What Is Wired Magazine? We Explain Here

The monthly American magazine Wired focuses on how new technologies impact culture, the economy, and politics. It is available in print and online.

John Plunkett and Barbara Kuhr (Plunkett+Kuhr), who started with a prototype in 1991 and continued through the first five years of publishing, 1993–98, were the founding designers.

Louis Rossetto, the magazine’s original editor and publisher, had a significant impact on the editorial stance of the publication from the start.

More mainstream

The magazine’s coverage became “more mainstream” as Wired emerged from the dot-com boom and changed course under editor-in-chief Chris Anderson in 2001. The print magazine’s average page length, however, fell sharply from 1996 to 2001 and then again from 2001 to 2003.

Wired soon gained notoriety as the voice of the developing digital culture and a pioneer in print design. It expressed the principles of a broad “digital revolution” fuelled by the instantaneous, cost-free reproduction, and international dissemination of digital information. For both journalism and design, it received multiple National Magazine Awards. In 2021, Adweek named Wired its Magazine of the Decade.

However, a contract made when Condé Nast bought the magazine required Wired News to continue republishing Wired magazine’s content online. Condé Nast acquired Wired News for $25 million in 2006, bringing the magazine and website back together.

The website, originally known as Wired News and HotWired, went live in October 1994. Until Condé Nast acquired Wired News on July 11, 2006, primarily in reaction to dwindling earnings, the two remained independent.

Distribution models

In his piece for Wired, Anderson discussed this paradigm in relation to Clay Shirky’s studies on power law distribution models, particularly as they pertain to bloggers.

The publication also established the Vaporware Awards, which honour “items, videogames, and other nerdy morsels proposed, promised, and touted, but never delivered”.

Trustpilot rates Wired as having a 2/5 rating as of April 4th, 2022; Wired has a 2.35/5 rating on Sitejabber.