Evan Ratliff

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Evan Ratliff
Born 1975 (age 41–42)
Occupation Journalist
Notable credit(s) The Atavist, Wired Magazine, The New Yorker
Salary 100K
Spouse(s) Samantha Ratliff
Website www.atavistic.org

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]

Ratliff conducted an experiment by vanishing as far as knowledge of his physical whereabouts.[5] Wired offered a $5000 reward for anyone who could find him.[6] During the experiment, he was still "on the grid" and communicating with his followers on Twitter.[7] The Google Wave development group has proposed using the phenomenal ploy 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. Ratliff used his specially created blog to taunt the "hunters",[10] and Facebook groups emerged to team up and find him [11] and other groups formed to help him remain at large [12] He was tracked and found on September 8, 2009, in New Orleans by @vanishteam, a group participating in the challenge to find him.[13]

Ratliff left a coded message [14] 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 the authors and titles of books.

Wired also released a playlist of songs from Ratliff could can be listened to and downloaded. The @runningratliff may have been Ratliff posting, and included the DVD of Pursuit, a 1972 Michael Crichton film featuring Martin Sheen and set in San Diego. @runningratliff also mentioned SDIA (thought to be San Diego International Airport). See Is Evan in San Diego?


  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
  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
  10. ^ EvanOffGrid Blog
  11. ^ The Search for Evan Ratliff
  12. ^ Run, Evan, Run!
  13. ^ Thompson, Nicholas (September 8, 2009). "Evan Ratliff Is Caught!". Wired. 
  14. ^ @evansvanished

External links[edit]