What is Release 2.0?

Sometimes you get too close to something to see the obvious.

The first comment on Jimmy Guterman’s post Welcome to Release 2.0 was:

Sorry, i don’t get it. What is Release 1.0 and Release 2.0. A newsletter or a website or a magazine? And where is it linked to or can be bought or subscribed? I never heard of it. Could you please elaborate.

Reading Jimmy’s post again, and even my post about the redesign, which mentioned the newsletter, just assumed that people know what it is. Back in November, we announced the acquisition of Esther Dyson’s Release 1.0 newsletter, and that, somewhat waggishly, we’d renamed it Release 2.0.

As the press release put it:

Under the stewardship of editor Esther Dyson, “Release 1.0” has delivered prescient and authoritative insight about the business and social impact of information technology to entrepreneurs, investors, and analysts since 1983.

We hope to continue to deliver “prescient and authoritative insight” in the new version of the now bi-monthly newsletter, which is available by subscription. You can think of this as a more business-oriented companion to the O’Reilly Radar, aimed at executives, investors, and (since it’s on paper) those who haven’t yet figured out how to use a feedreader :-) It is at the same time both more introductory and more in-depth than Radar. It will cover some of the same kinds of topics, but will generally take more time to lay out background for people who aren’t techno-geeks, and will also drill down more deeply into specific issues and companies related to the subject of the issue.

If you’re a regular Radar reader, you may well still get value out of the newsletter, but you aren’t the bullseye of the intended audience. Like Web 2.0 Patterns and Best Practices, the newsletter is intended for business executives (who you must remember are not all from the technology industry) who want to understand the impact of new technologies on their business. O’Reilly’s had a tendency to abandon new technologies as somehow less interesting as they start to go mainstream. But this is where they often have the greatest impact. So we are trying to build products that reach beyond the alpha geeks, early adopters, and hands-on practitioners.

Right now, Release 2.0 is just a print newsletter, but over time, we plan to use it as a vehicle for offering additional services and data to subscribers. For more information, you can see the Release 2.0 page on Radar, which is also reachable via one of the tabs at the top of the screen.