Top Web Celebrities

Top Web Celebrities

Tila Tequila

tila tequilaTila Tequila is the stage name for Tila Nguyen. First gaining popularity as a model for Playboy, Tequila was soon featured in other magazines such as Maxim and Stuff, and begun recording music and putting in appearances on reality shows including VH1’s Surviving Ted Nugent and Identity. On Identity, she claimed to have over one million MySpace friends.

One reality show, A Shot At Love With Tila Tequila, featured twenty contestants (both men and women) vying for Tila’s affections, a mix that caused considerable controversy among conservative Christians. She has gained fame as a force in self-promotion, with her website flogging her music, videos, selling photos and even marketing her own fashion line.

Perez Hilton

perez hiltonCapitalizing on a seemingly endless public appetite for celebrity gossip, Mario Armando Lavandeira Jr. started blogging under the pseudonym Perez Hilton (taking his nick-name from socialite and professional celebrity Paris Hilton). Rocketing to fame in a matter of months, he soon launched, where he claims to receive upwards of eight million page views daily.

Content tends toward the juvenile, but Perez has gained a huge audience by posting celebrity photos with catty comments; some are even adorned by his “doodles” of genetalia, horns, drug remnants or other objects. Controversy surrounds Hilton, not just because of the nature of his comments, but also because of accusations of illegally copying photos from other sites and a habit of “outing” celebrities he suspects of being gay.

Beppe Grillo

beppe grilloThe Italian comedian and activist became famous by his political satire. Inside his television shows he would attack directly corrupted politicians and blow financial scandals open. He became so uncomfortable to politicians and business men alike that in the late 80s he was banished from television in Italy

The television ban did not silence Grillo, though. He continued to perform in theaters all over the country, and in 2003 he started the blog The success was immediate, and today his blog is among the 10 most popular in the world according to Technorati. What does that mean in numbers? Well, his posts receive over 1,000 comments on average.

Among other brilliant stunts, in 2005 he bought a full page of advertising on a national newspaper, and used it to ask for the regisnation of the governor of Bank of Italy (who was involved in several scandals).

Michelle Malkin

michelle malkinMichelle Malkin is a blogger, columnist and political commentator. She makes many guest appearances on radio and television shows like Fox News Channel, but it is perhaps through her blog that she shines the most.

Despite claiming that she “was born and remain an ink-stained wretch,” is one of the most popular conservative political blogs on the Internet. Her articles are often mentioned on other media outlets, including several mainstream publications, which illustrates the important role that bloggers are taking on the new media landscape.

In 2007 the National Republican Senatorial Committee named Malkin one of the best consersative bloggers on the country. A couple of years ago she also founded the Hot Air broadcast network, following on the success of her blog.

Seth Godin

seth godinSeth Godin is a best-selling author and speaker. His blog, among the most popular on the Internet, is focused on how ideas spread and permission marketing. Seth’s marketing ideology describes a powerful consumer that, thanks to the Internet, is not subject to the television monopoly anymore.

Following this ideology he created in 2005 Squidoo, which is a social network where users can share their recommendations or expertise on different topics. It would be difficult to visit any marketing related website without come across a mention to Seth’s ideas.

He is also the co-founder of Yoyodyne, a pioneer online marketing company. Yoyodyne was sold to Yahoo! in 1998, and seth became a VP of Permission Marketing for the search company.

Chris Crocker

chris crockerIf you’ve been near a computer recently, chances are you’ve either seen or heard of the infamous “LEAVE BRITNEY ALONE!” videos, the first of which Chris Crocker posted to his MySpace page, while the second went to YouTube. A response to media backlash against Britney Spears, particularly the critical abuse she suffered after her “comeback” performance at the 2007 MTV Music Video Awards.

Crocker’s video featured an over the top performance that rapidly made it one of YouTube’s most viewed clips and gained Crocker instant fame. He appeared on a series of television shows, including various news programs, The Howard Stern Show and Jimmy Kimmel Live and was honored with an award in Wired magazine. “LEAVE BRITNEY ALONE!” has inspired hundreds of parody videos, commentary videos and proved how effective YouTube can be for viral content distribution.

Mark Cuban

mark cubanAmerican Billionaire Mark Cuban sold a software reselling business (MicroSolutions) to Compuserve, using the proceeds to fund, which he sold to Yahoo! for $5.9 billion in Yahoo! stock. Cuban then bought the Dallas Mavericks NBA team.

He remains interested in media distribution and is a strong proponent of high definition video; he is currently Chairman of HDNet and part of 2929 Entertainment, which made news in 2006 by being the first production company to release a movie (Bubble) in theatres and on DVD simultaneously. Cuban’s gives him the pulpit to reach the masses on topics close to his heart, including video, TV and The Mavericks.

Scott Adams

scott adamsCartoonist Scott Adams hit a nerve with Dilbert, his widely-syndicated cartoon about white collar workers toiling in a cubicle farm, based on his own experience working in high tech firms.

Among the popular cultural terms spawned by Dilbert are “Pointy Haired Boss” and “Nerdvana.” has grown into a destination site with daily cartoon strips and additional content including Dilbert widgets, animation and mashups. Taking advantage of Web 2.0 social aspects, readers vote on and rank comic strips.

Adams’ blog is separate from the Dilbert comic empire and allows Adams to exercise his acerbic wit on a wide range of topics from the political to environmental and pop culture.

Eric Schmidt

eric schmidtVoted by PC Magazine as first on its list of the 50 Most Important People on the Web (along with fellow Google executives Larry Page and Sergey Brin), Dr. Eric Schmidt has a very long and influential career in the technology industry. Companies he has held prominent positions with include Sun Microsystems (CTO and leader of JAVA development) and Novell (CEO).

In 2001 he was hired as Chairman of the Board and CEO of Google. In addition, Schmidt joined Apple’s Board of Directors in 2006, making him a significant part of two of the most influential technology companies around. Schmidt has helped Google to continue its rapid growth, making him one of the richest men in the world.

Kevin Rose

kevin roseKevin Rose was well-known in technology circles thanks to his work on TechTV and G4, including hosting Attack of The Show!. He has been involved in the podcasting movement, including the highly successful Diggnation, which claims 250,000 downloads per episode, and appearances on This Week In Tech.

By far, though, Rose is best known for his incredibly popular Web 2.0 site Digg, a social bookmarking site, cost Rose a couple thousand dollars when first launched in 2004 and quickly grew to be a Web 2.0 success story, landing him on the front cover of Business Week magazine in April, 2006. Rose’s most recent ventures include the social networking site, which went live in January of 2008, and online video network Revision3.

Robert Scoble

robert scobleConsidered to be the person for whom the term “spokesblogger” was coined, Robert Scoble was a successful blogger who joined Microsoft in 2003 and used his popular personal blog to post comments that were often more favorable toward Microsoft than commentary found on other sites.

Scoble left Microsoft in 2006, joining as Vice President of Media Development, leaving in 2008 to join Fast Company as a video blogger. Scoble has helped prove the value of blogging as an interactive platform and has also effectively illustrated blogging’s benefit in customer relationships. By pursuing video blogging, Scoble may be on the leading edge of the next evolutionary step in blogging.

Lawrence Lessig

lawrence lessigFounder of the Creative Commons and a board member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, law professor Lawrence Lessig has become a central figure in technology copyright, as a critic of restrictive software patents, copyright laws and wireless spectrum ownership.

Putting his money where his mouth is, Lessig’s books The Future of Ideas, Free Culture and Code: Version 2.0 have been made available as free downloads under a Creative Commons license. In 2008, a Facebook group and web site began a “draft Lessig for congress” push, a suggestion that Lessig has resisted, arguing that a rush campaign with himself as a candidate would hurt the Change Congress movement he supports.

Guy Kawasaki

guy kawasakiOnce best known as a Macintosh marketing guru, Guy Kawasaki put in several stints with Apple, first as a Mac Evangelist and then as an Apple Fellow. As an author, he has been a columnist and published eight books, including Rules For Revolutionaries.

Kawasaki’s blog, How To Change The World, is a popular read for his thoughts on technology, business, Web 2.0 and other topics and includes a job posting board. As Managing Director of Garage Technology Ventures, Kawasaki has turned his attention to venture capital and funding start-up firms.

Kawasaki gained notoriety in 2007 when he announced a new web 2.0 site, Truemors, that became an experiment around how inexpensively a web business can be launched (Kawaski claimed Truemors cost just over $12k), although it hasn’t quite lived up to the considerable hype.

Bruce Schneier

bruce schneierBruce Schneier has accomplished the unlikely feat of bringing cryptography and computer security into pop culture; he’s been mentioned in movies (The DaVinci Code) and the sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond and is in high demand in media and government circles as a security expert.

The founder and CTO of computer network security firm BT Counterpane, Schneier has created several cryptographic algorithms and written a number of books about both cryptography and computer security, including Beyond Fear: Thinking Sensibly About security in an Uncertain World. His free monthly newsletter Crypto-Gram has over 130,000 subscribers and his web site is a popular destination for those interested not only in computer security issues, but in the debunking of general security-related myths.

Jimmy Wales

jimmy wales“Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge. That’’s what we”re doing.” This, according to Jimmy (Jimbo) Wales in a 2004 Slashdot interview, is the concept behind Wikipedia.

The Internet was already taking a toll on traditional paper-bound encyclopedias, but the 2001 launch of Wikipedia, Wales’ online knowledge base comprised of user-generated, collaborative, peer-edited articles, dealt them a crippling blow. Despite some disputes around Wales’ personal vs. Wikipedia finances and ongoing controversy whenever Wikipedia entries are edited under suspicious circumstances, Wikipedia has become a standard online research tool with a knowledge base nearing 2.5 million (English language) articles and some 75,000 active contributors.

Paul Graham

paul grahamPaul Graham first rose to prominence as co-founder of Viaweb, the first ASP (application service provider) software, a product that ushered in the era of practical Internet Retail.

Viaweb was sold to Yahoo! and re-branded as Yahoo! Store. Graham has gained some fame since then as a writer, with several books to his credit and a popular personal web site,, where he has posted material that has helped inspire SPAM-filtering technology, among other things. A collection of his essays has been published as a book titled Hackers and Painters. As a venture capitalist, Graham’s Y Combinator has provided start-up funding for dozens of firms, including popular Web site

Sergey Brin

sergey brinA Russian-born, American billionaire (one of the youngest billionaires on the planet), Sergey Brin is the President of Technology at Google (the company he co-founded with Larry Page).

Together with Page and CEO Eric Schmidt, Brin shares the honor of being named by PC Magazine as first on its list of the 50 Most Important People on the Web. Brin turned a fascination with data mining and data extraction into a computer science project at Stanford University and parlayed that work into what would soon become the web’s most popular search engine. Brin is a frequent speaker on the topic of technology and has appeared as a guest on numerous TV shows.

Chris Anderson

chris andersonEditor-in-Chief of influential technology-focused magazine Wired, Anderson is also author of The Long Tail: Why The Future of Business Is Selling More.

Anderson’s Long Tail blog allows him to expand on his theory that the Internet has allowed for a greater diversity of products to be sold profitably because of the increased market size for any given niche product compared to traditional retailing opportunities. Recently, Wired published Free, an article by Anderson based on his forthcoming book of the same name.

During his tenure, Anderson has helped boost’s blogging presence, including the creation of GeekDad, a blog that allows him to indulge his fascination with radio controlled vehicles and other high-tech “toys”.

Tim Berners-Lee

tim berners leeWhile the world wide web is as close to ubiquitous as one could imagine these days, this wasn’t always the case. In fact, less than twenty years ago, it didn’t exist. The Internet had been around for some time, but it was largely the domain of academics, the military and technology geeks. Sir Tim Berners-Lee is the focal point for the web as we know it today, the individual who first combined a series of concepts and technologies (domain name system, TCP/IP protocol, the Internet and hypertext) to create the world wide web.

The first web site went live in August, 1991 and we haven’t looked back since. Berners-Lee is also the founder and Director of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), an organization tasked with creating web standards.

Larry Page

larry pageOne of the two founders of Google, Larry Page helped design the original Google search engine and was the company’s first CEO.

As Google began to grow into something much more ambitious, Page moved out of the CEO role (which was filled by technology veteran Eric Schmidt), taking on the position of President, Products.

Together with Schmidt and co-founder Sergey Brin, Page is responsible for the day-to-day operations of Google, a company which now employs over 10,000 people worldwide. Along with Brin and Schmidt, Page was named by PC Magazine as first on its list of the 50 Most Important People on the Web.