasive computing - inexpensive microprocessors embedded in everyday objects and environments."

The Virtual Community (online version).
Howard Rheingold, 1993.
Summary - "We human beings have often been referred to as social animals. But we are not yet community creatures. We are impelled to relate with each other for our survival. But we do not yet relate with the inclusivity, realism, self-awareness, vulnerability, commitment, openness, freedom, equality, and love of genuine community. It is clearly no longer enough to be simply social animals, babbling together at cocktail parties and brawling with each other in business and over boundaries. It is our task--our essential, central, crucial task--to transform ourselves from mere social creatures into community creatures. It is the only way that human evolution will be able to proceed."

Howard Rheingold talks about the coming world of collaboration, participatory media and collective action -- and how Wikipedia is really an outgrowth of our natural human instinct to work as a group, February 2008.