David Weinberger
Search for a Speaker: 
David Weinberger
Key Topics:
Future Trends
Bio Info:

Dr. Weinberger began his "career" in the late '70s teaching philosophy at New Jersey's Stockton State College for five years. (He has a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Toronto.) During this time he maintained his steady freelance writing of humor, reviews and intellectual and academic articles, publishing in places as diverse as The New York Times, Harvard Business Review, Smithsonian, Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine and TV Guide.

In 1985, after being denied tenure because the tenure quota was filled, and after an enthusiastic but well-mannered student demonstration in his support, he became a junior marketing guy at Interleaf, an innovative start-up with new ideas on how to create and structure documents. At Interleaf he helped launch the industry's first document management system and its first electronic document publishing system, years ahead of the Web. He left Interleaf after 8 years, as VP of Strategic Marketing.

He founded the one-person strategic marketing company, Evident Marketing, in 1994. He has consulted to a wide variety of companies, including RR Donnelley, Intuit, Sun Microsystems, Edelman PR, Microsoft, Yahoo, and the Christopher Reeve Foundation. He frequently advises innovative startups.

In late 1995, he joined Open Text as VP of Strategic Marketing because he saw an opportunity to help shape the way intranets are used. As part of the senior management team, Dr. Weinberger helped Open Text move from one of the first Web search engine companies (the engine behind Yahoo!) to market- and thought-leadership in Web-based collaborative software.

After helping to take Open Text public in 1996, Dr. Weinberger returned to consulting, writing and speaking, helping to found a couple of dot-coms, and serving on industry and company boards. In 2000, Perseus published The Cluetrain Manifesto, of which is is a co-author. It became a national best-seller.

In 2002, Perseus published Small Pieces Loosely Joined to enthusiastic reviews.

In 2007, Times Books published Everything Is Miscellaneous: The Power of the New Digital Disorder.

Dr. Weinberger currently writes too much, including weblogs, articles for Wired, Salon, USAToday, Harvard Business Review, and many more.

During the 2004 presidential campaign, he was Senior Internet Advisor to the Howard Dean campaign, consulting on Internet policy. He was a policy adviser to the John Edwards campaign in 2008.

In 2004 he was made a Fellow (now Senior Researcher) at Harvard's prestigious Berkman Institute for Internet & Society, where he's very happy.

In 2010. he became co-director of the Harvard Library Innovation Lab at Harvard Law School, where he works on making openly accessible all that libraries knowledge.

In 2010, he became a Franklin Fellow at the United States State Department, working with the eDiplomacy group on the use of Web 2.0 and social software.



Dr. Weinberger earned his doctor of philosophy in philosophical studies at the University of Toronto. His undergraduate degree, summa cum laude, with honors, is from Bucknell University.


Dr. Weinberger speaks around the world on the effect of the Web. He is consistently rated very highly as a speaker.


Dr. Weinberger has been writing and publishing in national magazines for over 25 years. He has been a technical columnist for a computer magazine, a humor columnist for Oregon's largest newspaper, and a gag writer for Woody Allen's comic strip for seven years. He was an early blogger, and has a substantial Twitter following. He is one of the authors of the best-seller The Cluetrain Manifesto and is the author of Small Pieces Loosely Joined and Everything Is Miscellaneous. He is a columnist for KMWorld and il sole 24 ore, Italy's leading financial paper. He is a frequent commentator on NPR's "All Things Considered" and "Here and Now."

His new book is Too Big to Know (Basic Books, Fall 2010). It explores our new strategies for understanding a world that is overstuffed with information and within which no one agrees about anything.

Honors and Boards

Dr. Weinberger has served on the AIIM Emerging Technology Advisory Group, the Seybold Conference Advisory Board, the World Congress of Philosophy Advisory Board, the Virtual Business advisory board, and the Xplor Business Strategies Advisory Board. He has served on product and advisory Boards of well-known organizations such as Microsoft, Yahoo! and the Christopher Reeve Foundation, as well as smaller, innovative companies such as Technorati, Metacarta, The Information Architecture Association, Corante, BlogBridge, The Conversation Network, SocialText, and Global Voices.

In 2004 he was made a Fellow at Harvard's prestigious Berkman Institute for Internet & Society. In 2010, he became a Franklin Fellow at the United States State Department, working with the eDiplomacy group on the use of Web 2.0 and social software.

David likes working with clients to customize his presentations. But here are a couple of samples:

Conversational Marketing:  Ending the 100-Year War against Customers

For a hundred years, marketing has been waging war against customers. It’s time for a cease-fire.

The fundamental fact of marketing is that you’re trying to get unwilling customers to do something they don’t want to do. That’s why customers want to flee when they sense they’re being marketed to. But suppose waging war against our customers — "targeting" them via "strategies" and "tactics"— isn’t such a good idea? And suppose customers simply won’t stand for it anymore?

The answer isn’t simply to personalize and do 1:1 marketing. That’s like switching from aerial bombardment to sending out hit squads. No, we need to change the basic model of marketing that pits companies against their customers.

The problem goes back to the basics. Traditional marketing views itself as a type of broadcast: a company gets to send a message to a mass of people. This made sense when the mass media were one-way. Back then, a company could control its market by selectively releasing information about its products. In fact, markets themselves are defined by this broadcast model, for a market these days is a demographic segment that is likely to respond favorably to a particular message lobbed at it.

But this old way of working has serious disadvantages: customers don’t trust messages and generally don’t want to listen to them. And now they don’t have to. A staggering percentage of the US market has another medium open to it: the Internet. Although the Internet connects masses of people – almost a billion people worldwide so far – it is profoundly not a mass medium. It is all about groups of people with passions in common talking to one another in their own voice.

That makes the Internet the anti-broadcast medium: it’s not mass, it’s not one-way, and it’s not controlled by companies that can pay to send out a message. The Internet is, in fact, a conversation among your customers who are discovering that they are a far better source of information about products and services than the companies ever could be.

This is the most fundamental shift in marketing since the creation of mass media. And it affects all marketing, on or off the Web.

The audience learns:

How the old techniques actually alienate customers

The six principles for engaging in the new customer conversations the market expects and demands...and how companies are already applying them

The Information Revolution that Wasn't and the One that Will Be:  How the new dimensions of information are transforming business...and life

Remember how in the '80s and then the '90s we were all going to drown in information? The information tidal wave crashed all around us...but we barely got wet. But don't relax too soon. The real change is already upon us.

We managed to survive the information tsunami by coming up with surprisingly good information management tools - who would have predicted Google would be so great? - and, frankly, by ignoring much of the information that we've gathered.

It turns out that the quantity of the information hasn't changed our businesses or our lives so much. But changes are on the way that will bring about deeper and more profound changes in the most fundamental dimensions of life and work:

Place: Thanks to wireless networks, mobile devices that know where they are, and clever tools that figure out what spots documents are talking about, information about places will be available at those places. For the first time, the earth itself will no longer be speechless.

Groups: As weblogs - online journals - become commonplace to the young generation, the line between private and public is being erased...including the line between company and customer.

The Past: As digital photography becomes pervasive, and as sharing files among friends becomes the norm, personal memories will become communal.

Truth: In order to manage vast quantities of information, we are having to deal explicitly with information about information - tags, labels, categories - which can lead businesses to ignore the real roots of their value: the messy, personal relationships that are the source of all innovation and loyalty.

In this talk, Dr. Weinberger looks at these trends and others, painting a picture of the future that challenges business to change or be left behind.

The audience learns:

New technology trends and how they affect business

How to take advantage of the new capabilities that are coming to customers and businesses

Other sample titles:

What Business Can — and Should — Learn from the Howard Dean Campaign

The Knowledge Management Oxymoron

Messiness as a Virtue: Information Management in the Age of the Web


Watch David Weinberger on YouTube!
Fee Info (subject to change)
Travels From:
  • Conversational Marketing: Ending the 100-Year War against Customers
  • The Information Revolution that Wasn't and the One that Will Be: How the new dimensions of information are transforming business...and life
  • The Knowledge Management Oxymoron
    search login