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Feb-26-2009

Adam’s 5 Most Influential People on the Web

Tiger Woods, Will Smith, Steve Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey, Donald Trump. We all are familiar with the name of these individuals who are at the top of their respective fields. But who are Mitchell Baker, Evan Williams and Chris Hughes? I’ll give you a hint: you probably use their product or service on a daily basis. Every year, Business Week produces a slideshow of the 25 Most Influential People on the Web. This year I’ve decided to compile my own top 5  Most Influential People of the Web by combining some of the people from Business Week’s 25 and mixing in some of my own. One of my mentors once told me that “the funny thing about history is that in most instances, you don’t know that you are making it.” Many of the individuals I’ve listed below are true pioneers and have changed the way we conduct our daily lives but most of them are not in the public eye.

 

07hughesaenlarge1. Chris Hughes – My.BarckObama.com

Hughes, 24, was one of four founders of Facebook. In early 2007, he left the company to work in Chicago on Senator Obama’s new-media campaign. Leaving behind his company at such a critical time would appear to require some cognitive dissonance: political campaigns, after all, are built on handshakes and persuasion, not computer servers, and Mr. Hughes has watched, sometimes ruefully, as Facebook has marketed new products that he helped develop.

“It was overwhelming for the first two months,” he recalled. “It took a while to get my bearings.” 

The campaign’s new-media strategy, inspired by popular social networks like MySpace and Facebook, has revolutionized the use of the Web as a political tool, helping the candidate raise more than two million donations of less than $200 each and swiftly mobilize hundreds of thousands of supporters before various primaries.

The centerpiece of it all is My.BarackObama.com, where supporters  could join local groups, create events, sign up for updates and set up personal fund-raising pages. “If we did not have online organizing tools, it would be much harder to be where we are now,” Mr. Hughes said. 

source: NY Times – The Facebooker Who Friended Obama [visit source]


evan_williams2. Evan Williams – Twitter, Blogger

Williams has a knack for figuring out how people want to keep in touch—even before they seem to know it themselves. In 1999 he launched Blogger, a service that allows people to post their every thought online. That turned anyone with a computer into a global publisher. After selling Blogger to Google, Williams created a podcasting startup named Odeo that didn’t take off. But in the meantime, Jack Dorsey, an employee at Williams’ company, came up with Twitter. Twitter has popularized microblogging, the streams of short posts people write to groups of friends. During the past two years, the popularity of Twitter has exploded, as people turn to new ways to stay in touch.

source: Business Week – 25 Most Influential People on the Web [visit source]


michelle_baker3. Mitchell Baker – Mozilla.org

When Baker, the “Lizard Wrangler” at the Mozilla Foundation, launched the Firefox browser four years ago, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer was in her sights. Baker’s overarching goal was to keep the Web open. Now, Firefox’s market share has risen to nearly 20% while IE’s has slipped from 95% to 72%, and most Web sites treat all browsers equally. These days, Mozilla is faced with a threat of its own: Google’s Chrome browser, which launched Sept. 1. Baker says the new browser on the block “forces us to do our best.” Mozilla’s latest foray is into mobile browsing. 

source: Business Week - 25 Most Influential People on the Web [visit source]

 

matt_mullenweg4. Matt Mullenweg – WordPress.org

As the importance of social media expands, so does the influence of WordPress, the blogging service that most serious bloggers turn to. And though blogging might seem well established, WordPress just keeps on growing. Open source software is part of the reason for WordPress’ success. When Mullenweg started blogging in 2001, he used open source software to develop his own Web tools, which became WordPress. Traffic to WordPress’ service more than doubled during the last year to 103 million global visitors, compared with main rival Typepad’s 20 million.

source: Business Week - 25 Most Influential People on the Web [visit source]


6-tim_berners-lee5. Tim Berners-Lee –  W3.org

Berners-Lee, an Oxford-trained scientist, invented the World Wide Web in 1989 by designing a way to create links, or hypertext, amid different pieces of online information. Berners-Lee began describing the next leap in the mid-1990s. Dubbed the Semantic Web, it’s a method of tagging online information so it can be more easily found, understood, and organized in relation to other data, automatically, wherever it may be nestled online. As the head of the World Wide Web Consortium, Berners-Lee is working to create the technical framework for the Semantic Web. Meantime, a slew of startups, such asRadar Networks, Metaweb Technologies and big companies including Oracle (ORCL) and IBM are beginning to make that vision a reality.

source: Business Week - 25 Most Influential People on the Web [visit source]


The original Business Week article can be read by clicking [here

Posted by Mick | Posted under Technology
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  1. Toby said,

    Great post! It’s easy to forget that there are real people behind all the ones and zeroes. Another big fan of Tim Berners-Lee is the Queen of England, who gave him an Order of Knighthood in 2003. Why he doesn’t go by “Sir Tim, Data Knight” now is a mystery to me.

  2. Mick said,

    Great post.

  3. Mick said,

    Oh, Steve Jobs. I— everything now-a-days.

  4. rich said,

    you should turn this into a regular series!

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