Visionaries: The states has Vint Cerf, the UK Tim Berners-Lee and we have Gerry McGovern? WTF

Karlin lines up a list of net visonaries and Gerry McGovern of “Nua fame” is put in the same mix as Tim Berners-Lee, Vint Cerf, Tim O’Reilly and Nicholas Negroponte. One invented the web, another designed the protocols for connecting computers , one is running the One Laptop per child initiative and set up the MIT Media Lab and then we have Gerry, now modeling himself as a Jakob Nielsen-like character.

Ireland’s best known thinker on matters digital, Gerry McGovern, set up one of Ireland’s first web development companies, NUA, back in 1994

After that point, and with the setting up of his own consulting company, he has focused more on web content, in particular how organisations can best use the web. Though less of a presence in Ireland, his early writing and columns – before the Celtic Tiger took off – were some of the first to get people thinking here about the arrival of these new communications technologies and the role they might play.

Is Gerry McGovern the greatest in the history of the Irish Internet? If not, who is? Mary O’Rourke?

Meanwhile, look at the rest of the articles in that series on the Irish Times website. Lots of blogger have written pieces and lots more get mentioned. It is also in the Times as a supplement today.

9 Responses to “Visionaries: The states has Vint Cerf, the UK Tim Berners-Lee and we have Gerry McGovern? WTF”

  1. John says:

    Totally agree about Nua – they perfectly symbolised the Internet Hype in Ireland in the late Nineties/early 2000s.

    As for who is…very few of us would have broadband if it wasn’t for Ireland Offline, so….

  2. Gerry McGovern…. crikey… now there’s a blast from the past. Wasn’t he some kind of a ‘thought leader’ or something like that?

    Seriously though, what has he done lately… I’ve totally lost track of him since the Nua days.

  3. Branedy says:

    Does that mean all my gopher work, makes me famous?

  4. Branedy says:

    In another vein, getting old makes you senior

  5. Who besides Gerry McGovern has written a book about the Irish internet while also running a company that rode the first wave? I think that one measure of a person’s contribution is the amount of paper pages written. In Ireland, the same respect does not attend those who serve tens of thousands of pages electronically every month, probably because that metric is harder to capture for the print world.

  6. Adam says:

    I know next to nothing about McGovern and am not going to suggest anyone else or defend/attack him.

    That said, being part of the first wave (and not surviving it) is nothing to be proud of…

    I also disagree that paper-pages written can capture the extent of someones contribution to the internet… their legacy, surely, would define their contribution?

  7. How about Colm Grealy and Barry Flanagan? I think it’s fair to say that they are the ones who brought the internet to most of the rest of us in Ireland with IOL. Sure it was just an ISP but it took balls and vision to do it when and where they did.

  8. Elana says:

    Well, to go with the whole “number of pages” thing, one Irish guy both has physical pages and also made sure that the original draft stayed free on the net:

  9. John Grogan says:

    Tim O’Reilly is Irish, born in Cork in 1954.