David Weinberger
Bio Page


Left Brain

Brief yet smug bio

From the earliest days of the Web, David Weinberger, Ph.D., has been a pioneering thought-leader about the Internet's effect on our lives, our businesses, and most of all on our ideas. He has contributed in a remarkably wide range of fields, from marketing to libraries to politics to journalism, and more. And he has contributed in a remarkably wide range of ways, as the author of books that have made a difference; a writer for journals from Wired, Scientific American, and Harvard Business Review to TV Guide; an acclaimed keynote speaker around the world; a strategic marketing VP and consultant; a teacher; an Internet advisor to presidential campaigns; an early social networking entrepreneur; the co-director of a groundbreaking library innovation lab; a researcher at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet & Society, at the Harvard Shorenstein Center for Media, Politics, and Public Policy and at the US State Department as a Franklin Fellow; and always a passionate advocate for an open Internet. Dr. Weinberger's doctorate is in philosophy from the University of Toronto.

Stomach-Churning, Full o' Hype Résumé

NOW with Truthy Popups! Hover over the red-brown, non-underlined text in this section to peel back the hype and see the whole story. 

NOTE: Please don't use the following as a way of introducing me as a speaker. It's bad enough in print. It's totally cringe-worthy when read out loud. Instead, please click here for a page with some suggestions about how to introduce me. Thank you! Sincerely.

The Wall Street Journal called him a "marketing guru." He's the co-author of the The Cluetrain Manifesto, the bestseller that cut through the hype and told business what the Web was really about. His next book, Small Pieces Loosely Joined has been published to rave reviews hailing it as the first book to put the Internet in its deepest context. His previous book, Everything Is Miscellaneous: The Power of the New Digital Disorder, which has been called "an instant classic", explains how the new rules for organizing ideas and information are transforming business and culture. His most recent book, Too Big to Know: Rethinking Knowledge Now That the Facts Aren't the Facts, Experts Are Everywhere, and the Smartest Person in the Room Is the Room won two international best book of the year awards.

He's been a frequent commentator on National Public Radio's All Things Considered and has written for the "Fortune 500" of business and tech journals, including The New York Times, Harvard Business Review, Scientific American, The Miami Herald, The Boston Globe, USA Today, The Guardian, and Wired. Journalists from The New York Times, Newsweek, Time, The Boston Globe, The Los Angeles Times, InformationWeek, The Economist, Foreign Policy, the Wall Street Journal, and many more turn to him for insight. He is a columnist for CNN.com, United Airline's premium in-flight magazine (Rhapsody), Knowledge Management World and has been a columnist for il sole 24 ore,. He writes a well-known weblog, Joho the Blog. He was a philosophy professor for six years, a gag writer for Woody Allen's comic strip for seven years, a humor columnist, a dot-com entrepreneur before most people knew what a home page was, and a strategic marketing consultant to household-name multinationals and the most innovative startups.

He has a Ph.D. in philosophy and is a Senior Researcher at the prestigious Harvard Berkman Center for Internet & Society. During 2010-2014, he was Co-Director of the Harvard Library Innovation Lab, and was a Franklin Fellow at the United States State Department (2010-12). In the Spring of 2015 he will be a fellow at Harvard's Shorenstein Center for Media, Politics, and Public Policy.

He is also one of the most entertaining and acclaimed presenters around.

Dr. David Weinberger turns this remarkable range of experience and knowledge to the most important question facing every business today: How is technology changing the way my employees, partners and customers are putting themselves together, and how is that changing the basics of business, culture, education, politics, government...

Relatively Hype-Free Version

  • 1972 BA from Bucknell. Majored in meaning.
  • From this point on, I have consistently worked as a freelance writer, for many many many magazines, including many times for Wired, Harvard Business Review, Smithsonian, Philadelphia Inquirer, etc. I have focused on explaining technical and intellectual issues, and, oddly, on humor.
  • 1976 (approx), I begin seven years as a gag writer for the Woody Allen comic strip; about 40% of the strips use my gags.
  • 1979 Ph.D. in philosophy from University of Toronto. Dissertation on how Martin Heidegger's philosophy can make sense of real things.
  • One year as a replacement teacher in the Philosophy Department at Portland State University.
  • Five years in a non-tenure track position as assistant prof in the Philosophy-Religion department at Stockton State College, NJ's experimental state college. Taught the history of philosophy, philosophy of science, peace studies, logic, ethics, etc.
  • 1986 Because of my freelance writing skills, I got hired as a marketing staffer at Interleaf, a young high-tech company that created the first integrated wysiwyg text and graphics editor, the first word processor with an embedded extension language, one of the first hyperlinked publishing systems, one of the first document management systems — anticipating the Web, but with expensive, proprietary, closed systems. Oops. Still, an amazing educational experience.
  • 1987 (approx) I begin a stint of dozens of NPR commentaries, primarily on "All Things Considered."
  • 1994 I leave Interleaf as VP Strategic Marketing, and found Evident Marketing, a marketing consulting company. Over the next twenty years, I consult to many companies, large and small. I help them figure out what their products are and how to communicate that to their markets.
  • 1995 I begin consulting to Open Text, helping this small SGML indexing company to become an online publisher, then one of the first Web search engines, and then by merging it with another company to which I was also consulting, to become what is today the largest content management companies in the world. I was VP Strategic Marketing there for two years.
  • 1999 Three friends and I post Cluetrain.com to try to explain to business and the media what everyone on the Web already knew: The Internet is not primarily a publishing platform or a medium, but a social place where we get to talk with one another in our own voices about what matters to us.
  • 2000 Cluetrain the book is published. It is well received.
  • 2000 approx. Start Joho the Blog.
  • 2001 Co-found WordOfMouth.com, an early social networking company. Ever hear of it? Didn't think so. Fails in 2002.
  • 2002 Small Pieces Loosely Joined is published. It tries to explain why the weird place that is the Internet nevertheless feels so familiar.
  • 2004 I become "Senior Internet Advisor" to the Howard Dean campaign. Partially inspired by Cluetrain, the campaign had already implemented its groundbreaking bottom-up campaign. I advised on Net policy, assembled an advisory board of Net heavyweights, and got to hang out at the headquarters, kibbitz about online campaigning, and go door to door in the snow.
  • 2004 Fellow at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet & Society. I later become a senior researcher there, and a member of the Fellows Advisory Board. I am still there, happily.
  • 2007 Everything Is Miscellaneous is published. It looks at the new ways we are organizing information and ideas and the effect that has on how we think the world is ordered.
  • 2008 I am an Internet advisor to the soon-to-be-disgraced John Edwards campaign. I take a series of long hot showers afterwards.
  • 2009 Franklin Fellow at the U.S. State Department, working with the eDiplomacy group on helping to move State from a "need to know" to a "need to share" culture. Renewed for a second year.
  • 2010-14 Co-director (with Kim Dulin) of the Harvard Library Innovation Lab. We build cool, provocative, and useful stuff to help libraries imagine and implement their futures. Something like that. In any case, I get to hang out with amazingly innovative people.
  • 2012 Too Big to Know is published, about the Net's effect on how we know and understand.
  • 2014 Given an honor doctor of human letters by Simmons College, and delivers the commencement address.
  • 2015 Fellow at Harvard's Shorenstein Center for Media, Politics, and Public Policy


Right Brain

(Fully non-linguistic version awaiting the development of tactile and aromatic plugins)

career map



No Brain

Him write good.
Him help companies do stuff.
Him smell ok.

David Weinberger | self@evident.com | For speaking inquiries: Bob Katz bob-bke@rcn.com 781-652-8160