Evan Ratliff

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Evan Ratliff
Born (1975-04-23) April 23, 1975 (age 44)
Notable credit(s)
The Atavist, Wired Magazine, The New Yorker
Spouse(s)Samantha Ratliff

Evan Ratliff (born c. 1976)[1] is an American journalist and author. He is CEO and co-founder of Atavist, a media and software company.[1] Ratliff is a contributor to Wired Magazine and The New Yorker.


Ratliff is one of the co-authors of Safe: the Race to Protect Ourselves in a Newly Dangerous World.[2] His article "The Zombie Hunters: On the Trail of Cyberextortionists," written for The New Yorker in 2005,[3] was featured in The Best of Technology Writing 2006.[4]

"Vanishing" experiment[edit]

In August 2009 Ratliff and Wired magazine conducted an experiment, wherein Ratliff "vanished" as far as knowledge of his physical whereabouts.[5] Wired offered a $5,000 reward for anyone who could find him before a month had passed.[6] During the experiment, Ratliff remained "on the grid," communicating with his followers on Twitter.[7] The Google Wave development group proposed using the exercise as a test case for the new technology pushing the frontier of real-time web activity.[8] NewsCloud set up its Facebook application community technology[9] to report on the story and enhance community behind the #vanish hash tag.[10] Ratliff used a specially created blog to taunt his "hunters,"[11] and Facebook groups emerged to team up and find him,[12] while other groups formed to help him remain at large.[13] He eventually was tracked and found on September 8, 2009, in New Orleans by @vanishteam, a group participating in the challenge to find him.[14]

Ratliff left a coded message[15] — FaLiLV/tRD:aN/HA:aSaTS; TW—tRS/tEKAA/tBotV; FSF—TItN/tGG/tCCoBB; JC—LJ/HoD/aOoP; JM—JGS/MWS/tBotH — which has been translated to be the authors and titles of a variety of books.[16]


  1. ^ a b Gillette, Felix. "Innovator: Evan Ratliff, Business Week (Jan. 20, 2011).
  2. ^ Martha Baer; Katrina Heron; Oliver Morton; Evan Ratliff (2005), Safe: the race to protect ourselves in a newly dangerous world, HarperCollins, ISBN 978-0-06-057715-5
  3. ^ http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2005/10/10/051010fa_fact
  4. ^ Brendan I. Koerner, ed. (2006), The best of technology writing 2006, University of Michigan Press, p. 264, ISBN 978-0-472-03195-5
  5. ^ "Wired.com/vanish". Archived from the original on 2014-03-14. Retrieved 2017-03-06.
  6. ^ Catch This Writer If You Can and Win $5k ABC News, Aug. 26, 2009
  7. ^ @theativist (Evan Ratliff's Twitter account)
  8. ^ Google Wave API group post
  9. ^ VanishTeam[dead link]
  10. ^ "Newscould Launches Quick Response VanishTeam Facebook Application to Find Evan Ratliff in Wired's Vanishing Experiment,"Newscloud blog (August 2009). Archived 2009-09-13 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ EvanOffGrid Blog
  12. ^ The Search for Evan Ratliff
  13. ^ Run, Evan, Run!
  14. ^ Thompson, Nicholas (September 8, 2009). "Evan Ratliff Is Caught!". Wired.
  15. ^ @evansvanished
  16. ^ "vanish.team". Archived from the original on 2011-07-17. Retrieved 2019-05-10.

External links[edit]