Why I pay PR people millions and millions

See, if you pay PR people millions and millions they’ll get you on lists like the Forbes Web Celeb 25.

I’m just joking about paying PR people to get me on lists like this. I don’t have money to pay PR people. Seriously there are a lot of people who are far more deserving of Web fame than me.

Like who?

Well, any list of Web celebs that doesn’t have Joe Hewitt on it isn’t a good one in my book. He wrote the iPhone app for Facebook.

The inventor of the Web isn’t on this list. Where’s Joel Spolsky? He has more readers than I do. Tim O’Reilly isn’t on this list. Neither is Mark Cuban (who just became a Facebook whale with 5,000 friends). Where’s the two guys who started Google? Or, heck, Ev Williams who funded Twitter? Loic Le Meur? He has a Web conference with 2,000 attendees and a video site that’s seeing 1,000 new videos a day. How about the YouTube team? Or the guy who did “Will it Blend?” Or Bre Petis of Make Magazine? Or Hugh Macleod? And Fake Steve Jobs? That’s fine, but where’s Uncov? They are just as biting as FSJ or Valleywag but they actually code so their insults have more teeth. Jay Smooth? I love that dude. Doc Searls? The three co-founders of BlogHer? Ethan Zuckerman and Rebecca MacKinnon, founders of Global Voices Online? Leo Laporte? (his radio shows and This Week in Tech are listened to by hundreds of thousands. John Dvorak?

OK, it’s almost 3 a.m. and I’m just getting started. There’s a LOT more people who deserve to be on such a list than me and that’s not just fake humility either.

I am honored, though. I just wish these lists were more inclusive. Who deserves to be on this list in your view?

Comments

  1. but its not people who deserve or people who did good things for the web, it’s celebs.. if it was just a regular list of celebrities (not web related) you would prorably put tons of people who did nothing good for society up there because they might be moviestars rather than people who built roads, cities, etc..

  2. but its not people who deserve or people who did good things for the web, it’s celebs.. if it was just a regular list of celebrities (not web related) you would prorably put tons of people who did nothing good for society up there because they might be moviestars rather than people who built roads, cities, etc..

  3. Robert, you are perfectly right, there are too many really good bloggers with a wide audience left out. You have named a few that I had in my mind too.

  4. Robert, you are perfectly right, there are too many really good bloggers with a wide audience left out. You have named a few that I had in my mind too.

  5. They did list Leo in the group of folks who “fell off” from last year’s list. I have to admit that I agree with this since Leo had a great year last year with the ascension of TWiT and his other shows. This list is meant to list the breakout tech elite of this year as opposed to keep mentioning the high profile guys who keep doing it year after year (i.e., Laporte, Dvorak, et al).

  6. They did list Leo in the group of folks who “fell off” from last year’s list. I have to admit that I agree with this since Leo had a great year last year with the ascension of TWiT and his other shows. This list is meant to list the breakout tech elite of this year as opposed to keep mentioning the high profile guys who keep doing it year after year (i.e., Laporte, Dvorak, et al).

  7. Congratulations! But hey, as jonas says; the list is about Celebs on the web, en not the people who actually build the web… And jep, you’re one of those surely :)

    (And even that is doubtfull, i mean, by participating in the online community that much, you help build the web in my eyes. opinions are important… maybe as important or more important than building something)

  8. Congratulations! But hey, as jonas says; the list is about Celebs on the web, en not the people who actually build the web… And jep, you’re one of those surely :)

    (And even that is doubtfull, i mean, by participating in the online community that much, you help build the web in my eyes. opinions are important… maybe as important or more important than building something)

  9. I know about five people from this list, one of them are you. But I don’t know anyone you suggested, so that’s the thing about celebs…

  10. I know about five people from this list, one of them are you. But I don’t know anyone you suggested, so that’s the thing about celebs…

  11. These lists are usually so far out of kilter they reflect nothing more than the bookmarks of the journalists involved.

    A recent UK bloggers list failed to mention one very famous blog, http://www.sniffpetrol.com/ yet cheerfully listed various sites that get a fraction of their traffic.

    I guess it’s like the Times great workplaces thang – where you have to pay to be considered. So any great firm that prefers a low profile will continue to not be noticed.

    So who’s going to publish a list of rubbish lists?

  12. These lists are usually so far out of kilter they reflect nothing more than the bookmarks of the journalists involved.

    A recent UK bloggers list failed to mention one very famous blog, http://www.sniffpetrol.com/ yet cheerfully listed various sites that get a fraction of their traffic.

    I guess it’s like the Times great workplaces thang – where you have to pay to be considered. So any great firm that prefers a low profile will continue to not be noticed.

    So who’s going to publish a list of rubbish lists?

  13. Goddarn it – why am I not there? I’m having my digital assistant sack that PR company right now…

    Who else should be there? Nobody.

    “We collected data on 200 Internet personalities, and ranked their popularity in six categories. The final list of 25 names shows how the Web has leveled the playing field –so that now, even the unlikeliest character can become a star.”

    Wow – they COLLECTED DATA on over 200 people! So no wonder it takes a year to make the list in this fast-moving new digital world. Say, why don’t they organise an awards ceremony and it can be on TV? Where do I join The Academy of Motion Web Site Artistes?

    The idea of a Web Celeb list that is updated annually is typically old media and very typically Forbes – with insightful reporting like this: “[Perez Hilton's] personality is part of his success,” says Elizabeth Torrid*, a professor at the University of Southern California and author…”

    Wow. Glad Forbes has the inside track on these professors to give us such rapier-like wisdom and analysis. I thought Hilton was only popular because lots of people were searching ‘the information superhighway’ for a hotel room or a dirty video.

    My Celeb Gossip Tip: Next year Forbes will write an article about how the internet is “a really quick way to access people.”

    *Name of professor changed to protect the dumb soundbite.

  14. Goddarn it – why am I not there? I’m having my digital assistant sack that PR company right now…

    Who else should be there? Nobody.

    “We collected data on 200 Internet personalities, and ranked their popularity in six categories. The final list of 25 names shows how the Web has leveled the playing field –so that now, even the unlikeliest character can become a star.”

    Wow – they COLLECTED DATA on over 200 people! So no wonder it takes a year to make the list in this fast-moving new digital world. Say, why don’t they organise an awards ceremony and it can be on TV? Where do I join The Academy of Motion Web Site Artistes?

    The idea of a Web Celeb list that is updated annually is typically old media and very typically Forbes – with insightful reporting like this: “[Perez Hilton's] personality is part of his success,” says Elizabeth Torrid*, a professor at the University of Southern California and author…”

    Wow. Glad Forbes has the inside track on these professors to give us such rapier-like wisdom and analysis. I thought Hilton was only popular because lots of people were searching ‘the information superhighway’ for a hotel room or a dirty video.

    My Celeb Gossip Tip: Next year Forbes will write an article about how the internet is “a really quick way to access people.”

    *Name of professor changed to protect the dumb soundbite.

  15. How about Tila Tequila? with over a MILLION myspace friends I’d call that a celeb… I’m pretty sure her influence is greater than the sum of all the others on the list (maybe not Ryan since Eng is huge, but definitely the rest)

  16. How about Tila Tequila? with over a MILLION myspace friends I’d call that a celeb… I’m pretty sure her influence is greater than the sum of all the others on the list (maybe not Ryan since Eng is huge, but definitely the rest)

  17. I totally agree with you. If I may add to the list of folks who should be on the Forbes list of web celebrities. I think David Meerman Scott of http://www.webinknow.com/
    should also be there. His books changed my perception of online marketing. I wonder what factors were considered in making that list of theirs.
    Whatever factors considered, rejoice that you are now officially a web celebrity!
    Congratulations.

  18. I totally agree with you. If I may add to the list of folks who should be on the Forbes list of web celebrities. I think David Meerman Scott of http://www.webinknow.com/
    should also be there. His books changed my perception of online marketing. I wonder what factors were considered in making that list of theirs.
    Whatever factors considered, rejoice that you are now officially a web celebrity!
    Congratulations.

  19. The list pertains to Web Celebs.

    The individuals you mentioned are basically known among the business and tech niche. They have not crossed the barrier to becoming top web ‘celebs’ of a pop culture nature with a dedicated fan following.

    The co-creator of Digg, MySpace, YouTube, Lifehack and Google did not push themselves in the forefront as much as they pushed their product.

    Surprisingly, SearchEnginesWeb was actually in the running for that list :-o

  20. The list pertains to Web Celebs.

    The individuals you mentioned are basically known among the business and tech niche. They have not crossed the barrier to becoming top web ‘celebs’ of a pop culture nature with a dedicated fan following.

    The co-creator of Digg, MySpace, YouTube, Lifehack and Google did not push themselves in the forefront as much as they pushed their product.

    Surprisingly, SearchEnginesWeb was actually in the running for that list :-o

  21. The criteria Forbes used is listed in the article; it’s mostly based on number of Google references, Alexa and Technorati rank, mentions in the press etc. So it’s not so much a bunch of people deciding who deserves to be on the list because they started Famous Company X or have a “web conference.” It’s more of a popularity contest.

    I’m assuming http://www.google.com doesn’t count as Sergey’s blog :-) Does he even have a blog…?

    If you enter “spolsky, scoble” into Google Trends you get the answer Who the hell is spolsky. “sergey, scoble” actually returns some data — the name “Sergey” seems to be more popular worldwide, with the curious exception of Seattle, WA, where more people search on “Scoble” than “Sergey.” Searching on “Sergey Brin, Scoble” is more revealing — you seem to be a more popular search term in the English-speaking world, generally speaking. Finally, if you search on “Jesus, Scoble,” Jesus does seem to be more popular than you pretty much over the whole planet, including Seattle.

    But I’m guessing Jesus has some good PR people. LOL

  22. The criteria Forbes used is listed in the article; it’s mostly based on number of Google references, Alexa and Technorati rank, mentions in the press etc. So it’s not so much a bunch of people deciding who deserves to be on the list because they started Famous Company X or have a “web conference.” It’s more of a popularity contest.

    I’m assuming http://www.google.com doesn’t count as Sergey’s blog :-) Does he even have a blog…?

    If you enter “spolsky, scoble” into Google Trends you get the answer Who the hell is spolsky. “sergey, scoble” actually returns some data — the name “Sergey” seems to be more popular worldwide, with the curious exception of Seattle, WA, where more people search on “Scoble” than “Sergey.” Searching on “Sergey Brin, Scoble” is more revealing — you seem to be a more popular search term in the English-speaking world, generally speaking. Finally, if you search on “Jesus, Scoble,” Jesus does seem to be more popular than you pretty much over the whole planet, including Seattle.

    But I’m guessing Jesus has some good PR people. LOL

  23. Hey, let’s spin it this way… You’re more of a “Web Celeb” than Kevin Rose & “Kos” from Daily Kos.

    Of course, there were quite a few on the list I’d never heard of.

    -A

  24. Hey, let’s spin it this way… You’re more of a “Web Celeb” than Kevin Rose & “Kos” from Daily Kos.

    Of course, there were quite a few on the list I’d never heard of.

    -A

  25. Want to be on that list? Here’s what you do :

    1. mention Facebook, Twitter, (any other of the rising/established “social” sites) in every 2nd blog post.

    2. mention “I have <fill in a big number greater than 4500) friends” in every 3nd blog post.

    3. mention “hey i linked so many things in my link blog so that you dont have to read all those blogs” in your blog twice every week.

    4. mention “google reader google reader” in atleast 4 blog posts a week.

    5. order any of the big companies to fire their emplyoees just because you didnt like the design/working/look of their product (its a different thing if you never made a paper plane since leaving school)

  26. Want to be on that list? Here’s what you do :

    1. mention Facebook, Twitter, (any other of the rising/established “social” sites) in every 2nd blog post.

    2. mention “I have <fill in a big number greater than 4500) friends” in every 3nd blog post.

    3. mention “hey i linked so many things in my link blog so that you dont have to read all those blogs” in your blog twice every week.

    4. mention “google reader google reader” in atleast 4 blog posts a week.

    5. order any of the big companies to fire their emplyoees just because you didnt like the design/working/look of their product (its a different thing if you never made a paper plane since leaving school)

  27. Vineet: you forgot that you also have to do video. Out of all the things you listed that’s probably more responsible for getting me on this list than anything else. More than 300 interviews in the past year alone. I’m sure those 300 people helped play a role in getting me on this list.

  28. Vineet: you forgot that you also have to do video. Out of all the things you listed that’s probably more responsible for getting me on this list than anything else. More than 300 interviews in the past year alone. I’m sure those 300 people helped play a role in getting me on this list.

  29. Ahh it’s the old journalists trick.

    whenever you’re out of ideas, simply make a list. In order for that list to succeed though, you have to always rate somebody higher than they deserve, rate somebody way lower than they deserve, leave off somebody everybody thinks should be on it, and add somebody nobody’s heard of.

    Then, it’s guaranteed to generate tons of discussion. Works with any list.

  30. Ahh it’s the old journalists trick.

    whenever you’re out of ideas, simply make a list. In order for that list to succeed though, you have to always rate somebody higher than they deserve, rate somebody way lower than they deserve, leave off somebody everybody thinks should be on it, and add somebody nobody’s heard of.

    Then, it’s guaranteed to generate tons of discussion. Works with any list.

  31. @26 – Robert, you’d be on the list without the videos… in fact, my hunch is the listmakers probably didn’t watch em (well maybe the ones with Bug. just kiddin!)

  32. @26 – Robert, you’d be on the list without the videos… in fact, my hunch is the listmakers probably didn’t watch em (well maybe the ones with Bug. just kiddin!)

  33. @26 seems that reply only reinforces Vincents point. This post even starts out talking about yourself. You show up on this list for the same reason Paris Hilton and Brad Pitt show up I’m all the Hollywood rags more than Meryl Streep and Robert DiNiro don’t. Who does better QUALITY work?

  34. @26 seems that reply only reinforces Vincents point. This post even starts out talking about yourself. You show up on this list for the same reason Paris Hilton and Brad Pitt show up I’m all the Hollywood rags more than Meryl Streep and Robert DiNiro don’t. Who does better QUALITY work?

  35. Stupid question, does every single Web Celeb have to be someone who WORKS in the Web Industry?

    THIS is the problem.

    (oh and @commenter who said Tila, don’t forget how Soulja Boy did the ultimate DIY media crawl to fame, heh like him or not.)

  36. Stupid question, does every single Web Celeb have to be someone who WORKS in the Web Industry?

    THIS is the problem.

    (oh and @commenter who said Tila, don’t forget how Soulja Boy did the ultimate DIY media crawl to fame, heh like him or not.)

  37. I’m surprised nobody’s mentioned NZ Bear’s blogosphere ecosystem or traffic rankings.

    Gizmodo rates on the latter (No. 1, in fact). The others on Forbes’ list? Not so much. Michelle Malkin, Kos and Instapundit are tops in the ecosystem (once you through out Grandfather Clocks Blog, which I think must be placed in error).

    The Forbes list is skewed mightily to tech and business bloggers, with a few exceptions like Kos, Reynolds, Jarvis and of course, Perez Hilton. That’s bizarre, because most of the names on the list are outstripped, both traffic-wise and celebrity-wise, by various pop culture and political bloggers.

    “Influential” is of course an entirely subjective criteria for judging bloggers.

  38. I’m surprised nobody’s mentioned NZ Bear’s blogosphere ecosystem or traffic rankings.

    Gizmodo rates on the latter (No. 1, in fact). The others on Forbes’ list? Not so much. Michelle Malkin, Kos and Instapundit are tops in the ecosystem (once you through out Grandfather Clocks Blog, which I think must be placed in error).

    The Forbes list is skewed mightily to tech and business bloggers, with a few exceptions like Kos, Reynolds, Jarvis and of course, Perez Hilton. That’s bizarre, because most of the names on the list are outstripped, both traffic-wise and celebrity-wise, by various pop culture and political bloggers.

    “Influential” is of course an entirely subjective criteria for judging bloggers.

  39. “Next, we created a candidate list of 200 Web celebrities …”

    This is where they went terribly wrong, I think. There methodology for ranking the ‘Web celebrities’ seems okay, though I’d like for them to show us their work. And we would definitely have to see that list of 200 Web celebrities to find out if it was in any way comprehensive.

  40. “Next, we created a candidate list of 200 Web celebrities …”

    This is where they went terribly wrong, I think. There methodology for ranking the ‘Web celebrities’ seems okay, though I’d like for them to show us their work. And we would definitely have to see that list of 200 Web celebrities to find out if it was in any way comprehensive.

  41. The web is so fragmented – or should that be linked – that audience can’t be equated with influence.

    They should have come up with 25 categories – tech, food, tourism, personality, entertainment, etc – and chosen the most influential one from each. And then, asked this 25 for their opinion of who mattered most.

    As it happens, Mr Scoble, you’d still come close to the top of that list.

    Although I’d say your wife is probably *more* influential than you, not least because she has your attention more than anyone! (Think about it – that’s incredibly influential)

  42. The web is so fragmented – or should that be linked – that audience can’t be equated with influence.

    They should have come up with 25 categories – tech, food, tourism, personality, entertainment, etc – and chosen the most influential one from each. And then, asked this 25 for their opinion of who mattered most.

    As it happens, Mr Scoble, you’d still come close to the top of that list.

    Although I’d say your wife is probably *more* influential than you, not least because she has your attention more than anyone! (Think about it – that’s incredibly influential)

  43. A lot of this list seems to be getting in the news outside the blogosphere. That’s the crossover piece that makes for more celebrity. And of course they left off people who are famous for non-web things. That is why Cuban and O’Rielly are not on the list.

    I don’t know who else I’d put on the list. It’s not about value but fame. The two do not always go hand in hand – though it is nice when they do.

  44. A lot of this list seems to be getting in the news outside the blogosphere. That’s the crossover piece that makes for more celebrity. And of course they left off people who are famous for non-web things. That is why Cuban and O’Rielly are not on the list.

    I don’t know who else I’d put on the list. It’s not about value but fame. The two do not always go hand in hand – though it is nice when they do.

  45. Robert, congrats but you are right…ironic that Forbes in its ad demographics says it is one “one of the most trusted information resources for the world’s affluent business leaders.” and yet no blogger focused on Wall Street, business or enterprise technology in the list. My two picks would have been Paul Kedrosky and Dan Farber…

    yes, more of enterprise technologies aren’t sexy -)

    see more below

    http://dealarchitect.typepad.com/deal_architect/2007/12/more-signs-of-e.html

  46. Robert, congrats but you are right…ironic that Forbes in its ad demographics says it is one “one of the most trusted information resources for the world’s affluent business leaders.” and yet no blogger focused on Wall Street, business or enterprise technology in the list. My two picks would have been Paul Kedrosky and Dan Farber…

    yes, more of enterprise technologies aren’t sexy -)

    see more below

    http://dealarchitect.typepad.com/deal_architect/2007/12/more-signs-of-e.html

  47. Spolsky is supersmart (owns or runs FogCreek) but has not been in the news lately. You on the other hand are known for being a blogger and thus are a true “webceleb”. You were successful in supporting your blog and videocasts through sponsorship and launched a second career through it, and now since you are no longer with MS can afford to criticize it (within limits :-) and comment on tech and trends from all companies. Congrats on being listed, it should help your career in both the short and the long run.

  48. Spolsky is supersmart (owns or runs FogCreek) but has not been in the news lately. You on the other hand are known for being a blogger and thus are a true “webceleb”. You were successful in supporting your blog and videocasts through sponsorship and launched a second career through it, and now since you are no longer with MS can afford to criticize it (within limits :-) and comment on tech and trends from all companies. Congrats on being listed, it should help your career in both the short and the long run.

  49. iPhone Facebook interface… you really like it? I think it’s missing so much, and it hasn’t seen any updates! (I miss: Commenting on photos, Groups, Editing profile info, Sending messages to people from their profile… way too much is missing)

  50. iPhone Facebook interface… you really like it? I think it’s missing so much, and it hasn’t seen any updates! (I miss: Commenting on photos, Groups, Editing profile info, Sending messages to people from their profile… way too much is missing)