Loic Le Meur! Gabe Rivera! Joi Ito! Don't feel bad if you've never heard of them. BusinessWeek.com's latest 25 Most Influential People on the Web is a mashup of billionaire powerbrokers with a randomized handful of those folks you run into at that same little tech conference that happens under a different name every month. I'm guessing they left out TechCrunch's Michael Arrington to create buzz. If you don't want to click through 27 pageviews on BusinessWeek's site, here's the entire list in alphabetical order:
"Yeah, I suppose you fooled Techmeme about your sincerity. Note that you also fooled Fred Wilson and Josh Kopelman in the process. Training your readers to doubt you can be risky. Sometimes you want your posts taken at face value, e.g. those insisting your company is succeeding." Gabe Rivera, founder of blog aggregator Techmeme, takes on blowhard blogger Jason Calacanis. [Calacanis.com]
One could say many things about blog-tracker Technorati and its founder, David Sifry, but the worst charge, I think, to make, is that he helped popularize a delusion particularly congenial to the self-involved world of the Valley: That links to your website somehow matter more than traffic. A newly hired CEO may fix the business, but he's unlikely to repair the damage that idea has wrought. Now, Techmeme has launched a similar tracking service, the Techmeme Leaderboard, that will surely make things worse.
Robert Scoble, the former Microsoft evangelist and die-hard PodTech videoblogger, has ended his brief departure from the Web. Clearly he thinks he's "adding value" with his bold theory that "Mahalo, TechMeme, and Facebook are going to kick Google's butt in four years." You won't be able to read his theory, of course, since he has, tiresomely, recorded it on video. But you can see the sincerity in his eyes, hear it in his voice, and watch him pull out the whiteboard and three, count 'em: three, colored markers! In truth, he's just revealing what he has always been: a confused evangelist who doesn't understand the underlying technology, doesn't have his facts straight, and can't keep his story consistent. But, boy, is he enthusiastic about it! Why? I think he's lobbying for his next job.
Or rather: Robert Scoble doesn't get on Techmeme. Robert Scoble, blogger and video producer, complains: "TechMeme really wants to be Google News, it seems. I see less and less blogs on TechMeme lately and more and more 'professional news.'" Not only his assessment wrong, Scoble's true intent is writ large: "I'm pissed because I'm not on Techmeme."
Andy Plesser of Beet.tv has a rare interview with Gabe Rivera, the creator of everyone's favorite automated tech news "digger" TechMeme. The interview reveals the secret sauce of the news aggregator and its progenitor: an uncanny facsimile of tech and pop icon Craig Newmark's winningest attributes! Craig, the founder of the eponymous Craigslist, and Gabe, the lone man behind TechMeme, are both self-deprecating and aphoristic nebbishes motivated by the altruism their audiences enjoy.
Now that TechCrunch blog founder Michael Arrington moved his monthly megabashes elsewhere, he can hold intimate house parties again. Last night, Mr. Bubble-blower had some guests over to his Atherton ranch after the Future of Web Apps conference in San Francisco. Scott Beale, the Frank Worth of Web 2.0, shot these pics.