) is a critic, writer, and teacher;
his specialties are on the cultural, social and political
implications of modern communication media such as the Internet
(a term he is credited with inventing).
was born to Geraldine and Nathan Rheingold in Phoenix,
Arizona. He attended Reed College in Portland, Oregon, from 1964 to 1968.
His senior thesis was
entitled "What Life Can Compare with This? Sitting Alone at the
Window, I Watch the Flowers Bloom, the Leaves Fall, the Seasons
Come and Go."
fascination with mind altering and its methods led Rheingold to the
Noetic Sciences and Xerox
There he worked on and wrote about the
earliest personal computers. This led to his writing Tools for Thought
in 1985, a history
of the people behind the personal computer. Around that time he
first logged on to The WELL
- an influential early online community. He explored the experience
in his seminal book, The
Also in 1985, Rheingold coauthored Out of the Inner Circle: A Hacker's
Guide to Computer Security
with former hacker Bill Landreth
1991, he published Virtual Reality: Exploring the Brave New
Technologies of Artificial Experience and Interactive Worlds from
Cyberspace to Teledildonics
After a stint editing the Whole
, Rheingold served as editor in chief of the
Millennium Whole Earth
. Shortly thereafter, he was hired on as founding
executive editor of HotWired
of the first commercial content web sites published in 1994 by
and soon founded Electric Minds in 1996 to
chronicle and promote the growth of community online. Despite
accolades, the site was sold and scaled back in 1997.
In 1998, he created his next virtual community, Brainstorms, a
private successful webconferencing community for knowledgeable,
intellectual, civil, and future-thinking adults from all over the
world. As of 2009, Brainstorms was in its eleventh year.
Rheingold in Mill Valley.
In 2002, Rheingold published Smart
, exploring the potential for technology to augment
Shortly thereafter, in conjunction with the Institute for the Future
launched an effort to develop a broad-based literacy of
In 2008, Rheingold became the first research fellow at the
Institute for the Future, with which he had long been
is a visiting lecturer in Stanford University's Department of Communication where he teaches two
courses, "Digital Journalism" and "Virtual Communities and Social
He is a lecturer in U.C. Berkeley
School of Information where he teaches "Virtual Communities and
Social Media" and where he previously taught "Participatory
lives in Mill Valley,
California, with his wife Judy and daughter Mamie.
an entry on his video blog, he provides a tour of the converted
garage that became a "dream office" and an "externalization of
[his] mind" where Rheingold absorbs information, writes, and