Word Magazine was an online magazine active from 1995 to 2000.


Launched in 1995 by Carey Earle, Tom Livaccari and Dan Pelson, Word Magazine created original stories, interviews, games, applications, music, interactive objects and art, and community spaces. Word published new content daily, and each story was treated as a unique interface design experiment. Word was also a pioneer in the use of online advertising and was the first website to integrate microsites into brand advertising online.[1] It was also one of the first truly web oriented online magazines.[2]

Word's editorial team was originally led by Vibe magazine founding editor Jonathan Van Meter and creative director Jaime Levy. Marisa Bowe took over as editor-in-chief[3] prior to the site's June 1995 launch and Yoshi Sodeoka became Creative Director in early 1996. Daron Murphy was a founding senior editor.[4]

From 1998, Word featured a chatterbot named Fred the Webmate.[5]

In 2000, Streeter, Bowe, Murphy, Rose Kernochan, and John Bowe co-edited a book of interviews, "Gig: Americans Talk About Their Jobs," [6] inspired by Studs Terkel's Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do.[1]

Also in 2000, Word staff developed the turn-based online strategy game Sissyfight 2000.[7]

Word won awards from I.D. Magazine and Print Magazine, among others and was placed in the permanent collection of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Walker Art Center and the Museum of the Moving Image.[8]

Word was originally owned by Icon CMT until its sale in April 1998 to Zapata Corporation.[3][9] Zapata closed Word.com in August, 2000.[10]


  1. ^ a b Boulton, Jim (2012-08-29). "The one and only, Word.com". Digital Archaeology.
  2. ^ Shaughnessy, Haydn. "Ten Websites That Changed The World". Forbes. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
  3. ^ a b Silberman, Steve. "Word Down: The End of an Era". WIRED. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
  4. ^ "Daron Murphy – ART NOT WAR". artnotwar.com. Retrieved 8 May 2018.
  5. ^ Grice, Corey (1998-09-24). "Word, Charged set for relaunch". CNET News. Archived from the original on November 17, 2014. Retrieved 2014-11-17.
  6. ^ Bowe, John; Bowe, Marisa; Streeter, Sabin C. (2001). Gig: Americans Talk about Their Jobs. ISBN 0609807072.
  7. ^ Spencer, Russ (2000-04-27). "Sissyfight". Salon. Retrieved 2014-11-18.
  8. ^ Petreycik, Kyle (10 September 2013). "This Is What the First Online Magazines Looked Like – ANIMAL". ANIMAL. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
  9. ^ Quistgaard, Kaitlin (1998-09-01). "On the Edge and Under the Wing". Wired. Archived from the original on November 7, 2010.
  10. ^ Brown, Janelle (2000-08-30). "Remember when content was king?". Salon.