Amy and I had about as gentle a pandemic as one could have. No one in our immediate family contracted COVID, we both were able to move our jobs online with no major hitches, and our time at home gave …
I got the good news today that I have been granted tenure at the University of Massachusetts. This is very good news, as the tenure process is inherently a gamble: if you begin the tenure process and …
Today is the anniversary of the day I started paying attention to the coronavirus pandemic in earnest. We’re about to see a wave of these posts of people reflecting on a year in isolation –…
I quit drinking a bit more than three years ago. I wrestle with terms – I had a fairly easy time quitting, which makes me wonder whether “alcoholic” is the right word for me, but …
My new book, Mistrust: How Losing Faith in Institutions Provides the Tools to Transform Them, launches today. For those of you who live near me in western New England, I’ll be on WAMC with Joe D…
Hi. I’m Ethan Zuckerman. I’m a professor at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where I teach Public Policy, Communication and Information. I’m starting a new research center called the Institute for Digital Public Infrastructure. Over the years, I’ve been a tech startup guy (with Tripod.com), a non-profit founder (Geekcorps.org) and co-founder (Globalvoices.org), and throughout it all, a blogger.
I started blogging here in 2003 when this site was titled “My Heart’s in Accra”. I now write in a lot of different fora – for The Atlantic, Columbia Journalism Review and other sites, on my Medium page and as part of different university projects. Blogging led me to writing books as well as academic and journalistic articles, and much of that work features here.
How can you change society if you lose faith in institutions like governments and corporations? Mistrust (2021) is a guidebook to social change through movements that try to change minds and hearts as well as laws.
Is the Internet bringing us closer together? Or just insulating us in our echo chambers? Rewire (2013) explores ways to break those echo chambers and build a more connected world.
Institute for Digital Public Infrastructure – a new research center at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, exploring future visions of the internet that center civic life and the public good.
A social media aggregator that gives you control over what and who you hear the most from.
A free, open source tool for tracking ideas, individuals and stories across the open web.
An online community of writers, artists and translators who work together to bring a richer, more nuanced picture of life around the world, with contributors in over 150 countries.
“The Internet’s Original Sin” is an article I wrote for the Atlantic about the toxic nature of the ad supported internet… and my confession of unleashing the popup ad on the world.
“The Case for Digital Public Infrastructure” offers a vision of how we might build an internet on values of civic engagement rather than private profit.
“Cute Cats to the Rescue?” is an oldie but goodie – my attempt to explain the Cute Cat Theory of Digital Activism and censorship resistance in academic form.
Tweets & Podcasts
Podcast: Reimagining the Internet
This episode shares a recorded talk from the 2021 Reimagine the Internet conference, a virtual conference co-hosted by the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University and the soon-to-be-launched Initiative on Digital Public Infrastructure at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. In six sessions over five days, there will be more than a dozen speakers whose work hints at what the internet could become over the next decade. Author and internet activist Cory Doctorow will speak about “adversarial interoperability,” an “elegant tool” that allows technical innovators to build new tools that interoperate with existing systems whether the owners of those systems like it or not.
I enjoy public speaking as a way to develop new ideas, meet new people and see different parts of the world. My TED talk, seen below, is a good introduction both to my public speaking and the ideas in my books.
I don’t use an agent for speaking – if you want to invite me to speak at your event, conference or bar mitzvah, contact me through my contact form.