A tribute to Wired magazine, age 15

I know I should be writing about Microsoft and Yahoo, but I confess that I find the whole thing so mind-numbingly boring that I would be asleep before I made it through another post about two gigantic, boring companies merging into one gigantic, boring company. So I thought I would point instead to a fantastic post by my friend Rex Sorgatz of Fimoculous about Wired magazine in honour of it turning 15 this month.

As I admitted in a comment on Rex’s post, I have a complete collection of Wired magazines from the very first issue all the way up to the mid-1990s, when it got huge and boring (much like Microsoft and Yahoo). My wife gives me grief every time we move, because there are about three boxes full of magazines — and those suckers are heavy. The magazines themselves are somewhat moldy and wrinkled in spots because our basement flooded a few years ago. Eventually I will throw them out, I suppose.

But sometimes it’s fun to flip one open and look at what we were so excited about all those years ago: the 14.4 modems and “virtual reality” and a magazine called bOING bOING (like anyone would read something with a dumb name like that). All the bigs were on the masthead, like Nicholas Negroponte and Kevin Kelly from Whole Earth Magazine — which I confess I also have a few issues of — and the WELL.

Rex is right when he says that the design didn’t really take hold for a couple of years, but it was pretty damn cool even in the first issue. And it had way more meat than Mondo 2000 (which I also have a few issues of). I have another admission: I applied for a job at Wired in 1993, when I was a business writer in Toronto, because I thought it would be so cool to write for them. The first of many rejection letters 🙂


Founding editor Louis Rossetto responded to Rex’s post.

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About mathewi

I'm the chief digital writer at the Columbia Journalism Review in New York, and a former writer for Fortune magazine and the Globe and Mail newspaper.

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