Let the squabbling begin: PC World’s ’50 most important white males on the web’

First, since when did a magazine become the arbitrator of who are the “50 most important people on the web“? And yes, like most such lists that appear on magazine websites, PCWorld makes you click through a lot of pages to see who is on the list. That aside, it’s an interesting take on who is important in the geekosphere. I’m happy to see several friends on the list, including, #39, “the father of modern-day content distribution.” Ironic, isn’t it, the person who created the web is #46 and the guy most credited with creating the Internet is #35. However, I’m glad they at least are still considered important on the web, not just to the web. Personal favorite for someone who is very low-key, but deserving of inclusion: Gabe Rivera, #38.

Prediction: This list is going to come under some major fire for several reasons, however the most controversial issue will be that it is nearly exclusively white males.

Update: This post is getting some celebrity comments. First, to Harry McCracken, the editor of PC World — that “magazine” comment was an inside joke as I blog constantly about the continuing significance of magazines — and their web presences. Second, the 7th most important person on the Web (and a legend), Craig Newmark, comments below that he would have included Ellen Miller of the SunLight Foundation.

If you’d like to see the list on one page, here it is (Later: the list and descriptions can also be found on the Yahoo! News version of the story.):

PCWorld’s 50 Most Important People on the Web

1. Eric Schmidt, Larry Page, and Sergey Brin
Executives, Google

2. Steve Jobs
CEO, Apple

3. Bram Cohen
Cofounder, BitTorrent

4. Mike Morhaime
President, Blizzard Entertainment

5. Jimmy Wales
Founder, Wikipedia

6. John Doerr
Venture capitalist, Kleiner, Perkins, Caulfield & Byers

7. Craig Newmark
Founder, Craigslist

8. Peter Levinsohn
President, Fox Interactive Media

9. Marissa Mayer
Vice president for search products & user experience, Google

10. Chad Hurley and Steve Chen
Founders, YouTube

11. Kevin J. Martin
Chairman, Federal Communications Commission

12. Brad Templeton
Chairman of the board, Electronic Frontier Foundation

13. Henry Chon
CEO, Cyworld

14. Shana Fisher
Senior vice president for strategy and M&A, IAC/InterActiveCorp

15. Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis
Founders, Skype and KaZaA

16. Matt Mullenweg
Developer, WordPress blogging site and software

17. Philip Rosedale
CEO, Linden Lab

18. Jon Lech Johansen
Creator, DeCSS decryption program

19. Jerry Yang, David Filo, and Terry Semel
Executives, Yahoo

20. Jack Ma
COO, Alibaba.com

21. Brewster Kahle
Director, Internet Archive

22. Ray Ozzie
Chief software architect, Microsoft

23. Markos Moulitsas Zuniga
Blogger, Daily Kos

24. Jeff Bezos
CEO, Amazon

25. Robert Scoble
Vice president of media development, PodTech.net

26. John Battelle
Entrepreneur and chairman, Federated Media Publishing

27. Lawrence Lessig
CEO, Creative Commons

28. Meg Whitman
CEO, eBay

29. Ron Wyden
U.S. Senator, Oregon

30. Michael Arrington
Blogger/publisher, TechCrunch

31. Bruce Schneier

32. Kevin Rose
Founder, Digg

33. David Farber
Founder, Interesting-People.org

34. John Hinderaker, Scott Johnson, and Paul Mirengoff
Authors, PowerLine

35. Vinton G. Cerf
Chairman, ICANN Board of Directors, and vice president and chief Internet evangelist, Google

36. Tim O’Reilly
Founder and CEO, O’Reilly Media

37. Drew Curtis
Founder, Fark.com

38. Gabe Rivera
Creator, Techmeme

39. Dave Winer
Blogger and author of RSS 2.0

40. Mike Schroepfer
Vice president of engineering, Mozilla

41. Perez Hilton
Hollywood blogger

42. Paul Graham, Trevor Blackwell, Robert Morris, and Jessica Livingston
Founders, Y Combinator

43. Mikko H. Hypponen
Director of antivirus research, F-Secure

44. Rob Malda
Founder, Slashdot.org

45. Nick Denton
Founder, Gawker Media

46. Sir Tim Berners-Lee
Director, World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)

47. Leo Laporte
Creator, This Week in Tech (TWiT) podcast

48. Mohammed and Omar Fadhil
Blogging voice of Iraq

49. Jesse James Garrett
President, Adaptive Path

50. Tila Tequila
MySpace Personality

  • Coupla comments on your comments on our story:

    1) Whether or not PC World should be naming the most important folks on the Web is a question that’s certainly open for debate. But it’s not an instance of a magazine doing the story. All things considered, PCW is making the transition to the new world of media pretty successfully, and it’s in part because we understand that our most important job is to inform and help our kind of people the way they want–which means being Web-first. Like a large and growing percentage of what we do, that story will never appear in print–and, in fact, it’s a story that we never would have done if we thought of ourselves as a magazine.

    2) Point taken on the amount of clicking required to see the whole list. Most of our most popular stories have provided the list all on one page (often sorted in a variety of ways), and we don’t see any evidence that giving people that convenience hurts our traffic–in fact, it may help. We didn’t do that on this story, but your comment is a good nudge for us to return to that practice.

    –Harry McCracken, editor in chief, PC World

  • In my case, it’s a clerical error anyway.

    I woulda suggested Ellen Miller, sunlightfoundation.com

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  • Rex,

    Your commentors are quickly looking like a “Who’s Who” list so I wanted to add my comment quickly here if only to look like Im on today’s “A list” of commentors. Speaking of CraigsList I just posted an (Nashville) ad there looking for a a co-host of a a new vlog I convinced my employer (a publishing company) to create, hurray!

  • > Ironic, isn’t it, the person who created the web is #46 and the guy most credited with creating the Internet is > #35.

    Rex, I thought for sure you were talking about Al Gore. 🙂

    I personally rather like seeing both of those individuals so (relatively) low on the list, though I realize your intention was likely to point out that perhaps Sir Tim is ranked too low. That both of these prominent people rank where they do is a good indication of just how much the Web continues to evolve and become more and more widespread and useful, I think.

    The Top 20 is covered in Web 2.0, say what you will about the moniker. I personally am very pleased to see WP represented at #16. Great platform, as I am belatedly discovering.

  • Roger Abramson

    No Matt Drudge? Love him, hate him or in-between, I don’t think you can have a list like this without having him somewhere.