The Secret Lives of Web Pages

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2017-09-01
  • Publisher: McD
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A definitive, brilliant, and necessary explanation of how the Internet works—by the only man who can make us understand

Every day billions of people view billions of web pages. A blank rectangle in a web browser transforms into The New York Times, or Google, or, God help us, Yahoo! News. That single home page is often the work of hundreds of people over thousands of hours. A single page of The Huffington Post is more complex than the space shuttle. And yet the more the web becomes part of our lives, the more apparent it is that we need to understand how it works.

Paul Ford knows how it works, every bit of it. He was one of the first bloggers—he started well before the term “blog” was coined, and so programmed all his own web publishing software himself—and he is now a well-respected technologist and programmer. In The Secret Lives of Web Pages, he explains what happens when a web page loads into your browser—from the basic text and headlines to the moment your identity is stolen—in the most engaging, funny, smart, and accessible way possible, from a place of love and wonder, and with deep historical understanding. Based on his own knowledge and experience—including launching a new start-up, created simultaneously with the book—and extensive conversations with a who’s who of Internet creators (i.e., Ford’s friends), The Secret Lives of Web Pages is the definitive book on the web page: what it is, why it happened, and how to understand it.

Author Biography

A regular contributor to The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Wired, BusinessWeek, MIT Technology Review, and NPR, Paul Ford is one of the most prominent and in-demand literary voices covering technology. He has unimpeachable technical credentials--he was also one of the first bloggers, starting his website Ftrain.com in 1997, before the terrible word "blog" was ever coined--and is also a novelist and a onetime editor of Harper's Magazine. Today he works as a writer, web consultant, and technologist/programmer who is often invited to speak at conferences. Ford teaches in the MFA program in Interaction Design at the School of Visual Arts in New York City and is an adviser to web start-ups such as Medium, Readability, and Kickstarter.

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