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Exit Strategy

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Visionary Douglas Rushkoff Readies Exit Strategy, The World’s First "Open Source" Novel. Novel Excerpted in August Issue of Yahoo! Internet Life Magazine and Released on Magazine’s Web Site as Serial.

New York, NY (July 8, 2001)
– Visionary Douglas Rushkoff announced today that he is launching Exit Strategy, his latest bombshell on our complacent media culture, as the first ever "open source" novel. Debuting his work on the Web site of Yahoo! Internet Life – the world’s leading consumer lifestyle magazine covering the Internet with more than 5.3 million readers, Rushkoff invites the general public to add to his story by contributing original footnotes. The author will then include the best 100 footnotes in the final edition of the novel, which will be published in both print and electronic formats. Exit Strategy’s online serialization on Yahoo! Internet Life’s Web site ( will begin on July 8th and continue for fourteen weeks. The novels first chapter will be excerpted in Yahoo! Internet Life’s August issue, on newsstands July 17th.

Rushkoff’s "open source" concept, originally developed by computer programmers to expand their work with peers, is a huge departure from traditional book publishing as well as the early attempts at online publishing. Exit Strategy is written in the form of a manuscript that is "found" in the 23rd Century by a group of anthropologists. In trying to explain the nascent 21st century culture to people of their own era, the anthropologists clarify the text with extensive footnotes. Rushkoff invites the public to devise their own footnotes and add their own social commentary throughout the novel, all in the voices of 23rd century scholars. As the book evolves with more footnote commentaries, Rushkoff will lead online discussions on Yahoo! Internet Life’s bulletin boards about how the novel is evolving.

"By opening the footnotes to the world, I’m giving everyone a chance to futurecast - to imagine how things will be different," explained Rushkoff. "It’s also an opportunity to look at our world today and its shortcomings from a very new perspective. The novel I’ve written is just the starting point for this collaborative writing project. Ultimately, the footnotes will become more important than the novel itself."

Exit Strategy is a satire of today’s market and technology obsessed culture, told from the point of view of a young Jewish hacker-turned-venture-capitalist. The story takes place in 2008, when Silicon Alley has once again turned unabashedly ‘bullish.’ Looking back, society blames the ‘crash of 2001’ on people losing faith and focusing on revenues instead of simply speculating.

"Exit Strategy, itself, is an example of the power of interactivity to create a better whole; it’s truly visionary," said Barry Golson, Editor in Chief of Yahoo! Internet Life magazine. "We are proud to be working with Douglas and our readers to create one of the world’s first interactive novels."

In the spirit of the project, Rushkoff will also publish two editions of the book electronically with at Time Warner Books. First, iPublish will release a beta edition of the work in September. Then, iPublish will publish the open source edition which includes readers’ footnotes selected by Rushkoff.

"This is the kind of project that made me interested in eBooks," said Zachary Schisgal, Rushkoff’s editor. "You could never undertake a project with this kind of imagination and interactivity in print."

Douglas Rushkoff is the author of seven best-selling books on new media and popular culture, including Cyberia, Media Virus, Playing the Future, GenX Reader, Coercion, and the novel Ecstasy Club. He can be heard as a biweekly commentator on NPR’s All Things Considered, and he regularly appears on TV shows from NBC Nightly News to Larry King Live and Politically Incorrect. Rushkoff’s writing can be read in numerous top publications; his monthly column on cyberculture, which is distributed through the New York Times Syndicate, appears in over thirty countries.

Rushkoff, a frequent lecturer to worldwide university and corporate audiences, also hosts and writes documentaries, including PBS’s acclaimed Frontline documentary "The Merchants of Cool". For the past three years, he has been an adjunct professor of virtual culture at New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program. On the boards of half a dozen new-media companies as well as several global organizations, Rushkoff graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University and received an MFA in directing from California Institute of the Arts.


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About Yahoo! Internet Life

Yahoo! Internet Life ( is the world's largest consumer lifestyle magazine covering the Internet. The publication, which has a circulation of 1.1 million, is read monthly by more than 5.3 million people. In March 2001, Yahoo! Internet Life was named one of Adweek’s Hot List Top 10 Magazines 2001. Chronicling the culture, content and community of the Internet, Yahoo! Internet Life has a licensing and promotion agreement with Yahoo, Inc. but remains an editorially independent magazine. It is not owned by Yahoo, Inc. It is owned and published by Ziff Davis Media and is one of three publications under the Consumer Media Group, which also includes Family PC and Expedia Travels.

For more information regarding Douglas Rushkoff, please contact:

Susan Mainzer
Green Galactic

For more information regarding Yahoo! Internet Life please contact:

Diane Stefani, Evan Schapiro
Ziff Davis Media



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