Best of the Web The Most Influential People on the Web

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The Friend: Join MySpace and you'll automatically be befriended by Tom Anderson, who in 2003 founded the site with Chris DeWolfe to help connect musicians with fans. MySpace's popularity surged as hordes of young people used the site to connect with one another and to personalize pages with photos, blogs, and music. By mid-2005, MySpace boasted 22 million members and was bought by News Corp. for 580 million Dollar. Anderson, who holds a master's degree in film from the University of California at Los Angeles, continues to call the shots from within the House of Murdoch, adding features in a bid to keep MySpace cool. The world's most popular online social network now has more than 115 million unique users a month. Anderson's challenge: navigating expansion in China while fending off a growing threat from Facebook and an array of edgy upstarts.
Text: "Copyright 2000-2007 by The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc. All rights reserved"

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The Wrangler: A strong populist streak runs through the world of open-source software, and mastering the market means balancing commercial interests with the movement's more idealistic impulses. Few walk that line more deftly than Mitchell Baker, CEO of Mozilla, the owner of the upstart Firefox Web browser. Firefox has nabbed 15 percent of Microsoft Explorer's Microsoft’s Internet Explorer market share and loosened the software giant's grip on the standards governing how browsers run. The conciliatory skills of the former Netscape attorney, who long went by the title Chief Lizard Wrangler, will be tested as she navigates partnerships with the likes of Google and Yahoo while overseeing development of the next version of Firefox, one of the world's biggest open-source projects.
Text: "Copyright 2000-2007 by The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc. All rights reserved"

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The Salesman: During the go-go tech years of the 90's, sales teams used Siebel Systems' software to manage contacts, leads, and quotas. But nowadays salespeople are flocking to a new breed of software, distributed over the Web as a service and pioneered by Salesforce.com and its breathless promoter, Marc Benioff. The former Oracle salesman and protégé of Larry Ellison is now building tools that other companies can use to create their own software programs. And just in time. Rivals Microsoft and SAP have gotten the software-as-a-service religion and crave a hunk of Benioff's market.
Text: "Copyright 2000-2007 by The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc. All rights reserved"

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The Inventor: Tim Berners-Lee, an Oxford-trained scientist, invented the World Wide Web in 1989 by designing a way to create links, or hypertext, amid different pieces of online information. Berners-Lee began describing the next leap in the mid-90's. Dubbed the Semantic Web, it's a method of tagging online information so it can be more easily found, understood, and organized in relation to other data, automatically, wherever it may be nestled online. As the head of the World Wide Web Consortium, Berners-Lee is working to create the technical framework for the Semantic Web. Meantime, a slew of startups, such as Radar Networks, Metaweb Technologies and big companies including Oracle and IBM are beginning to make that vision a reality.
Text: "Copyright 2000-2007 by The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc. All rights reserved"

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The Futurist: In 1994, Jeff Bezos saw a startling statistic: Web usage was growing at 2,3 persent a year. At the time, he had a good job working in computers and finance. Yet he went to his boss and said, "I'm going to do this crazy thing and I'm going to start this company selling books online," he said in an interview with the Academy of Achievement. He went on to build Amazon, the world's biggest online store. Princeton grad Bezos is still blazing trails with such tools as Amazon Web Services, which give developers access to Amazon's vast banks of servers, databases, and other resources as an inexpensive way to store data, add more computing capacity, and perform a wide range of tasks. He's also started a company called Blue Origin to lower the cost of space flight and solar system exploration.
Text: "Copyright 2000-2007 by The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc. All rights reserved"

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The Searchers: Virtually inseparable as the founders of the Web's most dominant force, the pair of billionaires, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, preside over Google as presidents of technology and products, respectively, only nominally under CEO Eric Schmidt. Brin, who moved to the U.S. from Russia with his parents when he was six, and Page, the son of two Michigan computer-science academics, jointly developed a method of analyzing links between Web sites. That produced search results so much more relevant than rivals' that Google became the most used engine for Web searches, and "Google" became a verb that means "search." The duo remain Google's guiding lights, trying to stay true to their informal "don't be evil" motto for the nine-year-old company.
Text: "Copyright 2000-2007 by The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc. All rights reserved"

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The Angel: Reid Hoffman may be the most well-connected person in Silicon Valley-and not just because he's founder and chairman of online professional network LinkedIn. A Marshall Scholar from Stanford and a philosophy major while at Oxford, Hoffman was an executive at online payments service PayPal and played a pivotal role in orchestrating the company's sale to Ebay. An investor in more than 60 companies including Facebook, Digg, and Last.fm, Hoffman also is a director for companies including SixApart, Kiva.org and Mozilla.
Text: "Copyright 2000-2007 by The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc. All rights reserved"

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The Maestro: Having brought Apple off the ropes after his return as CEO in 1996, Steve Jobs revolutionized how people get music from the Web, introducing the iPod digital music player in 2001 and later opening the iTunes Music Store. Under the detail-obsessed Jobs, iTunes has become the third-largest supplier of music in the U.S., after Wal-Mart and Amazon, and the most successful alternative to music piracy, having sold more than three billion songs and 300 million TV shows. Now Jobs is shaking up the way consumers access the Web without wires, through his new iPhone and iPod Touch handheld devices and Apple TV, a tool for transmitting downloaded video to the living room.
Text: "Copyright 2000-2007 by The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc. All rights reserved"

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The Widget Maker: Max Levchin had to borrow 2000 Dollar to buy his initial shares in PayPal, a company he co-founded in 1998, a few years after earning a degree in computer science from the University of Illinois. The lean years soon ended. By 2002, Ukrainian-born Levchin had taken PayPal public and overseen its 1,5 billion Dollar sale to Ebay. Levchin hopes to top that pay day with Slide, a maker of online slide shows and other mini software applications known as widgets that are growing in popularity among users of Facebook, MySpace, and other sites. Now, he'll need to bring in more ads without alienating his audience.
Text: "Copyright 2000-2007 by The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc. All rights reserved"

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10 / 19

The Gatekeeper: Featured in innumerable publications, Marissa Mayer, Google's vice-president for search products and user experience also determines the look of Google on the Web. A true nerd with degrees in symbolic systems and computer science from Stanford, Mayer joined Google in 1999 as its first female engineer. Now, she's essentially the one who determines what consumer products Google releases - from its famously Spartan search page to Google News, its e-mail service, personalized home pages, and more than 100 other features.
Text: "Copyright 2000-2007 by The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc. All rights reserved"

Foto: Google
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The Venture King: With degrees in history from Oxford and business from Wharton, British-born Michael Moritz took a nontraditional path to venture capital's highest echelons. Moritz was a Time magazine correspondent and author of books on Apple and Chrysler before becoming a managing partner at Sequoia Capital. He ranked No. 1 on Forbes' The Midas List of the best dealmakers in technology in 2007 and 2006 and his investments include Apple, Cisco, Oracle, and Google. Newer investments include Eons, a social networking site for baby boomers.
Text: "Copyright 2000-2007 by The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc. All rights reserved"

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The Newspaperman: A 76-year-old Australian newspaper magnate on a list of the Web's most influential people? No question when it comes to News Corp. CEO Murdoch, who recognized before many of his peers the importance of marrying social networks and media content. Many balked when he bought MySpace, but he made it all back and then some just over a year later through a 900 Dollar million deal that lets Google handle search on the booming social network. He's sure to keep shaping how news is sent over the Web now that he's buying Dow Jones and its flagship newspaper, The Wall Street Journal. Think he's jumped the shark? Well, he owns that, or rather the Web site associated with the phrase, jumptheshark.com, through his stake in its owner, TV Guide publisher Gemstar.
Text: "Copyright 2000-2007 by The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc. All rights reserved"

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13 / 19

The Intellectual: Tim O'Reilly started publishing computer books in the 80's, and two decades later, his company's programming guides (the ones with the line drawings of animals on the covers) are ubiquitous in the geek sections of bookstores. The sold-out tech-industry conferences sponsored by his O'Reilly Media are a hotbed of discussion and debate over the latest Web trends. Irish-born O'Reilly brings an intellectual bent to the Web world - he majored in classics at Harvard, claims 5000 books at home, and peppers his speech with academic-style references to "memes." He popularized "Web 2.0," a term that's come to define a wave of new sites and technologies at the core of a more interactive and user-generated Web.
Text: "Copyright 2000-2007 by The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc. All rights reserved"

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The Prospector: At Microsoft, Ray Ozzie is searching for the next vein of gold. The software pioneer, who in the 80's created Notes, a revolutionary collaboration application, is at the core of Microsoft's efforts to "Webify" software. Since joining Microsoft in 2005, he's assumed the role of company visionary, taking the reins, as well as the chief software architect title, from Founder and Chairman Bill Gates. Now, Ozzie has a team working on technology that could let Microsoft and its partners develop programs that run over the Web. If he can pull it off, he'll put Microsoft in a position to transfer its technology power to the connected Web world.
Text: "Copyright 2000-2007 by The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc. All rights reserved"

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The Aggregator: With the launch of his Web site Digg, the 30-year-old entrepreneur and former TechTV star Kevin Rose forever changed the way Web surfers get the news. Digg gave readers control over which articles are given prominence by voting on their importance. Depending on who's counting, Digg has between 2 million and 20 million monthly visitors. Now, the computer-science dropout from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas is transforming Digg from a news bookmarking site to a social network where users can opt to share stories with groups of friends, post profile pictures and other personal information, and meet new people with similar news interests. Rose is also changing the way users keep in touch with friends through his social networking/instant messaging company, Pownce.
Text: "Copyright 2000-2007 by The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc. All rights reserved"

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The Virtualist: Long the subject of futuristic novels like Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash, such virtual worlds as Second Life were generally viewed as entertainment vehicles once they were brought online. But Philip Rosedale saw an opportunity to create a virtual economy where users - and advertisers who want to reach them - would spend real money. Rosedale, who holds a degree in physics from the University of California-San Diego, launched Second Life in 2003, creating a digitized landscape with more than nine million residents and a twelve million Dollar economy. It's too soon to tell whether Second Life can make a meaningful bottom-line impact for companies like IBM, but the technology it popularized is already transforming how people communicate online and, in the future, may shape the look and feel of the Web.
Text: "Copyright 2000-2007 by The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc. All rights reserved"

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The Populist: Trained in finance, Jimmy Wales began his career and amassed a fortune in options and futures trading. But he is renowned as co-founder, along with Larry Sanger, of popular online encyclopedia Wikipedia, ranked by Alexa among the top ten most popular sites in the world. Lately, Wales has been working hard to tackle none other than Google. In March, his new for-profit company, Wikia, raised four million Dollar in funding from venture capital firms and tech visionaries like Marc Andreessen and Dan Gillmor. The company, which in July acquired search-engine technology startup Grub, is developing a new kind of search engine that, like Wikipedia, will rely on the support of a volunteer community of users to serve up accurate and relevant results.
Text: "Copyright 2000-2007 by The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc. All rights reserved"

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The Rescuer: Jerry Yang founded Yahoo in 1995 with pal David Filo while both were doctoral students in electrical engineering at Stanford. Since then, the site has grown from a simple page filled with categorized Web links to the Internet's busiest portal. But after holding the title "Chief Yahoo" all these years, Yang was tapped in June as CEO to help the struggling company better compete with Google and an onslaught of upstarts nipping away at Yahoo's traffic and ad revenues. Already, Yang's presence at the top has improved morale, but he'll need to show enough vision to assure Yahoo's continued prominence.
Text: "Copyright 2000-2007 by The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc. All rights reserved"

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The Socialite: In February 2004, Mark Zuckerberg and his Harvard roommates launched a social networking site for the school's students. Facebook quickly spread to Stanford, Columbia, and Yale. That year, Zuckerberg moved to Silicon Valley for the summer and then made his stay more permanent, dropping out of Harvard. By the following spring, he had expanded Facebook to more than 800 college networks. Two years later, Facebook opened the floodgates to let anyone join. At last count, there were more than 41 million active users, with membership rapidly spreading beyond teens and twentysomethings, evolving into a business and social tool for adults. Throwing even more fuel on the fire, Zuckerberg recently opened the platform to outside software developers, who've already responded with more than 3000 widgets to integrate other Web sites with Facebook's pages.
Text: "Copyright 2000-2007 by The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc. All rights reserved"

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