O’Reilly Media (formerly O’Reilly & Associates) is an American learning company established by Tim O’Reilly that publishes books, produces tech conferences, and provides an online learning platform. Their distinctive brand features a woodcut of an animal on many of their book covers.
The company began in 1978 as a private consulting firm doing technical writing, based in the Cambridge, Massachusetts area. In 1984, it began to retain publishing rights on manuals created for Unix vendors. A few 70-page «Nutshell Handbooks» were well-received, but the focus remained on the consulting business until 1988. After a conference displaying O’Reilly’s preliminary Xlib manuals attracted significant attention, the company began increasing production of manuals and books. The original cover art consisted of animal designs developed by Edie Freedman because she thought that Unix program names sounded like «weird animals».
In 1993 O’Reilly Media created the first web portal, when they launched one of the first Web-based resources, Global Network Navigator. GNN was sold to AOL in 1995, in one of the first large transactions of the dot-com bubble. GNN was the first site on the World Wide Web to feature paid advertising.
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