We learned so much and had such a good time asking experts to predict the future of the Internet in 2002 that we did it again in a survey in late 2005 and 2006. In the intervening period, the business of looking into the future of technology had boomed. There were many more sources of insight—and wackiness—to draw upon. So, the results reported in this volume are somewhat sharper and more pointed than in our first volume. Truth to tell, we learned from our research into the burgeoning field of futurology about how to ask questions more directly.
We also took inspiration to continue this work from the thoughtful and widely quoted epigram of Alan Kay (1989), a brilliant digital innovator: “The best way to predict the future is to invent it” (p. 1). That gave us reason enough to consult as many of the creators, builders, and shapers of the Internet as we could in this next round of work.
We went back to survey those we could find who were in the extensive Imagining the Internet database of expert commentators on the Internet in the early to mid-1990s and those who were added to the list as we conducted the first Future of the Internet survey in 2002.1 We also built the list of respondents by inviting commentary from the membership of several prominent Internet-related organizations: Internet Society, Association for Computing Machinery, the World Wide Web Consortium, the UN Working Group on Internet Governance, Internet2, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, International Telecommunication Union, Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility, Association of Internet Researchers, and the American Sociological Association’s Information Technology Research section.