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Giving Web 2.0 A Dash of Personality

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When it comes to researching topics and reporting breaking news in the Web 2.0 world, one has to be careful to avoid falling into the trap of monotony. Sometimes, the news isn’t all that exciting, but it’s often the people associated with the story that makes all the difference.

It seems to be the trend at this time of year to reflect upon the last twelve months, and offer up a “best of” list of some sort for reader consumption

While I’m not arguing with tradition, I’ve decided to break away from the typical “top 10 list” and just talk about some of my favorite Web 2.0 personalities in 2006. These are the people that give me great story ideas, entertain me, or just flat out make me laugh.

Oh yeah, they’re pretty smart people, too.

So without any further delay, let’s get on with the list (in no particular order):

Robert Scoble – PodTech

First off, this guy is just a fantastic writer. He conveys concepts and topics, which are sometimes very complicated, in a manner that is easy to digest and understand, even if you aren’t a techno-savvy type of person. Also, Robert seems to have a knack for always finding the story behind the story, taking the news and analyzing what potential impact it could have within the industry.

As a writer here at WebProNews, I was given a baptism by fire in learning how and what to write about, and reading Robert’s blog was definitely a tool I used on many occasions while getting my feet wet.

Michael Arrington – TechCrunch

If you want to know about the cool new thing that’s around the corner, than TechCrunch is one of your best bets. Michael Arrington has become one of those people who can make or break a startup with his analysis. He has also been quite outspoken against Digital Rights Management (DRM) – a cause that I champion as well. More than anything, though, Mike says what he really thinks, and you have to respect that.

Matt Cutts – Google

You can shower Matt with a lot of similar accolades that are given to Robert Scoble. He’s a great writer, and he really has a knack for taking the often-messy aspects of SEO and spam techniques and conveying them in an easily understood context. What do I like best about Matt, though? He’s a great interview. Check out this video of Matt talking with our own Mike McDonald, and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

Jason Calacanis – Sequoia Capital

Jason might be one of the most quotable people in the entire blogosphere. I don’t always agree with what he says, but I will give him credit in that he always speaks his mind. Jason’s exploits are highly documented, which tells me that even though people may not like him, they recognize his influence throughout the industry.

Loren Feldman – 1938 Media

This guy is a straight shooter, and I really like that. He doesn’t pull punches, and everyone is fair game in his satirical tirades, including himself. Loren is an entertainer, to be sure. Behind the comedic exterior, however, lies a guy who just flat out knows his stuff. He understands Web 2.0, the blogosphere, and online video in ways that I don’t think other people quite get. He’s a visionary, and people like that are always in short supply.

Nick Douglas – Valleywag

When Nick was the main writer for Valleywag, there wasn’t a single day I would visit the site and not keel over laughing in a fit of uncontrollable mirth. This guy has a gift for gossip and making fun of others that is nothing short of legendary. I was sad when he got the boot from the main writing gig over at the ‘wag, and it goes without saying that the tech gossip rag just doesn’t have the same edge anymore.

Joanne Colan – Rocketboom

You might not here a lot of people say this, but I’m going to just go ahead and put it out there; Joanne is far and away better for Rocketboom than Amanda Congdon ever was. This girl is sharp as a tack, charming, and has a delivery style that you simply can’t teach; it’s just a gift. I could go on for quite a while longer on how talented I think this lady is, but I don’t think I would do her justice. You just need to check out Rocketboom for yourself.

So there you have it, these are my favorite Web 2.0 personalities from the past year. It’s been a crazy ride, with lots of information to absorb on a daily basis. Luckily, we have talented, humorous, intelligent people in high places to make the task a bit more manageable.

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Joe is a staff writer for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest ebusiness news.

Giving Web 2.0 A Dash of Personality
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