Important People #46 through #50
46. Sir Tim Berners-Lee
Director, World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)
What do you do after you invent the World Wide Web and give it away for free? Start a consortium that works on making it better This British scientist designed the first Web browser, editor, and language protocol (HTTP) while employed as a scientist at CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research), and he founded the W3C in 1994. He has recently spoken in favor of Net neutrality. And like the old financial firm E.F. Hutton, when Berners-Lee talks, people listen.
47. Leo Laporte
Creator, This Week in Tech (TWiT) podcast
For at least the past 15 years, the man behind Leoville has created, hosted, and written radio and television shows, most notably the former TechTV show Screen Savers. His personality-driven style demonstrated to the world that tech media could be fun. His most recent venture is the TWiT.tv podcast network, a listener-funded enterprise that has gathered some of the old TechTV crew and put them to work creating more than a dozen podcasts, including the eponymous "This Week in Tech."
48. Mohammed and Omar Fadhil
Blogging voice of Iraq
Countless bloggers are filled to the bloviating point with opinions about the Iraq War. But the brothers Fadhil, who blog at Iraq the Model bring a perspective that few others can match--because they're Iraqis, based in Baghdad. Whatever your political leanings, you'll find it impossible to read the Fadhil's posts without acquiring a deeper understanding of the war, its implications, and its after-effects. There's no better example anywhere of how citizen journalism is changing the world.
49. Jesse James Garrett
President, Adaptive Path
Garrett, the president of San Francisco Web design boutique Adaptive Path, didn't invent Ajax, the assemblage of technologies and programming techniques that gives Web-based applications such as Zoho's productivity apps and Google Maps desktop software-like interactivity and speed. But Ajax didn't really take off until Garrett identified and named it in an influential essay--and he remains one the most eloquent advocates for the innovative, effective techniques used in many of the best Web 2.0 sites and services.
50. Tila Tequila
If you're friends with singer/model/actress Tila Tequila (nee Nguyen), you're hardly alone. Some 1.6 million MySpace users identify themselves similarly. Tequila proved that these MySpace friendships can generate power, fame, and wealth. In fact, she redefined the word "friend" to encompass an individual you've never met. Despite what you may think of Ms. Tequila's talents, she could certainly teach a course in the new Web economy, having channeled her online popularity into A-list (well, C-list) fame. She has posed for Stuff magazine, she has a part in an Adam Sandler film currently in production, and her MySpace page currently boasts more than 56 million page views and 1,734,374 comments.
PC World's Danny Allen, Liane Cassavoy, Stephen Compton, Harry McCracken, and Narasu Rebbapragada contributed to this story.