Write that down: Has no office, avoids entrapment in meetings. It's Negroponte, all right. Founder and director of the Media Lab, evangelist of the digital multimedia revolution, fund-raiser extraordinaire, globe-trotting friend of the rich and famous, outspoken magazine columnist and now author of a new book, "Being Digital," Negroponte is seldom confined within walls. More often he's online, in an airplane, or both.
One thing is not in dispute, though. Nicholas Negroponte is one of the world's most listened-to gurus of the personal computer revolution. Already famous among the plugged-in cognoscenti, Negroponte and Alfred A. Knopf, his publisher, hope "Being Digital" will introduce him to mere book readers. The first printing is huge -- 100,000 copies -- and Negroponte is touring the country doing the radio and TV circuit.
"Being Digital" is based on Negroponte's column in Wired, which appears on the back page of every issue (he used his February and March columns to plug the book). Since Wired was launched in 1993, Negroponte's audience and e-mail have exploded. "I started to find out by e-mail that there is a whole following of people who are reading my back page," Negroponte says, "including people like Al Gore and Ed Markey."