In Fall 1968 American writer and founder of organizations Stewart Brand of the Portola Institute, Menlo Park, California, published the first edition of the Whole Earth Catalog. Access to tools, with the goal of providing education and "access to tools" so a reader could "find his own inspiration, shape is own environment, and share his adventure with whoever is interested."
In his June 2005 Stanford University commencement address Steve Jobs compared The Whole Earth Catalog to Google. "When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation.... It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along. It was idealistic and overflowing with neat tools and great notions." During the commencement speech, Jobs also quoted the farewell message placed on the back cover of the 1974 edition of the catalog: 'Stay hungry. Stay foolish.' "
A similar comparison was made by Kevin Kelly in 2008:
"For this new countercultural movement, information was a precious commodity. In the ’60s, there was no Internet; no 500 cable channels. [The Whole Earth Catalog] was a great example of user-generated content, without advertising, before the Internet. Basically, Brand invented the blogosphere long before there was any such thing as a blog. ... No topic was too esoteric, no degree of enthusiasm too ardent, no amateur expertise too uncertified to be included.... This I am sure about: it is no coincidence that the Whole Earth Catalogs disappeared as soon as the web and blogs arrived. Everything the Whole Earth Catalogs did, the web does better" (Wikipedia article on Whole Earth Catalog, accessed 12-06-2013).
In December 2013