Radar Redesign and New Features

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We’ve been noodling for a while on a redesign of Radar. Our initial design was thrown together in a weekend, and we’ve lived with it happily for a couple of years. But it really hasn’t given us the framework we need to pull together all the related activities of our group. You see, Radar isn’t just this blog, it’s a whole group at O’Reilly focused on the premise that “the future is here, it’s just not evenly distributed yet.”

Our radar bloggers are also typically our conference chairs; they help bring leads and do additional diligence for our venture fund. Our group organizes foo camp and now publishes the Release 2.0 Newsletter. We have built a technology trend data warehouse and publish research reports.

Part of the goal for the site redesign was to create more room to feature all these activities, and bring them together into a single framework. Kudos to Brady Forrest, who led the effort, George Humphries and Matthew Woodruff who created the new design, and Gabriel Williams, who did the hard work of actually making a design into a working site.

Speaking of new features — the first issue of Release 2.0 is now available — and we’re finally set up to take new subscribers. It’s a bit of a nail-biter to take over a publication like Release 1.0 from someone as respected as Esther Dyson. We hope you like our take on the mission of the newsletter. This first issue is a bit of an introduction to our editorial philosophy as much as it’s a real working issue. As I wrote in the press release:

Our blog, the O’Reilly Radar, focuses on the disruptive innovations coming from “alpha geeks” and other early adopters. Our newsletter, Release 2.0, will focus on the business impact of those innovations.

So many of the innovations we’ve been deeply involved with over the years — from the commercialization of the internet to open soruce software and most recently Web 2.0 — have gone from being the playground of enthusiasts to the workhorse of big business. In the past, we’ve tended to abandon these technologies as they moved toward the mainstream. With Release 2.0, we’re hoping to continue to provide insightful thinking about the future to entrepreneurs, investors, and corporate technology strategists.