This weekend's San Jose Mercury News profile of TechCrunch editor Michael Arrington, so obsequiously flattering that some wondered whether the writer was auditioning for a job at the tech blog, included an inadvertent slam. Evidence of Arrington's importance: According to TechCrunch marketing VP Sarah Ross, Arrington was considered for Vanity Fair's "New Establishment" power list, but didn't make the final cut. So he's sort of famous, right? Just one problem with that theory.If Arrington was, as his flack claims, considered and discarded from the main list, why didn't he show up on Vanity Fair's "Next Establishment," a collection of up-and-coming also-rans? Startup types like Ali and Hadi Partovi, the cofounders of music widget iLike, appeared there, though they're pretty much unknown outside the Valley. In this beauty contest, Arrington didn't even get the consolation prize. (Photo by Maria Avila/San Jose Mercury News)
Preeminent among the magazine world's kingmaking power lists is Vanity Fair's New Establishment, which appears in the October issue — on newsstands in L.A. and New York today, but not in the Bay Area for another six days. Silicon Valley gets similar short shrift: The names who make it there are predictable bigs like Steve Jobs and Larry Ellison, or Hollywood-crossover types like Jeff Skoll, eBay's first employee turned movie producer. Walt Mossberg, now employed by New Establishment perennial Rupert Murdoch, also squeaked in. The consolation prize Vanity Fair offers: Its "Next Establishment" list, reserved for the likes of Twitter's Ev Williams. It's a marvelous piece of New York media trickery — flatter the geeks by making them feel included, but corral them into a side room so the real power brokers aren't offended by comparison. True, the "Next Establishment" suggests that these are people who might matter in the future. But in saying that, Vanity Fair's editors are also sending the message that right here, right now, its "Next" nominees are nobodies. On this year's list:
ATHERTON — I'm told I left the party too early, but once Third Eye Blind started playing, Thursday night's iLike bash was pretty much over for me. Don't get me wrong — I like Third Eye Blind. It's right in tune with my utterly bland and more than slightly gay musical tendencies. But this is exactly why I will never, ever use a service like iLike, which makes a Facebook app that allows you to reveal your musical taste, or lack thereof, to your friends by posting songs, and find people with similar tastes by seeing who's going to concerts. Here's the thing: I know my taste in music is egregiously bad. I don't want to advertise the fact to the world, and if anything, I want to meet people who specifically dislike the music I listen to. That's all right, though — what I really wanted to listen to was the buzz in the room.