6 Simple Things You Can Do to Enjoy Blogging More

Whether your blogging goals are to make money online or become the most popular blog in your niche, there’s one goal bloggers don’t talk about enough: to enjoy what is, first and foremost, a hobby and an intellectual pursuit.

With all the pressure to write posts that do well on social media, ‘network’ with influential figures and simply publish content on a regular basis, blogging can start to feel a lot like work rather than something we do for fun.

In this post, I want to share five simple things you can do to start enjoying blogging more — which is also one of the simplest ways to increase the quality of your blogging.

1. Keep track of milestones.

Things like reaching 100, 1,000 or 10,000 subscribers, getting an email from a popular blogger, making the front page of Digg or getting your first AdSense check are all important blogging milestones.

Keeping track of them on a time-line allows you to identify both purple patches and troughs, but most importantly, it provides a record of the highlights in your blogging career.

Looking over your milestones can give you a motivational boost on days when you’re feeling ambivalent about blogging and its rewards (and even the best of us have those days).

Typing or writing a milestone into your record can help the reality of your achievement to set in.Your milestones time-line could be a text file, a piece of paper stuck to your wall, a scrapbook or a note file on your phone. The format doesn’t matter, as long as it’s easy to access and update.

2. Structure blogging around your family and social life.

One of the finest qualities of blogging as a hobby is its flexibility. You can write posts when you want, where you want, meaning you can structure your blogging to fit around the most important things in life.

Some kind of blogging routine is important (even if it’s flexible), but if your blogging often gets in the way of your family or social life, you’re going to start resenting it rather than enjoying it — or you might start simply neglecting it. One simply way to enjoy blogging more is to try and write posts or answer emails during the quietest period of the day for you.

That might be early in the morning before work, during your lunch-hour, or late at night. Set aside zones of time where you often see friends or spend time with your family and make sure to blog outside those times.

3. Find your favorite place to blog.

Certain locations and settings can seemingly induce an automatic flow of ideas and fluid writing. The very act of experimenting with different creative settings can take your blogging to another level, so it’s worth doing! If you’ve got a laptop, you can write posts almost anywhere.

Go down to your local cafe, the park or the local library and work out which location you find most inspiring (though it might turn out to be home!) Free wireless at any location is a bonus. If you don’t have a laptop, you could try drafting your posts with a paper and pen in an inspiring location and typing the final draft into your computer.

4. Get to know your readers.

Your blogging success depends on your audience. In many ways, so does your enjoyment! Getting positive feedback and hearing that you’ve helped or entertained people you’ve probably never met feels pretty good.

However, by putting so much time and effort into creating great content and promoting your blog it’s very easy to become disconnected from your audience, either by not reading and answering comments, or by not answering reader emails.

Without the positive feedback and re-enforcement an audience provides you might start to feel like you’re blogging in a vacuum. Remembering to engage with your audience is a simple way to enjoy blogging more even when your other goals (creating a popular blog or making money online) aren’t yet falling into place.

5. Add an income stream to your blog.

If you’re not yet monetizing your blog, adding an income stream (like a banner ad or affiliate program) can be a fun thing to do, as long as you don’t become too pre-occupied with it.

Even if you don’t make more than small change, you might make enough to pay for your monthly hosting or your domain name, or for your kids’ pocket money, and every little bit helps. Part of the fun is watching this income stream grow as your blog does.

6. Engage with other bloggers.

If you’re like me, your friends and family look at you with a quizzical, slightly impressed, slightly confused expression when you start to talk about the blogging world.

Through blogging, I’ve been able to meet people know actually know what I’m talking about when I start to go on about RSS feeds, bounce rates, guest-posts and being Dugg ;-) .

Building friendships with other bloggers and being able to talk about your hobby with other like-minded people is one of the best aspects of blogging.I should stress that in this point, I’m not talking about your traditional networking connections where the primary motivation is: “What can I give this person, and what can they give me?”

Step out of that mindset and think of other bloggers as potential friends rather than potential business partners!

A final tip

One of the most illuminating things a blogger can do is to sit down and rank the different aspects of blogging from most enjoyable to least enjoyable. Doing so will help you identify why you started blogging and why you continue to do so.

Your next goal should be to maximize the percentage of time you spend on the tasks you enjoy and minimize the time you spend on those tasks that bore you (or eliminate them completely).

If they’re important tasks, consider outsourcing them or approaching them in a different way. For example, if you like the money-making potential of blogging but dislike writing posts, you might find that taking on more guest-posters or hiring paid writers is the answer for you.

You’ll never be able to maximize your enjoyment of blogging until you can define exactly what it is that you love about it.

Love and The Other Ingredients for a Perfect Blog

What drives you to blog? Is it for money, or perhaps fame?

When we read and write about blogging, we usually have one clear picture in our head: We want to be Darren Rowse. Or maybe it’s John Chow or Shoemoney for you?

But still, someone who makes his living from running a blog of his own. A ‘problogger’.There’s nothing wrong with that picture. But often, this is not only reason why we blog.

That’s why for today’s post I went to collect a broader list of reasons why people decide to start blogging. Some of them are related to making money, and some are not.

Take a look at the list and see if you can find your reasons included. If not, share them in the comments! It will be fun to compare our expectations.

Opinions

An opinionated blogger is an interesting blogger.The great thing about blogging is that it lets you speak freely about things you believe in and challenge the rest of the world with your ideas.

Topics can range from politics to business trends to describing the best way to write software. Speak up, make yourself heard and make a difference!

Change

The next natural step from an opinionated blogger is a blogger with a cause.Blogs are slowly turning into today’s mainstream media. They gather impressive amounts of readers, and people are gaining trust towards established blogs as safe sources of information.

That’s why if you are passionate about a topic (for example the environment), that can be an important reason for starting a blog.Last October, the first ever Blog Action Day made it clear that there is real power in the blogging community. But through a dedicated blog, you can make that kind of difference more often than just once a year.

Some world changing blogs to challenge your thinking:

  1. Escape Adulthood
  2. EcoWordly
  3. No Impact Man

Fame

If you don’t make a name for yourself, someone will make one for you.(Scott Ginsberg)

This is one of my favorite reasons for having a blog because it serves as a tool for achieving so many of the other reasons listed in this post: When you are known for something, you can land money making opportunities, get people to buy your products, make them listen to what you have to say on important topics, and even get people to get in touch with you.

If this is what you are after, make sure your blog shows you as the expert you are, in a natural and trustworthy way that makes people talk about you and quote things you write.

Some personal branding blogs that make a difference:

  1. Seth’s Blog
  2. Self Made Chick
  3. Skelliewag.org

Money

I started this post by collectively admitting our shared, secret dreams of being Darren Rowse. Many of us have professional blogging as at least one of the top reasons for building our blog (Let me know if you don’t!).

And who could blame us? Running your own blog as a full time job sounds almost too good to be true. But it takes a lot of work and time to get there – and even then only a handful of us will reach the same kind of success the top bloggers do.

But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to get at least a small piece of the cake. Even if your main focus is on something as important as raising climate change awareness, there is no reason you couldn’t make some money from your blog at the same time.

It may not be your only blogging related income, or it might not be the main reason for your blogging, but nevertheless, something worth considering.

Sales

The other, perhaps more straightforward way of making money through blogging is by using your blog as a support tool for the rest of your business: When you get your most loyal customers to sign up to your blog, you can use the blog to create buzz about your upcoming products, make your loyal customers even more loyal, and give them some ammunition to use when selling the product they love to their friends and relatives.

If you are running a business, this is what most blogging consultants would tell you to do. Just mix in some values and personality and you’ve got a killer recipe in your hands – assuming your product is good enough to collect fans…

My favorite example of a company doing a great job in business blogging is 37 Signals through their two blogs: Signal vs. Noise and the newer 37 Signals Product Blog.

Friendship

I didn’t start blogging to make friends.In fact I started my blog as an experiment to see how long I could keep it up, and what I would be able to grow it to. But now I realize that one of the most important things that has happened during my blogging career is that I have made a bunch of blogging buddies who challenge my thinking, raise interesting questions, and keep me accountable on my goals.

This is a side effect I’m more than happy to welcome to my blogging life!To me this was a side effect, but it can also be your goal from the beginning.If that’s the case, the most important tip is to make it personal.

Talk with a human voice, sharing your own experiences and asking questions. Don’t hide behind a mask but let your readers see the real you! And don’t forget to show that you are interested in seeing the real them as well.

Love

What is your biggest love?For some, it’s food. For some, music. Programming. Knitting. There are as many things you can feel passionate about as there are human beings.

When you feel deeply about something, it’s only natural that you want to share your love with others. You don’t care whether you get paid for it or not, you just want to tell about your love to everyone. This can lead to a blog full of superlatives that no one can stand to read, but at best it can be an experience that makes the reader fall in love with your favorite topic.

Kathy Sierra’s blog (unfortunately not updated anymore), Creating Passionate Users, was something like this. The passion was so clear to see that even after almost a year of silence, the blog still feels alive.When you love the topic you write about, it shines through your every word. And that’s why there is no better reason for blogging than love.

Take love as the main ingredient, mix in a few of the others, like friendship, fame and money, and you have a killer blog in your hands.

Your mix?

And now we get to my favorite part, the moment when I shut up and start listening (in terms of blogging ingredients, this is the friendship building moment).

I believe no blog consists of only one of the ingredients described in this article but they are all mixtures that look somewhat like the blogger. What does your mix look like? Share your thoughts in the comments!

10 Books to Make you a Better Blogger

Is it odd to look to traditional media for advice on becoming a better blogger? Not as odd as you might think. Covering issues in a much more in-depth and logically ordered way than reading online, books are also just easier on the eye…

From post ideas, to writing, to web development to marketing, in this post we’ll look at a bunch of books that will make you a better blogger.

No One Cares What You Had for Lunch: 100 Ideas for Your Blog

As we like to stress here on NorthxEast, writing quality, unique content for your blog is what sets it apart and ultimately leads to success. Margaret Mason demonstrates she knows a thing or two about writing just by having such a damn catchy title! And though it’s a quick read, this book should get you thinking.More at Amazon:No One Cares What You Had for Lunch: 100 Ideas for Your Blog

WordPress 2 (Visual Quickstart Guide)

If you’re new to WordPress and looking for some hand-holding, this could be the book for you, it’s easy to read, takes you through step-by-step on installing, customizing and getting the most of WordPress. Of course you could just save yourself a few dollars and get yourself a WordPress account and start tinkering!More at Amazon:WordPress 2 (Visual QuickStart Guide)

CSS Mastery: Advanced Web Standards Solutions

Written by three of my favorite designers – Andy Budd, Simon Collison and Cameron Moll – this book is great for anyone looking to master CSS design and wanting to learn from the best.More at Amazon:CSS Mastery: Advanced Web Standards Solutions

The Elements of Style

When the New York Times gives a book a review that says “Buy it, study it, enjoy it” you know it must be good. This classic of composition will DEFINITELY make you a better blogger.More at Amazon:The Elements of Style, Fourth Edition

Killer Web Content

Content is after all what a blog is all about, so a book on killer web content just can’t go wrong. If you’re interested you can also read the first chapter freely online to get a taste.More at Amazon:Killer Web Content: Make the Sale, Deliver the Service, Build the Brand

Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability

This book is a classic in web usability and if you only read one book on the subject, it should probably be this one. Covering things like navigation design, use of copy, usability patterns and much more, Brian Krug’s book is essential blogger reading.More at Amazon:Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, 2nd Edition

Head First HTML with CSS & XHTML

Head First is a line of books from Kathy Sierra & Co and they are renowned for their readability and style. This book is a great introduction to HTML and CSS for the non-web designer and will get you up to speed and hand-modifying your WordPress themes in no time!More at Amazon:Head First HTML with CSS & XHTML (Head First)

Guerrilla Marketing Weapons: 100 Affordable Marketing Methods

Guerilla marketing is the art of marketing with a limited budget in unconventional ways. In other words its marketing that is ideal for bloggers. This book goes through 100 ways to market a business and while not all of it suits bloggers, there is plenty that does and the rest will get you thinking anyway.More at Amazon:Guerrilla Marketing Weapons: 100 Affordable Marketing Methods

All Marketers Are Liars: The Power of Telling Authentic Stories in a Low-Trust World

If you don’t Seth Godin you’re going to love him, and if you do…well then you already know what to expect. This classic book on marketing talks about how to tell a story to market a product. If you are using your blog to market affiliate products, you’ll find many pearls of wisdom here.More at Amazon:All Marketers Are Liars: The Power of Telling Authentic Stories in a Low-Trust World

Unleashing the Ideavirus

And because one Seth Godin book is just never enough, here’s another… This one is about viral marketing and idea viruses – I’ll let Seth explain the difference – great for anyone and everyone!And in case you find “reading” a bit too much trouble, I’ve linked up to the AUDIO version of the book on Amazon, so you can just throw it in your car and listen while you drive!Unleashing the Idea Virus

15 Powerful Ways to Differentiate Your Blog from the Crowd

There are millions of blogs out there, and getting noticed amid the cacophony of such a noisy and active crowd is the key problem for any new blogger.

In January 2007, I started Zen Habits, and at first I thought there was no way for me to get noticed. Eleven months later, I’m a Top 100 blogger and I’ve learned a few things about how to get noticed.

There are millions of blogs out there, and getting noticed amid the cacophony of such a noisy and active crowd is the key problem for any new blogger.

In the face of such overwhelming odds, how can you differentiate yourself? How can you get noticed?

The main thing: don’t just do what everyone else is doing. Study your field, see what’s being done, and by all means, do the things that are working for others. But do it in a new or interesting way, with some kind of difference that will get you noticed.Here are a few tips on doing that:

1. Blog name.

It starts here … how will you be memorable? If you use your name for your blog, it had better be a memorable or already-known name, or you’ll have a harder time. Try to choose a name that will capture the image you’re going for and stand out at the same time. It’s going to be your brand. Be bold!

2. Headlines.

Aside from creating amazing content, writing an interesting and catchy headline (or “post title”) is the best thing you can do to get people to read your posts. Those few words are all they’ll read when another blogger links to you, when you’re on a social media site such as Digg, or when you’re in their RSS reader.

So be bold in your headlines as well. See what works for other successful blogs, and capture the essence of those headlines … while doing something a little different. Be sexy, be different, be eye catching.

3. Usefulness.

There are a lot of blogs out there, but not many of them are so valuable that they’re worth the time it takes to sift through the non-useful stuff. Be different by being incredibly useful, so valuable people will thank you for providing the information you’re providing for free. Always ask yourself, “How can I make this post amazingly useful?”

4. Depth.

Along those lines, don’t just brush over a topic. Too many blogs do short posts with a thought or two, obviously written in a hurry. Be different — go into much more depth.

It’s still important to be concise — being lengthy isn’t a good thing. But exploring a very useful topic in more depth than other blogs will set you apart.

5. Flair.

While content is the most important thing, it’s good to have a little style too. Should you be intentionally flamboyant and exciting?

Well, a little flair never hurts. But it’s still important to be true to yourself, and to be honest to your readers. Don’t try to be someone you’re not, but adding a little zest to your posts while still being yourself is a good way to be different than the more commonplace blogs out there.

6. Memorable images.

Aside from the headline, the image that you use with the post can make a big difference in grabbing the reader’s attention. Try to find a popping, eye-catching, memorable image to go along with your post.

Now, it shouldn’t oversell the post or mislead the reader, but something funny or amazing or at least visually interesting should do the trick.

7. Off-beat topics.

What topics are other people blogging about? If you blog about exactly the same thing, you’ll be exactly the same as everyone else.

Instead, try to think of topics that are slightly off-beat, different, interesting … something that will catch attention and curiosity. The reader should see the post and say, “Huh? That’s interesting.” He shouldn’t say, “Oh, not that again.”

8. Controversy.

While it’s not good to be intentionally controversial all the time, it’s also good to try not to steer clear of all controversy. If you have a stance that isn’t the norm, that will stir up a little controversy … don’t be afraid to write about it.

You might get some attacks, you might get insulted … but don’t worry, it won’t hurt as much as you think. Just do it, and see what happens. Controversy gets people talking, and that’s a good thing.

9. Definitive resource.

Instead of providing some information about a topic, provide everything the reader could want on that topic. Be the definitive guide, FAQ or how-to.

Have links to everything the reader might want. If you’re better than everyone else, more comprehensive, more useful, you’ll stand out.

10. Give away an ebook.

I’ve had success selling an ebook, but remember that I had built up my audience before I sold the ebook. Instead, you can do the opposite: create a great ebook that will be quickly spread around, and give it away for free.

Make it catchy and extremely valuable, and people will thank you. Allow other bloggers to give it away for free on their blogs. Allow people to email it to family and friends. Just be sure that your blog’s name and url are on it prominently.

11. Minimalist design.

Way too many blogs are crammed not only with information, but with widgets, ads, images, links, more ads, and everything else under the sun. Readers get tired of that. Instead, remove everything you possibly can.

Only have your header image, and the content, and maybe a few links to your best stuff and links so people can navigate easily. Other than that, lose everything else possible.

The minimalist design, with lots of “white space” (as opposed to filling every possible inch of screen space with stuff) will be much more eye-catching and memorable. Different, in other words.

12. Don’t have ads.

Along those lines, try going without ads. I know, that’s a tough decision to make. But some of my favorite blogs have gone without ads, at least until they got popular, and let me tell you, it set them apart.

Anyway, Adsense and other ads like that don’t make much money in the beginning. If you’re not making thousands of dollars a month on ads, consider removing them for a few months.

13. Attention-grabbing openers.

The first paragraph or two of your content are the most important (aside from the headline). That’s because if it’s not interesting, people will move on. They’re busy, they don’t have time, and they don’t want to read a boring article.

But if you grab their attention with the first few words (and don’t oversell the post), you’ll get them to keep reading.

14. Get people talking.

Along the lines of “be controversial”, you want people to talk about your posts. You don’t have to be intentionally controversial or anything, but just ask yourself, “Is this a post I would blog about if I were another blogger?

Is this something I might tell my coworkers about?” If so, you’ve got a winner. Write in a way that makes other people want to talk about you.

15. Don’t be about the money, be about the reader.

Too many bloggers are just looking to make money. They make many decisions, without really thinking about it, that put the money and the traffic before the reader.

With every little decision you make, ask yourself, “Is this something that will benefit my readers? Is this something that will be valuable to them?” If not, consider not doing it. For example, widgets that are designed to drive blog traffic — are you doing it for the traffic, or for the reader?

Most times, it’s not for the reader. But if you constantly, vigilantly, mercilessly put the reader before money or traffic, you will set yourself apart. And that’s a good thing.

Top 50 Most Influential Bloggers

There are literally millions of bloggers out there, each of them with their own voice and style, and yet in the blogging world, a handful stand out. These are the movers and shakers.

When they speak, the blogging world listens. These are our Fifty Most Influential Bloggers, and if you don’t know them, you need to.Are there others out there who matter? Sure there are – they just didn’t make this list.

Is the list in perfect order? No, that would be impossible – every person on this list is important, and depending on what’s important to you, they might rank higher or lower on the scale than what they have here.

But what’s important is that these bloggers – and some of them are much more than just bloggers – are influential beyond the norm. The voices of these fifty bloggers reverberate throughout the blogosphere. They have had ideas that spread like viruses, and have styles that are mimicked by numerous others.

They’ve created major blogs that have major audiences.Why do you need to know who they are?

Because if you want to see the shape of blogging future, the trends that show us where blogging is heading, then these are the people to watch and listen to. Their success stories hold for us a key to and an inspiration for our own success.

No. 50
Neil Patel
QuickSprout – www.quicksprout.com
Patel is one of the more popular bloggers on the topics of SEO and Internet marketing and writes for QuickSprout, a blog about branding, and PronetAdvertising, a group blog about online marketing. Patel helped found ACS, an Internet marketing and SEO firm (where he serves as Chief Technology Officer) as well as the Crazy Egg online software, which helps websites track the effectiveness of page design and advertising.

Why He Matters:

Patel has successfully branded himself as one of the top experts on SEO and Internet marketing, including linkbaiting and social media such as Digg or Netscape. This is not only because he finds ways to exploit loopholes in the system to get on the Digg homepage or a high ranking on Google, but because he’s willing to talk about it and share his secrets with others. In addition, he’s done some high-profile publicity, such as publicly challenging Weblogs Inc. owner Jason Calacanis when Calacanis implied that SEO techniques don’t really work — and the high-profile publicity has made Patel one of the top names in the industry.

30 Second Rundown:

No. 49
Mary Hodder
Founder and Chairman, Dabble – www.dabble.com
Editor, Napsterization – www.napsterization.org
Mary’s blog – www.hodder.org

30 Second Rundown:

Hodder was a graduate student at UC Berkeley and has written for half a dozen different blogs. Her most popular is probably Napsterization, a blog that discusses the transformation of old media into digital media. In 2005, she founded Dabble, a site that aims to help people collect and share videos, no matter where they’re hosted. She’s also worked on a number of systems, including Technorati.

Why She Matters:

Hodder is one of the leading-edge bloggers writing with and experimenting with new web technology and the role of digital media in the world. As such, her views are widely influential. Also, she’s extremely active on many social websites, and interacts profusely with the online world.

No. 48
John Chow

JohnChow.com – www.johnchow.com

30 Second Rundown:

John Chow made his name back in the pre-bubble era with a tech website called theTechZone – which is still around today. In recent years, what began as a personal blog has grown into a money-spinning Mecca of JohnChowites, flocking to discuss all manner of blog-related money making schemes along with Chow’s trademark dining posts.

Why He Matters:

Having documented the earnings of JohnChow.com since its inception and proven to one and all that even a personal blog can become a legitimate source of income, Chow has scored big points with the blogging crowd. While he may not be to everyone’s taste, his efforts are often creative and almost always successful.

No. 47
Leo Babauta

ZenHabits – www.zenhabits.net
BlogActionDay – blogactionday.org

Special Note:

This listing has been inserted/written by the NorthxEast editor. Leo deserves to be on this list for a hundred reasons so I’ve taken the liberty of editing him in!

30 Second Rundown:

Having worked as a newspaper editor and writer for almost two decades Babauta’s entry to blogging has been an extremely rapid rise to fame. He writes for a variety of blogs including this one you are reading now, WebWorkerDaily, LifeHack, FreelanceSwitch,DumbLittleMan and many others.In addition Babauta owns and writes ZenHabits a blog that in a matter of months has edged within a few spots of the Technorati Top 100.In addition Leo is one of the co-founders of Blog Action Day, an initiative that is bringing together literally thousands of bloggers.

Why He Matters:

Babauta matters not only because of his own wildly popular blog but because as a freelance blogger his voice is heard in a variety of web destinations including some of the best and brightest of the blogging world. He has taken list making to an art form and mastered the art of writing posts that get Dugg – his own blog ZenHabits has been dugg on average once a week since its inception.

No. 46
Sven Lennartz and Vitaly Friedman

Smashing Magazine – www.smashingmagazine.com

30 Second Rundown:

Lennartz and Friedman, both from Germany, started Smashing Magazine – a blog for web developers in September 2006, but in the short time since, it has really taken off. Sitting pretty in amongst the most popular blogs according to Technorati. They also write for the German blog, Dr. Web, among others.

Why They Matter:

When the guys behind Smashing Magazine so much as sneeze it makes it to the Digg homepage and gets bookmarked by a thousand delicious users. Though they produce very little original content, Lennartz and Friedman have taken list making and research to a new level to produce precisely what the masses love. As their success grows and grows, imitators are beginning to appear meeting with some success themselves, but for now, nobody does it like Smashing.

No. 45
Eli

Blue Hat SEO – www.bluehatseo.com

30 Second Rundown:

Eli doesn’t provide a last name on his site, and frankly, beyond his blog BlueHatSeo I don’t really know just who Eli is. One this is for sure, his blogging packs a punch.

Why He Matters:

His site ain’t pretty, his tactics verge on the downright dirty, but his blog is well read by a legion of SEO-mad, ethically challenged developers and the techniques he propounds could be hitting a screen near you soon – watch out!

No. 44
Rand Fishkin

SEOMoz – www.seomoz.org

30 Second Rundown:

Fishkin is CEO and co-founder of SEOMoz, a blog and a company that provides search engine optimization (SEO) and Internet marketing consulting to companies worldwide.

Why He Matters:

In a sea of search optimization blogs, SEOMoz managed to get voted the best SEO blog by the people in its own industry, and with a team of good writers, the blog has become a must-read not only for SEO experts but also the smaller bloggers looking to optimize themselves up..

No. 43
Ken Fisher

Ars Technica – www.arstechnica.com

30 Second Rundown:

Fisher is a Ph.D. student in Religion at Harvard’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences working on his dissertation. He started the Ars Technica blog (Latin for “the art of technology”) in 1998, and the site has grown from 100 readers a month to well over 2 million readers a month.

Why He Matters:

Fisher’s Ars Technica blog is in the Top 10 on Technorati, and is extremely influential with both the technology and consumer crowds. With more than 100,000 subscribers, Fisher’s posts reach a very wide audience every day.

No. 42
Harvey Levin

TMZ – www.TMZ.com

30 Second Rundown:

Levin is a television producer, investigative reporter, lawyer, and legal analyst who is now the managing editor at TMZ.com, a celebrity news and gossip site launched by Time Warner-AOL in 2005. Previously, Levin was creator and executive producer for the TV show Celebrity Justice as well as The People’s Court. TMZ refers to the Hollywood union term “Thirty Mile Zone” where rates and rest periods are treated differently inside and outside the zone for those under union contracts.

Why He Matters:

TMZ.com is a Top 10 site on Technorati and infamous for breaking celebrity scandals, most notably the transcripts of actor Mel Gibson’s drunken remarks to police in 2006. With its strong corporate backing, TMZ.com is very influential in the entertainment industry.

No. 41
Elizabeth Spiers

Elizabeth’s blog – www.elizabethspiers.com

30 Second Rundown:

The founding editor of Gawker.com, the famed New York media gossip blog, Spiers went on to found Dead Horse Media, which publishes Wall Street gossip blog Dealbreaker.com, law gossip blog AboveTheLaw, fashion gossip blog Fashionista, and business management site Supermogul. She left Dead Horse Media in April 2007, citing difference in direction with her partners.

Why She Matters:

As the original Gawker girl, Spiers is among the most famous professional bloggers, having developed a distinctive style that has been imitated by many other bloggers — a snarky attitude, casual profanity, and genuine enthusiasm. She’s proven that she can start up popular blogs almost at will, and has said she has plans for more ventures in the near future.

No. 40
Lisa and Brian Sugar
Sugar Publishing – www.sugarpublishing.com
PopSugar – www.popsugar.com

30 Second Rundown:

The Sugars founded Sugar Publishing, based out of San Francisco, in April 2006 and started their blog empire with PopSugar, a fast-growing celebrity gossip site that is now the flagship of the 10-blog network. The blogs in the network, which include such titles asFabSugar, BellaSugar and FitSugar, are aimed at women younger than 35.

Why They Matter:

When a blog network gets funding from a VC firm like Sequoia (the guys who funded Google, YouTube and a variety of other winners), you know its worth paying attention. With a rapidly expanding portfolio of blogs, the Sugar?s are running a tight ship.

No. 39
Joshua Micah Marshall

Talking Points Memo – www.talkingpointsmemo.com

30 Second Rundown:

Joshua Micah Marshall is the publisher of Talking Points Memo, TPMCafe, and TPMmuckraker.com. He is also columnist for Time.com and the Capitol Hill newspaper The Hill.

Why He Matters:

Marshall started his Talking Points Memo blog as a hobby during the November 2000 election recount “just for fun” and his audience grew over time. He reached 8,000 visitors a day in the first two years, and when he broke controversial news about racially charged comments by Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, his traffic surged to 40,000 readers a day. Now he’s one of the top political blogs and in the Top 50 on Technorati.

No. 38
Karl Wang
AntiClown Media – www.anticlown.com
The Superficial – www.thesuperficial.com

30 Second Rundown:

Wang is the founder of Anticlown Media, a blog publisher with several large blogs. The group’s flagship blog is The Superficial, a biting commentary on the excesses of celebrities that doesn’t pull any punches and is widely popular.

Why He Matters:

Since its inception in 2004, The Superficial has grown steadily into a super blog. These days it?s joined by a growing family of blogs including Geekologie, iWatchStuff! andHedonistica. They now serve some 14 million visitors and 16 million pageviews a month and growing fast.

No. 37
Heather Armstrong

Dooce – www.dooce.com

30 Second Rundown:

Armstrong, who writes under the nickname “Dooce”, is famous for being fired from her job for things she wrote about her job and coworkers on her blog. The incident fired up the blogging community and earned her a celebrity blogger status … and creating a coinage that is all her own (to be “dooced” is to be fired for something you write online). She’s a designer known for quirky headers on her blog and a deeply personal and humorous writing style.

Why She Matters:

Dooce has been one of the most popular blogs for years, and has won many awards for her incisive writing, wit and honesty. In fact, it’s her style that’s so influential, as it has affected the writing style (and design style) of many blogs to follow.

No. 36
Ana Marie Cox
emerita of Wonkette.com
Ana Marie’s blog mtblog.anamariecox.com

30 Second Rundown:

Cox was a former editor at the influential website, suck.com, and the founding editor ofWonkette.com, the Washington D.C. political gossip blog owned by Gawker Media. She popularized the site through her witty, irreverent and sarcastic style and was known as the Wonkette before retiring in 2006 (taking the title Wonkette Emerita) to promote her book. She also wrote for Time magazine, contributing a D.C. column and writing for Time’s blog.

Why She Matters:

Cox was extremely influential in Washington politics due to the popularity of Wonkette. She was featured on the cover of many major publications, especially at the height of the 2004 elections, and her writing style was very influential with other bloggers.

No. 35
Om Malik
GigaOm – www.gigaom.com
Om’s personal blog – daily.gigaom.com

30 Second Rundown:

Malik is a former senior writer for Forbes magazine, one of the original team for Forbes.com, and a former senior writer Business 2.0 magazine. In 2001, he started technology blog GigaOM, which is now in the Top 40 in Technorati. He’s still the editor and chief writer for GigaOM, but he has expanded to form GigaOmniMedia Inc..

Why He Matters:

While GigaOM is up there as one of the leading technology blogs, lately Om Malik and his company GigaOmniMedia have been expanding the network with blogs likeWebWorkerDaily, NewTeeVee and FoundRead, giving Om a controlling voice to a vast audience of blog readers.

No. 34
Robert Scoble
Scobleizer – www.scobleizer.com
Scoble Show – www.podtech.net/scobleshow/

30 Second Rundown:

Scoble first created his popular tech blog, Scobleizer, while working as a technical evangelist for Microsoft. He is credited with helping give Microsoft a human face at a time when it was distrusted and seen as closed to the public. He left Microsoft in 2006, although his blog continues to be a success, and he now works at video-podcast startup PodTech.net, where he publishes Scoble Show, a “videoblog about geeks, technology and developers.”

Why He Matters:

Scoble is a one-of-a-kind uberblogger (his blog is in the Top 40 in Techonorati). He’s very outspoken on many issues, and is widely read and watched. He now interviews the likes of Bill Gates, and the worldwide media reports on his every move. He’s also known for his consumption of a ton of information: he reportedly reeds 622 RSS feeds a day.

No. 33
Joel Spolsky

Joel on Software – www.joelonsoftware.com

30 Second Rundown:

Spolsky is a software engineer and writer and does the popular blog, Joel on Software, which is about software development and is targeted mainly at writers of Windows software. He is a former Program Manager on the Microsoft Excel team and later founded Fog Creek Software.

Why He Matters:

Spolsky is wildly beloved by those in software development. In fact, his site is so popular that a separate channel was created on Reddit, the social bookmarking site, exclusively for readers of Joel on Software. Now his readers can submit links they find from around the web and vote on them. There aren’t many bloggers that have their own channel on a premiere social network.

No. 32
Steve Rubel

Micro Persuasion – www.micropersuasion.com

30 Second Rundown:

Rubel is a highly visible public relations executive and blogger with the Edelman public relations firm. His blog, Micro Persuasion, has been highly popular on the topics of blogging and the public relations industry. Rubel’s visibility has increased due to a couple of controversies, one involving criticism of a blogging couple paid by Wal-Mart, a client of Edelman’s (although Rubel said he was not involved in that campaign), and another controversy involving an inadvertent comment he made on Twitter about throwing away the magazines of an Edelman client.

Why He Matters:

Rubel matters because of his visibility. His blog is in the Technorati Top 100, and his posts on marketing and productivity have been widely read.

No. 31
Mark Lisanti
editor of Defamer – www.defamer.com
Mark’s blog – www.bunsen.tv

30 Second Rundown:

Lisanti is the editor of the L.A. gossip blog Defamer, which is a part of the Gawker Media network.

Why He Matters:

Lisanti was once named “the most influential and intimidating gossip in Hollywood,” by Los Angeles Magazine. With his blend of humor and gossip, Lisanti has earned Defamer a huge following in Hollywood and beyond.

No. 30
Brian Clark

Copy Blogger – www.copyblogger.com

30 Second Rundown:

Clark is an Internet marketing strategist and content developer who blogs about Internet copywriting and marketing on his popular blog, Copy Blogger. He’s an Internet marketing consultant and has written a fairly successful e-book on the topic called Viral Copy. He’s known for his good headlines and solid content.

Why He Matters:

Clark teaches other bloggers how to write good posts and good headlines, and as such, he’s influenced hundreds if not thousands of other bloggers’ styles. His e-book, Viral Marketing, also spread quickly and helped promote his Internet marketing techniques.

No. 29
Jeremy Schoemaker

Shoe Money – www.shoemoney.com

30 Second Rundown:

Schoemaker is an important figure in the search engine marketing (SEM) industry, and he is seen as an expert on PPC advertising, arbitrage, SEM, branding and online income optimization. His blog, Shoe Money, is very popular on these issues and his weekly Internet radio show Net Income discusses his failures and successes in online marketing.

Why He Matters:

Schoemaker has been reportedly very successful financially, claiming to make an 8-figure income, and because of his success he is emulated by many smaller bloggers and search engine marketers.

No. 28
Choire Sicha
managing editor of Gawker – www.gawker.com
Choire’s blog – www.choiresicha.com

30 Second Rundown:

In 2003, Sicha took over the editing spot of Gawker, the New York City media and gossip blog owned by Gawker Media, from the blog’s original editor, Elizabeth Spiers. Sicha became editorial director of Gawker Media in August 2004 and in 2005 went on to become a senior editor for The New York Observer (while writing a popular “Transom” column) before returning to Gawker.com as Managing Editor in February 2007.

Why He Matters:

Sicha took a fledgling Gawker.com and turned it into the flagship of Nick Denton’s Gawker Media blog empire. It is now in the Top 30 in Technorati’s rankings. His insider status and colorful and engaging writing style makes him a highly sought after commodity, and after losing Sicha to The Observer, Denton tried more than once to steal him back.

No. 27
Jeffrey Zeldman
A List Apart – www.alistapart.com
Jeffrey’s blog – www.zeldman.com

30 Second Rundown:

Zeldman is a prominent lecturer and author on web design, has his web design studio, Happy Cog, and has written a blog, Jeffrey Zeldman Presents The Daily Report, on the topic since 1995. He is publisher of A List Apart, which began as an e-zine in 1998 and has evolved into a website that is popular among designers.

Why He Matters:

The mighty A List Apart is perhaps the most widely spread source of standards-based web design information around. As one of the chief evangelists of doing things the right way, ALA has played a huge part in kicking the web back into shape from the morass it fell into after the browser wars of the 90s.

No. 26
Peter Cashmore

Mashable – www.mashable.com

30 Second Rundown:

Cashmore blogs on Web 2.0, social networking, entrepreneurship, web startups, open APIs, blogging, podcasting and related technologies on Mashable, which is in the top 50 blogs on the Technorati rankings.

Why He Matters:

Cashmore, who is billed as a “new media expert”, is the voice that matters when it comes to social networking topics such as MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn and other similar networks.And proving that he really does understand social sites, Mashable turns out dozens of posts that are extremely popular on sites like Digg and Delicious.

No. 25
Steve Pavlina

StevePavlina.com – www.stevepavlina.com

30 Second Rundown:

Steve Pavlina started his blog in October 2004, and partially because he was one of the first in the field, he’s become the most popular personal development site on the Internet. Pavlina has written popular posts on how to become an early riser, success, personal growth, the Law of Attraction, personal discipline and more. According to a recent post, he now makes $40K per month, mostly from joint-venture promotions, advertising, affiliate programs, and donations.

Why He Matters:

Pavlina matters most because of a single post he wrote in May 2006: “How to make money from your blog”. It was a major article, probably the most popular of its kind, and inspired dozens (if not hundreds) of people to become bloggers to try to make money themselves. Few have replicated his success but for the throngs who get inspiration, perhaps, it doesn’t matter.

No. 24
Duncan Riley
founder of Blog Herald – www.blogherald.com
cofounder ofb5media – b5media.com
writer for TechCrunch – techcrunch.com
Duncan’s blog – www.duncanriley.com

30 Second Rundown:

Duncan Riley is a writer, developer, speaker and blogging evangelist. In 2002, he founded The Blog Herald, which became a Top 100 blog worldwide for a period. In 2005, he co-founded the b5media blog network, one of the most widely spread blog networks. He left b5media in late 2006 and currently writes for different blogs and publications, including the ever popular TechCrunch.

Why He Matters:

Riley was one of the big names in the blogging industry in its early days, and with the co-founding of b5media he became even more influential, with his hand on dozens of blogs. As one of the top writers for TechCrunch, he now also reaches millions of technologists in a whole new arena.

No. 23
Darren Rowse

Problogger – www.problogger.com

30 Second Rundown:

Darren Rowse, an Australian born blogger was among other things a part-time minister in his home town of Melbourne. He began blogging early on with a site called LivingRoom and moved on from there to found dozens of blogs including most notably Problogger and went on to co-found b5media.

Why He Matters:

Although Rowse writes for a variety of successful blogs, his crowning achievement is that his blog Problogger is the source for blogging tips and advice. In this capacity Rowse could be credited with helping literally thousands of other successful bloggers on their way.

No. 22
Matt Cutts

http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/

30 Second Rundown:

Cutts is a Google executive, specializing in search engine optimization (SEO) issues and is well known in the SEO field for cracking down on link spam and enforcing Google’s webmaster guidelines.

Why He Matters:

Cutt’s blog, while not updated as often as many popular blogs, is still in the Technorati Top 100, and is closely followed by the blogging community because of his authority on Google and SEO issues. As one of the few public faces for the notioriously tight lipped company, Cutt’s proclamations are often analysed and disected for any glimmer of information that webmasters can use to their advantage.

No. 21
Merlin Mann
43 Folders – www.43folders.com
Merlin’s personal blog – www.merlinmann.com

30 Second Rundown:

Merlin started the 43 Folders blog in September 2004, when the term “life hacks” was relatively new and the Getting Things Done system by David Allen was relatively unknown. With his blend of knowledgeable insight and quirky writing style, Merlin soon became very prominent in a small but rapidly growing productivity niche, and he became the first place that many people learned about GTD and other now-popular phenomena. Heavily Mac-centric, Merlin has gone on to host The Merlin Show, star in Mac Break, and write for prominent publications such as WIRED and MacWorld.

Why He Matters:

Merlin is hugely influential as a large number of blogs startup up in the last few years with a focus on GTD, lifehacks and productivity. As Merlin was often the first place these people learned about these ideas, he helped spread them throughout the blogging world, and he is looked up to almost as a sort of cult figure.

No. 20

Jason Kottke

Jason’s blog – www.kottke.org

30 Second Rundown:

Kottke became a blogger in the early days of blogs, and his blog has been updated almost daily since 1998. He’s been an A-lister blogger since being featured in the New Yorker in 2000, and in 2005, he made news by declaring that he was going to quit his job and become a full-time blogger, starting a successful fund-raising drive to earn enough money to last him a year. He runs no ads, but does a once-a-year fund-raising drive for donations.

Why He Matters:

Kottke has been wildly popular for years, and has a very devoted readership. For many, his blog is the entire blogosphere.

No. 19
Jeremy Wright
b5media – www.b5media.com
Jeremy’s blog – www.ensight.org

30 Second Rundown:

Wright is the co-founder and CEO of b5media, a network of about 200 blogs on subjects ranging from sports and entertainment to news and technology. He’s been involved in IT, programming and IT ventures for about a decade, and he also wrote a successful book on blogging, “Blog Marketing”.

Why He Matters:

Wright influences a couple of hundred blogs directly as the head of the influential b5media network. His book “Blog Marketing” has also been widely influential among bloggers.

No. 18
Matthew Haughey

MetaFilter – www.metafilter.com

30 Second Rundown:

Haughey is a programmer, web designer and blogger famous as the founder of the community blog MetaFilter. He launched MeFi (as it is affectionately known) in 1999 as a way for a group of people to post stories and links, and programmed it himself using Macromedia ColdFusion and Microsoft SQL Server.

Why He Matters:

Haughey’s MetaFilter is widely recognized as one of the web’s most successful online communities, and he’s now recognized as a leading expert on online communities. His site is in the Technorati Top 100 and there are tens of thousands of registered users and many more regular readers.

No. 17
Glenn Reynolds

Instapundit – www.instapundit.com

30 Second Rundown:

Reynolds is a Beauchamp Brogan Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Tennessee best known for creating Instapundit, one of the most widely read American political blogs. Instapundit was one of the early right-wing blogs, and Reynolds himself is a libertarian (as opposed to a conservative) who is a strong supporter of the Iraq war and the right to bear arms as well as gay marriage. He’s also the author of the book, “An Army of Davids: How Markets and Technology Empower Ordinary People to Beat Big Media, Big Government, and Other Goliaths”.

Why He Matters:

Instapundit is the leading right-wing political blog, along with MichelleMalkin.com. Reynolds’ posts are highly influential in the American political world, and his dry wit and concise commentary are both highly praised and often insulted.

No. 16
Michelle Malkin

Michelle’s blog – www.michellemalkin.com

30 Second Rundown:

Malkin is a columnist, author, political commentator, and a blogger with a politically and socially conservative blog that ranks No. 11 on Technorati. She makes frequent guest appearances on national syndicated radio programs and on television networks likeMSNBC, Fox News Channel, and C-SPAN. She also posts regular video blogs.

Why She Matters:

Malkin has often been highly controversial, taking a conservative stand on many issues that have gotten her death threats and hate mail. But she is also highly read, and has one of the top political blogs on the Internet.

No. 15
Guy Kawasaki

How to Change the World – blog.guykawasaki.com

30 Second Rundown:

Kawasaki is perhaps most famous for being an evangelist for the Apple Macintosh, and was one of the original Apple employees. He’s a Silicon Valley venture capitalist, a former Apple Fellow, and started Fog City Software and most recently the rumor-reporting website Truemors. He’s also the author of eight books on entrepreneurship, startups, technology and investing, including the phenomenally popular “The Art of the Start”.

Why He Matters:

Kawasaki is a legend amongst Mac fans, who have been reading his stuff for some two decades. As a venture capitalist and highly renowned speaker, his words have a large influence reaching far beyond his blog.

No. 14
Marcos Moulitsas Zuniga

founder, Daily Kos – www.dailykos.com

30 Second Rundown:

Zuniga is a U.S. Army veteran and the founder and main writer for Daily Kos, a progressive political blog started in 2002. In addition, he’s an author and has founded a network of sports blogs.

Why He Matters:

Daily Kos is the most prominent political blog and ranks in the Top 10 of all blogs on Technorati. Zuniga’s words on the Daily Kos are absorbed by millions of people (the site has 100,000 registered users and between 14 and 24 million visitors a month) and the blog is now a factor in American political campaigns. Dozens of Senators, Congressmen, Governors and past political office-holders, including former President Jimmy Carter, regularly post articles on Daily Kos. Now how many other bloggers can claim a former President as a guest blogger?

No. 13
Rob Malda
Slashdot – www.slashdot.org
Rob’s homepage – cmdrtaco.net

30 Second Rundown:

Malda is the creator and main editor of Slashdot, a hugely popular blog (actually it’s really a website that predated blogs) that is mainly about technology. Founded in 1997, Slashdot has grown a huge following and subculture.To some extent Slashdot has recently been overshadowed by Digg, however the site still retains a strong audience share a slightly different demographic.

Why He Matters:

Slashdot boasts 5.5 million users per month, and can send a major boost in traffic to any site in what became known as the “Slashdot effect”. Malda is sort of a cult figure among the Slashdot crowd and has a huge influence over the minds of the geek-nation.

No. 12
Michael Arrington
Tech Crunch – www.techcrunch.com
Michael’s blog – crunchnotes.com

30 Second Rundown:

Arrington is an entrepreneur and editor of the highly popular TechCrunch, which covers the Silicon Valley and the technology start-up community. TechCrunch is ranked No. 9 on Technorati and has more than 400,000 subscribers.

Why He Matters:

Not only is TechCrunch one of the most popular blogs on the Internet, it is highly influential in a key demographic: Silicon Valley and tech startups. It has become a must-read for those in the tech industry, and it can quite literally make or break a startup.

No. 11
Seth Godin

Seth’s blog – sethgodin.typepad.com

30 Second Rundown:

Godin is a best-selling author, a popular speaker and a very popular blogger. His books have generally been about marketing, and how a business or blog can create a buzz through viral ideas. He has an MBA in marketing from Stanford, and in 1995, founded one of the first online marketing companies, Yoyodyne, which was later bought by Yahoo!in 1998. As part of the deal, Godin became Vice President of Permission Marketing at Yahoo! In 2005, he founded the “recommendation network” website Squidoo.

Why He Matters:

Godin matters because people listen to him, whether he’s doing one of his famously dynamic speeches, writing another best-selling book or e-book, or publishing a popular post on his blog. His blog, Seth’s Blog, is one of the most popular and as the founder ofSquidoo, which can send a lot of traffic to a new blog, he has changed the way some blogs do business.

No. 10
Brian Lam

Gizmodo – www.gizmodo.com

30 Second Rundown:

Lam is a former assistant editor at Wired, and was hired as Editor-in-Chief last year at popular gadget blog Gizmodo when the founding editor (Peter Rojas) was hired at ultra-rival tech blog Engadget. He’s a young, hip, highly visible blogger on one of Gawker Media’s top blogs.

Why He Matters:

Gizmodo is hugely influential in the blogging community, and is a highly prolific blog, putting out 40 or 50 posts a day. As one of the leading blogs in technology, it’s is very popular among the geek crowd, and attempts to be a viable alternative to mainstream media. Lam brings an unique blend of old-world print media and new-world blogging attitude to the role.

No. 9
Gina Trapani
managing editor of Lifehacker – www.lifehacker.com
Gina’s blog – www.ginatrapani.com

30 Second Rundown:

Gina is the founding editor of Lifehacker, a Gawker Media weblog on productivity, software, tips and tricks. She is also an independent web programmer, writes Firefox extensions and web sites. Her writing has appeared in Popular Science, WIRED and Laptop Magazine, and in December 2006 she released her first book, Lifehacker: 88 Tech Tricks to Turbocharge Your Day.

Why She Matters:

Gina’s perhaps the best and most widely influential of any of the Gawker Media bloggers. She writes about technology and productivity for the masses, and has attracted a wide following. Lifehacker has become a must-read for many people, bloggers and non-bloggers alike. Getting mentioned on Lifehacker can send almost Digg-like traffic to a smaller blog.

No. 8
Ariana Huffington

The Huffington Post – www.huffingtonpost.com

30 Second Rundown:

Huffington is a nationally syndicated columnist, author of 10 books and co-founder and editor of the Huffington Post, a progressive political blog. She’s also a political commentator on television (including a popular stint on Comedy Central), and once ran for governor of California during the recall election against then-governor Gray Davis. She pulled out of the campaign, which was eventually won by Arnold Schwartzenegger. She was previously married to (and is now divorced from) millionaire Michael Huffington, who became elected to the U.S. House of Representatives during their marriage.

Why She Matters:

The Huffington Post, which is well financed, is the No. 5-ranked blog on Technorati and gets more than 18 million page views a month. Her site is also popular not only because of her writing but because of her celebrity friends, including close friend Nora Ephron and Norman Mailer.

No. 7
Mark Frauenfelder

Boing Boing – www.boingboing.net

30 Second Rundown:

Frauenfelder co-founded Boing Boing originally as a hard-copy zine in 1988, contributing to the cyberpunk subculture. He relaunched it in 1995 as a website and then in 2000 as a blog. It is now the second-most popular blog on Technorati. Frauenfelder is one of five co-editors of the blog, which is usually updated several times an hour.

Why He Matters:

As one of the main editors of the second-most popular blog on the Internet, Frauenfelder is a widely popular writer. He has also written for technology icon Wired magazine, written a column for Playboy and somewhat incongruously wrote and illustrated a children’s book… go figure.

No. 6
Pete Rojas

Engadget – www.engadget.com

30 Second Rundown:

First, Rojas co-founded the extremely popular gadget blog, Gizmodo, which remains one of the top blogs for the Gawker Media blog network. Then in 2004, he was hired away from Gizmodo by Jason Calacanis’ Weblogs Inc. blog network to co-found Engadget, another gadget blog that actually surpassed Gizmodo in readership (and is now No. 1 on the Technorati popular list). The two blogs are still extreme rivals to this day. In 2006, AOL bought Weblogs Inc., paying $25 million essentially for a network that is highlighted by Engadget.

Why He Matters:

As the co-founder of the two most popular gadget blogs (which are two of the three most popular blogs period), Rojas has shown himself to have a midas touch.

No. 5
Joi Ito
VP International & mobility, Technorati – www.technorati.com
Chairman,Six Apart Japan – www.sixapart.jp
Joi’s blog – joi.ito.com

30 Second Rundown:

He is the chairman of the board of Creative Commons and the chairman of Six Apart Japan, a branch of the influential Six Apart — which in turn owns popular blog softwareMovable Type, blog hosting platform Typepad, and LiveJournal. He is on the board ofTechnorati, Digital Garage, WITNESS, Pia Corporation, Socialtext and iCommons. He is the founder and CEO of the venture capital firm Neoteny Co., Ltd. In October of 2004, he was named to the board of ICANN for a three-year term starting December 2004. In August of 2005, he joined the board of the Mozilla Foundation.

Why He Matters:

Ito is a major player in a number of companies and organizations that make a huge difference in the blogging community, and thus has affected the entire blogging world in many ways. From Creative Commons to Six Apart, from Technorati to the Mozilla Foundation, Ito has made a major mark on blogging today.

No. 4
Jason Calacanis
Weblogs Inc. – www.weblogsinc.com
Jason’s blog – www.calacanis.com

30 Second Rundown:

Calacanis is former CEO and co-founder of Weblogs Inc., a network of highly ranked blogs such as the #1 Engadget and Joystiq. When Weblogs, Inc. became a wholly owned subsidiary of AOL in November of 2005, Calacanis was appointed a senior vice president of AOL and maintained editorial supervision over Weblogs, Inc. In June 2006, Calacanis helped relaunched Netscape, which is also owned by AOL and was named its general manager.

Why He Matters:

Calacanis is one of the most influential, controversial, and widely known people on the Internet. His Weblogs, Inc. blogs have been wildly successful, and it seems that almost anything Calacanis touches turns to gold. When he relaunched Netscape, it was aimed directly at social media giant Digg.com, and he stirred up controversy by publicly attacking Digg founder Kevin Rose and hiring some of Digg’s most influential contributors as Netscape Navigators.

No. 3
David Sifry

Technorati – www.technorati.com
David’s blog – www.sifry.com/alerts/

30 Second Rundown:

Sifry is founder and CEO of Technorati. He was the cofounder and CTO of Sputnik andLinuxcare, founding board member of Linux International, and board member of AOTC.

Why He Matters:

Sifry is an icon in the blogging world. He also lectures widely on wireless technology and policy, blogs, and open source software, and his lectures and blog posts have a large influence throughout the blogosphere. Technorati has become one of the most important services for linking all blogs together, and tracking which are the most successful. In that sense, Sifry is one of the few most influential people in all of the blogosphere.

No. 2
Kevin Rose
Digg – www.digg.com
Kevin’s blog – www.kevinrose.com

30 Second Rundown:

While he first gained fame as co-host of the popular (among geeks) Tech TV show The Screen Savers, Rose is now famous (to the point of near-cult status) for founding the social bookmarking site Digg.com, which has become one of the biggest sites on the Internet. Rose also does a popular weekly podcast called Diggnation with co-host Alex Albrecht.

Why He Matters:

Digg is perhaps the most influential site for blog traffic, after Google, as it sends tens of thousands of visitors to a blog if a post gets on the front page of Digg. In fact, the “Digg effect” has been known to crash sites that can’t handle the traffic load. Rose has a wildly popular status among bloggers and the Internet crowd in general, and if he Diggs a story, it is guaranteed to hit the front page of Digg (he has a 100% success rate).

No. 1
Nick Denton
Founder of GawkerMedia – www.gawker.com
Editor of Valleywag – www.valleywag.com
Nick’s blog – www.nickdenton.org

30 Second Rundown:

Denton is the founder and proprietor of Gawker Media, perhaps the most successful blog network. It includes 14 high-traffic blogs, the largest of them being gadget blog Gizmodo, productivity blog Lifehacker, gaming blog Kotaku and porn blog Fleshbot. He was previously a journalist with the Financial Times.

Why He Matters:

Denton owns 8 blogs in the Technorati Top 100 list, and has created the most powerful blog empire. His estimated wealth is about $280 million according to the Sunday Times Rich List 2007. While he has downplayed the viability of a blog as a business, many believe that that’s just his way of discouraging competition. With very low costs (including modest wages for staff writers), Denton’s blogging income is guessed to be pretty high. And in total, his blogs have the most links pointing at them.