Ivan Pope

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Ivan Pope in Oxford Street

Ivan Pope (1961-) is a British technologist who was involved with a number of early internet developments in the UK and across the world, and invented the "cybercafe" at London's Institute of Contemporary Arts. He was a founder of two of the first internet magazines, The World Wide Web Newsletter, and later .net magazine in the UK. In 1994 he founded Webmedia to professionalise the process of web site design and build. In 1995 he was involved with the creation of the domain name management company NetNames. Pope is now a writer and a noted proponent of the dérive.

Early life[edit]

Pope was born in September 1961, the son of Patricia Pirard, a French national, and Marius Pope, a south-African born journalist of Lithuanian Jewish descent.

Early career[edit]

The World Wide Web Newsletter Issue

After graduating from Goldsmiths College with a BA degree in Fine Art in 1990, Pope worked as an artist with Loophole Cinema for five years.[1][failed verification] The World Wide Web Newsletter (later 3W magazine) was created by Pope at Goldsmiths' College Computer Centre early in 1993.[2] The magazine was conceived as a general internet information source to promote Internet use. The name was taken from the World Wide Web project of Tim Berners-Lee and the first issue was published in late 1993. As reported in that issue, there were at the time under 100 web servers in the world.[citation needed]

3W opened up many opportunities and Pope left Goldsmiths College to concentrate on web development work. Pope attended the first London Internet World exhibition in 1994 as an exhibitor with 3W magazine. He was hired by Time Out magazine in London to consult on their early web development.[citation needed]

Pope was asked to curate an Internet component for an arts symposium held at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London. Inspired by reports of a cafe with bulletin board access in the US, he created a cybercafe for a weekend in the ICA theatre, part of an event called "Towards the Aesthetics of the Future", placing internet access Apple Macs on the cafe style tables and creating the first internet cafe as well as coining the word 'cybercafe'.[3][4][5]

During 1994 Pope was asked by Future Publishing to join the team working on the first consumer internet magazine, .net.[citation needed]

With Steve Bowbrick, Pope founded Webmedia, an early web development company, at Cyberia.[6] The aim of Webmedia was to professionalise the design and build of web sites, a process that did not exist at that time. Webmedia grew fast over the next two years, gaining early web accounts from the likes of Lloyds Bank and Lufthansa.[7]

While managing this fast growing company and working with the nascent web industry, Pope stumbled across domain name registration and founded NetNames in 1995 to handle global name registrations for companies and individuals.[8] In 1996 Pope objected to the uncontrolled way in which Nominet began registering UK domain names for an annual fee.[9] At the time there were no specialist domain name companies and NetNames quickly gained a reputation for specialist knowledge in what became an explosive space.[citation needed]

In 1997 Pope separated NetNames from Webmedia, and in 2000 Pope sold NetNames to Netbenefit NBT, then a LSE listed UK company. He joined the board of Netbenefit and was briefly chair, before leaving in 2001.[citation needed]

Other work[edit]

By the end of the nineties Pope had been instrumental in the formation[failed verification] of a UK namespace organisation, Nominet,a non-profit that still manages the .uk namespace.[10]

In 2006 Pope founded a widget management company, Snipperoo. He was a blogger and authority on the subject of web widgets. He has spoken at WidgetsLive! and Widgetcon. On 6 December 2007 he created Europe's first conference in digital Brighton dedicated to web widgets.[citation needed] He was the founder of Fabrivan,[11][12] Thingmakers[13] and Shapie Me.[14]


  • Internet UK. New York; London: Prentice Hall, 1995. ISBN 9780131909502.
  • Scrivener for Writers, 2012, Kindle ebook. ASIN B007VFGTL6

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Loophole Cinema". Greg Pope. live cinema/film/performance.
  2. ^ "Ivan Pope". the Guardian.
  3. ^ Esharenana E. Adomi (editor), Security and Software for Cybercafes, 2008. ISBN 978-1599049052
  4. ^ gizmodo.com
  5. ^ BBC Worldservice Blog
  6. ^ Think Big. Stay Small. Make Money by Steve Shipside, Wired, Issue 2.12, December 1996
  7. ^ Richard Poynder (2 June 1997). "Web Designers Face a Squeeze". WSJ.
  8. ^ "NetBenefit Acquires NetNames". internetnews.com.
  9. ^ "UK Web site owners to be charged for co.uk address". Network News. 17 April 1996. Archived from the original on 1999-11-14.
  10. ^ "Find Out More About Nominet". Nominet.
  11. ^ Cybersalon
  12. ^ lookingsideways.net
  13. ^ "Get started with 3D printing". the Guardian.
  14. ^ "ShapieMe". AngelList. Retrieved 23 December 2015.

External links[edit]