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Wired is a full-color monthly Americanmarker magazine and on-line periodical, published since March 1993, that reports on how technology affects culture, the economy, and politics. Owned by Condé Nast Publications, it is published in San Franciscomarker, Californiamarker.

It now has two new international editions: Wired UK and Wired Italia.

Wired's editorial stance was originally inspired by the ideas of Canadianmarker media theorist Marshall McLuhan, credited as the magazine's "patron saint" in early colophons.

From 1998 to 2006, Wired magazine and Wired News (which publishes at had separate owners. However, throughout that time, Wired News remained responsible for reprinting Wired magazine's content online, due to a business agreement made when Condé Nast purchased the magazine (but not the website). In July 2006, Condé Nast announced an agreement to buy Wired News for $25 million, reuniting the magazine with its website.

Wired is known for coining new terms, such as new atheism and crowdsourcing.


The magazine was founded by American journalist Louis Rossetto and his partner Jane Metcalfe in 1993 with initial backing from software entrepreneur Charlie Jackson and eclectic academic Nicholas Negroponte of the MITmarker Media Labmarker, who was a regular columnist for six years, through 1998. The founding designers were John Plunkett and Barbara Kuhr (Plunkett+Kuhr), beginning with a 1991 prototype and continuing through the first five years of publication, 1993–98.

Wired was a great success at its launch and was lauded for its vision, originality, innovation and cultural impact. In its first four years, the magazine won two National Magazine Awards for General Excellence and one for Design.

The founding executive editor of Wired, Kevin Kelly, was formerly one of the editors of the Whole Earth Catalog and the Whole Earth Review, and he brought with him many contributing writers from those publications. Six authors of the first issue, Wired 1.01 had written for Whole Earth Review, most notably Bruce Sterling and Stewart Brand. Other contributors to Whole Earth appeared in Wired, including William Gibson, who was featured on Wired's cover in its first year and whose article "Disneyland with the Death Penalty" resulted in the publication being banned from Singaporemarker.

Despite the fact that Kelly was involved in launching the WELL, an early source of public access to the Internet and even earlier non-Internet online experience, Wired's first issue (1.01) de-emphasized the Internet, and primarily talked about interactive games, cell-phone hacking, digital special effects, military simulations, and Japanese otaku. However, the first issue contained some references to the internet, including online-dating and internet sex, and a tutorial on installing a "bozo filter." The last page, a column written by Nicholas Negroponte, was written in the style of an e-mail message, but contained obviously fake, non-standard e-mail addresses. By the third issue in the fall of 1993 the 'Net Surf' column began listing interesting FTP sites, news groups, and email addresses, at a time when the numbers of these things were small and this information was still extremely novel to the public. Wired was among the first magazines to list the email address of its authors and contributors.

Associate publisher Kathleen Lyman (formerly of News Corp and Ziff-Davis) was brought on board to launch Wired with an advertising base of major technology and consumer advertisers. Lyman, along with Simon Ferguson (Wired's first advertising manager), introduced revolutionary ad campaigns by a diverse group of industry leaders – such as Apple Computer, Intel, Sony, Calvin Klein, and Absolut – to the readers of the first technology publication with a lifestyle slant.

The magazine was quickly followed by a companion website HotWired, a book publishing division HardWired, a Japanese edition, and a short-lived British edition, Wired UK. Wired UK was relaunched in April 2009. In 1994, John Battelle, co-founding editor, commissioned Jules Marshall to write a piece on the Zippies. The cover story broke records for being one of the most publicised stories of the year and was used to promote Wired's HotWired news service.

HotWired itself spawned dozens of websites including Webmonkey, the search engine Hotbot, and a weblog, In June 1998, the magazine even launched its own stock index, The Wired Index, since July 2003 called The Wired 40.

The fortune of the magazine and allied enterprises corresponded closely to that of the dot-com bubble. In 1996, Rossetto and the other participants in Wired Ventures attempted to take the company public with an IPO. The initial attempt had to be withdrawn in the face of a downturn in the stock market, and especially the internet sector, during the summer of 1996. The second try was also unsuccessful.

Rossetto and Metcalfe lost control of Wired Ventures to financial investors Providence Equity in May 1998, who quickly sold off the company in pieces. Wired was purchased by Advance Publications, who assigned it to Advance's subsidiary, New Yorkmarker-based publisher Condé Nast Publications (while keeping Wired's editorial offices in San Francisco).

After the dot-com crash

During the dot-com boom, Wired had to compete with the multitude of technology reporting and sources available on the Internet, including The Industry Standard, Business 2.0 and the Red Herring. With the crash of the dot-com boom, however, Wired outlasted its competition, and found a new direction under editor-in-chief Chris Anderson, who took on the job in June 2001 and transitioned the publication from covering "technology" to curating a world that is constantly in flux.

The new era

Under Anderson, Wired has produced some agenda-setting articles, including the April 2003 "Welcome to the Hydrogen Economy" story, the November 2003 "Open Source Everywhere" issue (which put Linus Torvalds on the cover and articulated the idea that the open-source method was taking off outside of software, including encyclopedias as evidenced by Wikipedia), the February 2004 "Kiss Your Cubicle Goodbye" issue (which presented the outsourcing issue from both American and Indian perspectives), and an October 2004 article by Chris Anderson, which coined the popular term Long Tail.

The November 2004 issue of Wired was published with The Wired CD. All of the songs on the CD were released under various Creative Commons licenses, an attempt to push alternative copyright into the spotlight. Most of the songs were contributed by major artists, including the Beastie Boys, My Morning Jacket, Paul Westerberg, David Byrne, and Le Tigre.

In 2005 the magazine won the National Magazine Award for General Excellence in the category of 500,000 to 1,000,000 subscribers. That same year Anderson won Advertising Age's editor of the year award.

In 2006, writer Jeff Howe and editor Mark Robinson coined the term crowdsourcing in the June issue.

In May 2007, the magazine again won the National Magazine Award for General Excellence.

In 2008, Wired was nominated for three National Magazine Awards and won the ASME for Design. It also took home 14 Society of Publication Design Awards, including the Gold for Magazine of the Year.

In 2009, Wired was nominated for four National Magazine Awards, including General Excellence, Design, Best Section (Start), and Integration. And, won three: General Excellence, Design and Best Section (Start).

Over the years, Wired's writers have included John Perry Barlow, Paul Boutin, Stewart Brand, Gareth Branwyn, Po Bronson, Douglas Coupland, James Daly, Joshua Davis, J. Bradford DeLong, David Diamond, Patrick Di Justo, Cory Doctorow, Esther Dyson, Mark Frauenfelder, Simson Garfinkel, William Gibson, Mike Godwin, George Gilder, Steven Johnson, Bill Joy, Danny Hillis,Leander Kahney, Richard Kadrey, Jaron Lanier, Lawrence Lessig, Paul Levinson, Steven Levy, Wil McCarthy, Glyn Moody, Charles Platt, Spencer Reiss, Howard Rheingold, Rudy Rucker, Paul Saffo, Evan Schwartz, Peter Schwartz, Neal Stephenson, Bruce Sterling, John Hodgman, Kevin Warwick and Gary Wolf. Guest editors have included Rem Koolhaas, James Cameron, Will Wright, and JJ Abrams.

On February 19, 2009, Condé Nast Italia launched the Italian edition of Wired and On April 2, 2009, Condé Nast relaunched the UK edition of Wired and launched

Publicity stunt

On August 15, 2009 Wired writer, Evan Ratliff "vanished" attempting to keep his whereabouts secret saying "I will try to stay hidden for 30 days." A $5000 reward was offered to his finder(s).


Wired NextFest
Since 2004, Wired has organized an annual "festival of innovative products and technologies":


The Geekipedia supplement

  • Geekipedia is a supplement to Wired.


  1. Wired. July 1994. p. 133.
  2. Geekipedia


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