A Practical Navigator for the Internet Economy

A Recent Evaluation from John Wilson in Wales

I think that you are uniquely equippped to do what you do ... from Nat Supercomputer Centre to OTA etc (your website short bio), and not least your LSE Russian political history background - which I think has allowed you to address your recent expanded problematics of "lets explore the wider landscape that has delivered us this broken telecoms, broken regulation, broken finances, broken all...". An expanded approach that is of course announced in the "arch-econ" title of your mail list.

And doubteless your long term perspective on the IP space means you can formulate a "global" (as in conceptual) approach.  I don't see any debate of this calibre elsewhere. Your editorial synthesis/analysis is always on form... And there's evidence that some of the large corporates have benefitted from the "creation space" that you have nurtured.

I have a sense that the creativity of this space has shifted gear in recent years -  possibly reflecting some fresh thinking as regards approach on your part; and possibly reflecting new needs amongst the corporates out there. - Perhaps a way of describing the "niche" value proposition of Cook Report - that it explores all those little underground streams (thoughts and opinions in process of forming) - as well as vast oceans (of theme, geography) - that lie some way below the radar (sorry for mixed metaphors here), that are emergent. Am thinking aloud here. Sure, Cook-ins (see comment below) seem a better mechanism suited to your constituency, than risky large scale stand-alone conferences.

Ways back, I remember Dave Hughes describing your Report- which struck me as a logical extension of the "intelligence community" context that Dave had worked in: you facilitate conversation across companies (whereas there is the tendency for senior personnel to feel isolated within the firm)... and people gather "intelligence" ... the sort of informal networks that are traditionally the meat of the diplomatic (and intelligence) services.  

All in all I think the balance works - of shoot-from-the-hip thoughts dumped to your e-mail discussion list ... and your editorial house keeping and tailoring of monthly reports (with such disciplined regularity and focus).  Though there is a tender balance - between "inside track" and "back-door approach" policy / intelligence (the logic of informal list conversations)... and debates for public record (ie the published report: hence contributors get a chance to edit anything you include in a published report). Seems that a balance has been struck through a shared modus operandi amongst participants. - So its not an out-and-out wiki approach ... rather its dependant on a high trust level amongst participants (with a high yield of relevance), under your direction.

The Cook-ins are a mechanism where you can add face-to-face energy to complement the list synergy.

I think your recent reports have been brave in their critical scope -- and the enthusiasm of list members must mean that there is an appetite for such serious engagement out there (and at high levels, inner cirlces within firms. See two good wikipedia articles:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Actor-network_theory and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruno_Latour

Well, it strikes me that your arch-econ-list and published report navigates precisely this space... fluidly inhabiting / mapping the emergent ... through active collaboration with participants (actors)... what seems to unite people is the curiosity of what is going on, of making sense of this ... a shared conversation from which pattern recognition might emerge, from what appear to be so many raw strands...  [End of comment by John Wilson]

On an irregular basis a short in person gathering of list members cements the strategic alliance. http://www.socialtext.net/cookreport/index.cgi?cook_in

Enabling Industry Wide Community Building and Thought Leadership

The COOK Report serves an international community of thought leaders focused on the Internet as a global utility that is critically important to the advancement of education, science, and the economy of every nation that it touches.  The COOK Report exists as an international community of interest limited to 200 industry visionaries.  Subscribers to the newsletter gain access to the Economics and Architecture of IP Networks mail list [Arch-econ] now in its eighth year. A unique community of interest offering a unique online discussion where industry leaders share knowledge and develop ideas.


Arch-econ membership includes commercial players such as Google, Cisco, BT, Motorola, Dell, Sprint and others. Other members represent the research and university community, supercomputing centers, network operators, industry analysts and VC communities. Also represented are community network and wireless players, both regulatory and regulatory attorneys, entrepreneurs, public sector, university researchers. 20% of member spaces are reserved for industry executives who work outside the U.S. There is a strong focus on the economic impact of open access fiber, advanced networks and other forms of rich connectivity.


The COOK Report appears 6 times a year with exclusive interviews and commentary on strategic planning for the Internet policy, economics and infrastructure. Also included may be other areas of interplay between technology and policy such as the April May 2010 issue on 40 years of misuse of computerized vote counting and election administration. From this point forward the COOK Report is likely to go even more into depth on emerging new areas.


Over the past 20

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