As the title suggests, it’s a guide to “digital ideas,” which really means it’s an attempt to map the past, present and future of the digital era via fifty miniature essays: from basic histories of the Internet, the web and email to wilder possibilities like the semantic web, the Internet of things, and convergence.
It was a lot of fun to write, not least because it’s the kind of book I always loved reading when I was young – and writing for your younger self is a deeply satisfying thing to do. I have always loved books that explain things, and that take you through some important basics the better to engage juicily with the esoteric, wonderful and significant. Bill Bryson is a master of this kind of elegance; and I’m mightily chuffed that the great Kerry Shale, who reads all of his books for the spoken word editions, has also done the audio edition for 50 Digital Ideas.
This isn’t a book for children, I hasten to add: it’s for anyone who wants to understand the technological world we live in a little better and more broadly. That’s the idea, anyway. If you read it, I hope you enjoy.