Fairy godfather

Who is the godfather of the Internet?

Today’s Guardian Technology page identifies him as Vint Cerf
Vint Cerf, aka the godfather of the net, predicts the end of TV as we know it
Web guru foresees download revolution

But wait. What about

Mark Joyner, often referred to as the “Godfather of the Internet”

according to Articles about cable, dsl, etc?

Or Imperial College’s candidate,

… Imperial College alumnus, Donald Watts Davies, the Welsh computer genius regarded by many as the godfather of the internet.

Or Al Gore?

…Earlier today, Xeni spoke with former Vice President Al Gore, internet godfather and co-founder of Current TV,

(Phew, at least I know who Al Gore is. I have heard of Vint Cerf, but a name so unremittingly stunning would stick in the brain anyway, after one hearing. I have never heard of the others.)

Or this candidate on interandom

.. Carnegie Mellon Professor and “Godfather of the Internet” David Farber

Or this from some sort of podcast scraper list:

Thomas Prendergast, CEO of Inetekk & creator ot the Veretekk Automated Lead Generation & Online Marketing System. .. Thousands know him as “The Godfather Of The Internet”…

From MQ magazine

Vannevar Bush (1890-1974) is considered by many to be the godfather of the internet.

There are loads more Internet godfathers but I got too bored and stopped collecting them.

How many godfathers does the Internet need?
What does it mean to be an Internet godfather?
Do they insist on being called don and putting horse’s heads in the beds of adherents of traditional media?
Or do they grant wishes, like fairy godmothers? I’ll take health, wealth and happiness if they’re still going. Though I’ve never heard of fairy godfathers. Obviously shoudl have paid more attention to the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson and Andrew Lang’s vari-coloured Fairy books. (That’s a link to Project Gutenberg if you want to make a liar of me and find fairy godfathers aplenty.)

There are so many questions here and I’m a bit stumped by not knowing what even a traditional godfather does. I have a fuzzy impression thay promise to bring up the child they are godfathering as a Christian or mafia member, or both, according to context Give a few gifts in exchange for the family’s votes in some Latin political systems? That’s about it.

Is there a godmother of the Internet? On safer ground here. I know what a godmother does. They grant wishes and turn pumpkins into coaches.

Well I found a paltry two candidates,

Takeaway media says

…according to Esther Dyson, the godmother of the internet, we may even see by 2100 the end of life’s only two certainties, death and taxes.

Well, surely a half-decent fairy godmother should be able to sort those little inconveniences out.

Flash Goddess names Lynda Weinman, although she seems unsurprisingly reluctant to claim the title, possibly because she’s not confident about her scullery-maid-to-princess skills.

Q How do you feel about being referred to as the “godmother of the internet”?
A. I’ve never heard myself referred to as that! It’s an uncomfortable and inaccurate label.

4 thoughts on “Fairy godfather

  1. Eh, I had two godfathers and about 5 godmothers, so I don’t see why the internet can’t. Not that they really did anything that godparents are supposed to do, most of them being irreligious and all. Sometimes I wonder why I was even Christened; doesn’t seem to have done much good.

    But in the case of the internet, I’m sure its godparents provided it with a good Christian sense of morality, which may go some of the way to explaining YouTube commenters.

  2. Many people refer to me as “The Godfather of Internet Marketing” – certainly not Godfather of the Internet! I don’t refer to myself as either. I have another name for myself: Mark Joyner.

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