Last month Newsweek released a double issue with the cover story, “The 100 Most Powerful Digital Disruptors” (7/2/12–7/9/12, pp. 22–33).  The 100 individuals were grouped within 10 categories such as opinionists, revolutionaries, innovators, and visionaries.  One category was virologists, described as, “in the hive of the Internet, they are the ones who make the buzz” (p. 32).  Newsweek did a good job coming up with its list.

First place among virologists went to Chris Poole, founder of 4chan.  4chan is sort of an anonymous posting site that is largely image based.  Its evolution has been diverse over the years, often linked to various Internet subcultures and activist themes.  Many Internet memes derive from 4chan.

Matt Drudge was given second place as the editor of The Drudge Report.  The site is very high traffic and many believe it sets the agenda for much cable news.

Number eight on the roster was Nick Denton, the CEO of Gawker.  Denton started Gawker as a single blog ten years ago.  Over the past decade the site has evolved into a news and gossip collection point that may be worth $300 million.

In this top ten virologists section, Newsweek included a sidebar awarding “Lifetime” status instead of rank to Andrew Breitbart as a columnist and writer.  Although he died this past March, Breitbart definitely made his mark:

“Breitbart was one of the most controversial voices in the news cycle. . . . He founded six sites including and published news on Anthony Weiner’s Twitter habits and apparent corruption at ACORN.” (p. 33)

Just so you’re not left in any suspense, here are the other names and their ranks:  Andy Carvin, senior strategist of National Public Radio (3); Ze Frank, Internet artist (4); Ben Huh, CEO of Cheezburger Network (5); Sean Parker, managing partner of The Founders Fund (6); Jonah Peretti, CEO of BuzzFeed (7); Andrew Baron, Web creator, musician, and artist (9); Brian Stelter, reporter with The New York Times (10).

For good or for bad, the buzz will always be there.  Unfortunately, it also says something less than flattering about human nature.  Although the buzz might not be your favorite cup of tea (nor mine), sometimes the buzz might have an impact upon your business, and so it is important at least to be aware of it.

Some have said any publicity is better than no publicity.  I’m not so sure about that one.

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About James Meadows

Currently I serve as a training team manager for Johnson Controls at a customer-care center in Kansas City. Additionally, I am a business consultant, a freelance corporate writer, an Assembly of God ordained minister, a Civil Air Patrol chaplain, and a blogger. I believe we are living in the most fascinating times of human history. To maximize the opportunities these times present, I have a passionate interest in leadership development and organizational success, both of which I view as inextricably linked.

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