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.

About Leo Babauta

Leo Babauta is the author of The Power of Less and the creator and blogger at Zen Habits — one of the top productivity and simplicity blogs on the Internet.

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