Tom Chatfield

Writer

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Books

Agent: Jon Elek
Associate: Millie Hoskins
Assistant: Kat Aitken

Books

Tom Chatfield is a British writer, broacaster and commentator. The author of five books exploring digital culture – most recently How to Thrive in the Digital Age (Pan Macmillan, 2012) and Netymology (Quercus, 2013) – his work has appeared in over a dozen territories and languages.

Tom is a fortnightly columnist for the BBC and has worked as a consultant with some of the world’s leading technology firms.Tom speaks around the world on technology, the arts and media. If you’re interested in asking him to speak, please send details via email to Jon Elek.

Tom’s appearances have included TED Global and the Cannes Lions Festival; authors@Google; the World Congress on Information Technology; Science Foo Camp; Intelligence Squared; the House of Commons; and conferences and venues ranging from the Sydney Opera House to the Googleplex.

He also speaks regularly at Alain de Botton’s School of Life in London, where he is a faculty member, and guest lectures at universities across the UK and Europe.

He completed a doctorate at St John’s College, Oxford, before moving to London, where he lives with his wife and two cats.

 

 

Non-Fiction

Publication DetailsNotes

HOW TO THRIVE IN THE DIGITAL AGE

2013

World All Languages: Macmillan

Our world is increasingly a digital one. Over half of the adult population now spend more of their waking hours ‘plugged in’ than not, whether to the internet, mobile telephones, or other digital media. To email, text, tweet and blog our way through our careers, relationships and even our family lives is now the status quo. But what effect is this need for constant connection really having?

Tom Chatfield examines what our ‘wired’ life is really doing to our minds, for better and for worse. This book asks what it means not simply to live within a digital century, but to live well with it and within it. Unlike most other contemporary accounts, it is neither a tale of technology doom nor technology glory, but a pragmatic guide to what questions we need to ask of the world around us; what it might mean to answer them, and what practical steps might allow us all both to choose and to use the tools at our disposal, and to prosper within a digital century in as fully human a sense as possible.

NETYMOLOGY

2013

Quercus

Composed of 100 bite-sized entries of 400 to 600 words each, Netymology weaves together stories, etymologies and analyses around digital culture's transformation, and creation, of words.

Tom Chatfield presents a kaleidoscopic, thought-provoking tour through the buried roots of some of the digital age's most common terms: from the @ and Apple symbols, to HTML and Trojan horses, to the twisted histories of new forms of slang, memes, text messages and gaming terms.

There's also discussion of the trends behind digital words, and of the ways language itself is being shaped by new forces—and revelations about how these forces are, in turn, reshaping us.

50 DIGITAL IDEAS YOU REALLY NEED TO KNOW

2012

World All Languages: Quercus

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between a MUD and an API? Don't know your OCR from your PPC? Not quite clear on crowd-sourcing and culture jamming? Then this book is for you. In a series of accessible and engagingly written essays, 50 DIGITAL IDEAS YOU REALLY NEED TO KNOW introduces and explains all the key aspects of the digital world and how it works. It is a book that will be welcomed by anyone who wants to understand one of the most powerful forces shaping our world. Among the things you really need to know are: Aggregation; API; Augmented reality; Automatic translation; Avatars; Blogging and micro-blogging; Browser wars; Chat; Cloud computing; Commenting; Creative commons licence; Crowd-sourcing; Culture jamming; Download universe; eGovernment; Ego-surfing; Electronic mail; File sharing; Flow; Feeds (RSS & Atom); Freemium; Gaming; Geo-location and hyperlocal; GUIs; HTTP/HTML; Hosting; ICANN; Mashups; Micro-payments; MUD; Netiquette; Open sourcing; OCR; Pay-per click; Privacy; Proxy servers; Rating systems; Rich internet applications; Search; Semantic web; Smartphones; Social networking; Spam; Streaming; Tagging; Traffic analytics; Unplugging; Virality; Virtual goods; Web 2.0/3.0; Wikis.

FUN INC.

2010

UK: Virgin; US: Perseus

People make many assumptions about video games; only teenage boys play them, they increase anti-social behaviour and they tend to be violent. FUN INC. dispels these misconceptions, revealing that 40 per cent of all video game players are women, that most of the bestselling console games of all time involve no real-world violence at all, and how World of Warcraft's online community of over 12 million players is changing our understanding of what it means to be sociable in the modern world. But understanding games means a lot more than simply challenging stereotypes. Find out why the South Korean government will invest $200 billion into its video games industry over the next four years and how games are used to train the US Military, to model global pandemics and to campaign against human rights abuses in Africa.
Game worlds are creating a new science of mass engagement that is starting to transform our understanding of economics, business and communications. Whether you like video games or loathe them, FUN INC. will show you that you cannot ignore them.